In two days the Minnesota Vikings will be on the clock.
A lot can happen during the NFL draft: trades, poor draft selections, but this is a big one for the Vikings and I expect them to make the right choices in this year.
In 2013, Rick Spielman had a very solid draft, selecting many projected starters for the upcoming season.
Here’s a look at my Vikings’ 2014 mock draft:
1. Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
It actually looks like Bortles could fall into Minnesota’s lap with the 8th pick. The Vikings’ biggest need is a franchise QB and Bortles possesses all the skills to become one. His size, athleticism, and cannon for an arm make him quite a steal with the #8 selection.
2. Adrian Hubbard, LB, Alabama
Hubbard led Alabama in many defensive categories last season including sacks, tackles for loss, and forced fumbles. A guy who plays that well in the SEC is a steal in the second round, and one of the Vikings’ biggest needs is some help on the defensive line. Hubbard was a proven player in college and should adapt well to the NFL. His 6-6 stature will also be intimidating.
3. (pick 8) Bashuad Breeland, CB, Clemson
Breeland had a nice 2013 season following an injury plagued 2012 season. He recorded 74 tackles and five interceptions. Breelund isn’t the fastest guy on the board, but he’s aggressive and should pick up NFL play quickly. Minnesota could use an emergency CB and Breeland should be available early in the third round.
3. (pick 32, from Seattle) Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon St.
Crichton is quick on the line. He had 7.5 sacks last season with three forced fumbles. His size and speed put him as a viable third round pick for the Vikings. Crichton could be a valuable asset to the Vikings’ line in the near future.
4. Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama
Norwood improved a lot during his collegiate career at Alabama. In 12 games last season, he racked up 38 catches and 7 touchdowns. The knock on Norwood is his route running, but he could be an asset to Minnesota on third down plays. He’d be a solid four or five receiver off the bat, and if Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Rudolph, or Jerome Simpson fail to get open on third down, Norwood could be a nice backup plan for the QB. We all remember how ineffective Minnesota was last season on third down passing, right?
5. Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
This would be the steal of the draft for Minnesota. Sims could go earlier, so I could see the Vikings trading up to get him in the fourth round or so. Sims was outstanding last season for the Mountaineers, racking up over 1,000 yards on the ground with 11 touchdowns and 401 receiving yards. His ability to slash through holes and gain receiving yards would make him a huge asset to Minnesota. Could this be Adrian Peterson’s replacement eventually? Maybe too earlier to start going that far, but Sims will do well in the NFL if drafted by the right team. He’s a great fit for the Vikings.
6. James Hurst, OT, North Carolina
This is the part of the draft where essentially anything can happen. Minnesota needs offensive line help, and in the later rounds you just never know how guys are going to pan out. However, Tom Brady and Marques Colston were both late-round picks and are among the best in the league at their positions. Hurst is smart, has good size, and can block the run. He could potentially be a nice late-round draft pick for the Vikings.
7. John Ojo, FS, Florida A&M
Ojo will be a 24-year-old rookie and more depth at the FS position could help Minnesota in the long run. It’s really up in the air as to who Minnesota will take in the final round, but Ojo has good size and wingspan at 6-3, a rare height for any FS.
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