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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Target for Christian Ponder still the popular pick

The Minnesota Vikings continue to have wide receivers come their way in the first round of SB Nation's 2013 NFL Mock Draft.


The Minnesota Vikings are at the NFL Scouting Combine in full force, but they're not necessarily keeping their eyes on guys that are going to go in the top 10. They've had issues over the past few seasons and have found themselves with more than their fair share of top selections, but this time around, they're picking late.

That's due to an appearance in the playoffs, despite picking in the top three selections of the 2012 NFL Draft. Now they're picking at No. 23, but they definitely have some holes to fill. That's about the point in the draft where many teams feel good about abandoning the "best player available" strategy to fill one of their needs.

Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation released his latest mock draft on Monday and he has the Vikings going with both strategies for the most part. He has the Vikings taking wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, the wide receiver out of Tennessee:

Whether or not Percy Harvin stays with the Vikings, they need to find another weapon in the passing game. Some will be surprised to see Cordarrelle Patterson this low, but he's rough around the edges. Allen and Hopkins are more complete wide receivers in my eyes.

Patterson has been mocked to the Vikings multiple times this offseason and that's not likely to change much. What could change it is the fact that Patterson has been having a strong combine and might be boosting his stock out of Minnesota' reach.

That being said, if the Vikings are out for a receiver to give Christian Ponder a weapon in the passing game (one that is actually going to stick around), they are in a good place in the draft. Guys like Tavon Austin out of West Virginia, Kennan Allen out of California and DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson might go in this range.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.