Thursday, April 10, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Vikings
By Ben Goessling
ESPN NFL draft expert Todd McShay's latest mock draft spans two rounds, and like Mel Kiper Jr. did last week in his Grade A mock draft, McShay has the Vikings addressing perhaps their biggest need on each side of the ball with their first two picks.
The Vikings will have a number of different directions they could pursue at quarterback and cornerback with the eighth and 40th overall picks, and it's conceivable they could draft a quarterback and cornerback in either order in the first two rounds. If the draft falls the way McShay predicts it will, however, the Vikings will have an interesting choice on their hands at N0. 8.
McShay again has Minnesota taking Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the eighth overall pick, four picks after Central Florida's Blake Bortles goes to the Cleveland Browns and three picks before Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater heads to the Tennessee Titans. In the second round, McShay has the Vikings selecting Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner.
Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner has never had a quarterback like Manziel, who hasn't played under center and who made running a big part of his game with the Aggies. But McShay proposes a scenario the Vikings might have to consider on May 8. If Bortles is gone, do the Vikings gamble that Manziel can fit in their offense, or do they take a cornerback like Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert or Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard?
In McShay's view, the Vikings won't be able to pass on Manziel, and they'll take the undersized Joyner in the second round. Joyner is just 5-foot-8, and would seem like a fit at slot cornerback (though the Vikings just signed Captain Munnerlyn to fill that position). He could give them additional depth in their secondary, however, and he has played with Vikings second-year cornerback Xavier Rhodes at Florida State.
The quarterback-cornerback combo, however the Vikings handle it, seems like a plausible scenario for the team's first two picks. There will be plenty riding on how the Vikings ultimately decide to approach those two positions.