With just over a month to go until the real, actual draft, we have a couple of new mock drafts available for you to peruse. Why? Because nothing says love like hypothetical 'what ifs' more than 30 days from an actual event.
The first one we have for you today is a Scott Wright joint over at nfldraftcountdown.com. He's got a very in-depth site, with a two round mock that was posted the afternoon of the 21st, just a little while after our last update.
Quarterbacks are off the board early and often according to Wright, and this is probably the biggest area of interest for the Vikings in the draft. At least, that's what the head coach said. He has Blaine Gabbert going number one overall, which I haven't seen before now, and Cam Newton going at 4 to Cincinnati. So with what he considers the top two draftable QB's off the board, he projects the Vikes to select North Carolina DE Robert Quinn. This isn't the first mock where I've seen the Vikings taking Quinn, and I don't know that I'm comfortable with the Vikings taking a guy that didn't play in 2010. I don't disagree that DE is also a pressing need, especially if Ray Edwards leaves via free agency, but if a JJ Watt is still on the board, I'd like to see the Vikings go in that direction. Or maybe an offensive lineman. I think Quinn or a guy like Da'Quan Bowers is an awful big risk at #12.
But I will say Wright makes up for it in round two by projecting American Patriot and Iowa QB Ricki Stanzi to the Vikings. I have to say, Stanzi has slowly but surely been building momentum in draft circles, and after watching him play quite a bit in his collegiate career I wouldn't be disappointed to see him play for the Vikings. With all the other quarterbacks taking up all the pre-draft talk, there's a very good chance that Stanzi will be available for the taking.
Over at the site Walter Football, they have done a 6 round mock, which is impressive, and speaking of Bowers, they see the Clemson DE projecting to Minnesota in round one. Um, thanks but no thanks. They also have Gabbert gone at number 1 overall, and Newton gone at #3 to Buffalo. Again, I can buy the need at DE, but if Watt is gone, (which might be the case as his name is picking up steam as well), Missouri DE Aldon Smith might be the better option. Bowers has knee issues and has really only had one good year, and Smith has been the more consistent player.
Much like NFL Draft Countdown, they have a 'wow' pick in round two as they see Jake Locker falling to the Vikings. I don't know if he will be there that deep in the draft, but if he is Locker makes a lot of sense there.
In round four, they see LSU WR Terrance Toliver becoming a Viking, in round five Stanford DB Richard Sherman and Florida Atlantic TE Rob Housler, and round six Nebraska S Eric Hagg. The Housler pick/projection is the fifth rounder the Vikings received from the Giants for the Sage Rosenfels trade.
I'm kind of surprised that an offensive lineman was not projected, and come the actual draft I would be surprised if the Vikings haven't selected one.