New coaches with a new philosophy are in place for the Minnesota Vikings. How will it effect this latest 2014 NFL mock draft?
Round 1 – Derek Carr – QB – Fresno State
Unfortunately Khalil Mack and Kony Ealy, who likely would’ve been preferred picks at #8 aren’t available, so the Minnesota Vikings must make a decision. Do they stick to the plan and take the best defender available or go for the quarterback? Derek Carr simply has too much upside to pass on. He’s confident, smart, decisive and displayed just how good his arm is at the Senior Bowl.
Round 2 – Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota
The defensive tackle is undoubtedly an athletic wonder at his size but Ra’Shede Hageman doesn’t have the game tape or production to warrant a first round pick. Not that the Vikings are complaining. In need of defensive line help, they give Mike Zimmer a young player with perhaps more upside at his position than anybody else in the 2014 class.
Round 3 – Michael Sam – DE – Missouri
Jared Allen and Everson Griffen are free agents in March. Minnesota can’t ignore the defensive end position for very long. Unlike his teammate Kony Ealy, Missouri end Michael Sam doesn’t have the preferred length of a classic end but there is no denying he is an active pass rusher who gets good pad level and has the speed and strength required.
Round 3 (from SEA) – Jaylen Watkins – CB – Florida
With teammates Roberson and Purifoy hogging the spotlight, it’s easy to overlook how promising cornerback Jaylen Watkins is coming out of Florida. Like his brother, Sammy Watkins, he boasts plenty of athletic, good height and length and showed on several occasions he can stick to receivers and play the football in the air.
Round 4 – Brandon Thomas – OG – Clemson
The guard position definitely needs some attention for the Minnesota Vikings. Brandon Thomas is a name that didn’t surface until recently but the massive lineman out of Clemson is one of those rare types that has the size and strength for guard but the remarkably nimble feed to bump outside to tackle.
Round 5 – Adrian Hubbard – OLB – Alabama
Mike Zimmer has a knack for getting the most out of underachievers and Adrian Hubbard is a perfect project. Physically, the Alabama outside linebacker has lots of potential but for whatever reason he can’t seem to put it all together. He’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, able to do a bunch of things well but nothing great. Time under Zimmer might change that.
Round 6 – Isaiah Lewis – SS – Michigan State
Getting somebody at safety to compliment Harrison Smith would be really nice for the Vikings. It may be late in the draft but Isaiah Lewis can do that job. He ably played strong safety for the best defense in college football at MichiganState. Tackling is a strength of his game and though undersized he finds ways to contribute in coverage.
Round 7 – Marcus Lucas – WR – Missouri
Throwing the ball isn’t the primary strength for Missouri but that didn’t stop them from fielding a pair of twin towards at the receiver position. Marcus Lucas is the lesser known of the tandem. At 6’5″, 220 lbs he is a monstrous target with deceptive speed. His production is misleading. Minnesota would be lucky to get him this late.