Minnesota Vikings: 7-Round 2013 NFL Mock Draft

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Minnesota Vikings 2013 NFL Draft

NFL
Brace Hemmelgarn-US Presswire

The 2013 NFL Draft might still be nearly 4 months away, but the time to start digging deep into the prospects is now. Every team has specific needs that are starting to surface whether it’s caused by a lack of talent or an impending loss of a player due to contract restrictions.

This is 1 part of a 32 part series where I will break down a full seven-round mock draft for every NFL team. I am doing this based on several factors. First is their relative position in the draft. After the end of the regular season the top of the order will be set and as each weekend of NFL playoffs end more teams will be set in place for their picks. Second is based on team needs. I’ve gone to great lengths to get as much input from fans for this as possible, but I have to be honest, some fans don’t know their teams as well as they think they do. This will also include any traded or forfeited picks, but by all means if you see I missed a pick that was traded for or away, post it in the comments below so I know.

I am going to start at the top of the draft order, bounce between the top, middle and end, and give you all 3 or so a week until we’ve covered all 32 teams.

This time I am going to cover the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings made a valiant push into the playoffs behind the amazing season of running back Adrian Peterson. But what we all saw was the Vikings quarterback situation is on thin ice at best. In fact the offense as a whole could use a makeover with more weapons in the passing game and improved talent along the offensive line. On defense an upgrade at defensive tackle and cornerback would also be prudent moves for this team going forward.

Of the Vikings fans I have spoken to, the topic of quarterback is quite polarizing. I suspect after last night's game it will become even more tense, but in this scenario I go quarterback early here because if he doesn't beat out incumbent Christian Ponder, the depth behind him is so poor an upgrade is still a necessity.

In addition to these team specific mock drafts, I will be updating my one-round mock draft regularly here on Rant Sports, along with full scouting reports on the top prospects, so keep an eye out for those and follow me on Twitter @nfldraftboard for all my other football ramblings.

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First Round-Mike Glennon, QB North Carolina State

NFL
Bob Donnan-US Presswire

Every year there is a pick or 2 that defies logic. For me, Glennon going in the first round would be one of those. But smack dab in the middle of the first round, with a group of questionable quarterback prospects, I can absolutely see a team taking a shot on Glennon. The Vikings simply must improve their talent at quarterback if they want to be competitive. They made the playoffs on the back of their run game, and their passing game gave them no help whatsoever. Glennon has a big arm and ideal NFL size.

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Second Round-Robert Woods, WR USC

NFL
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SPORTS

The wide receiver position in this draft has changed dramaticly in the past month or so. The flashy prospects have dominated the headlines and a player like Woods has had to deal with a dreadful end to his season and a freshman quarterback throwing him the ball. He also had to deal with being overshadowed by a more talented teammate. But if there's a receiver in this draft that you could consider the safe pick to be productive in the NFL in any system, it's Woods. Whomever is under center for the Vikings next year could stand to have a dependable target like Woods who can take a short throw and make it a long run.

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Third Round-Will Sutton, DT Arizona State

NFL
Cary Edmondson-US Presswire

The Vikings can use an upgrade in the middle of their defensive line, and Sutton may just be that guy. He's a little low at this point because he is coming off a knee injury, but make no mistake when he's on he has a quick first step and can be very disruptive as a pass rusher which is exactly what the Vikings need. If he checks out clean in the off-season, he will likely rise higher than this pick, but for now mid 3rd round makes sense.

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Fourth Round-Cobi Hamilton, WR Arkansas

NFL
Nelson Chenault-US Presswire

If the Vikings can get Hamilton this late in the game they would have to jump on him. Even taking Woods in the 2nd round, getting a deep threat like Hamilton who just seemed to be able to get open any time he wanted to last season would be a real steal. I love Hamilton's game and he seems like a bit of a forgotten prospect because his team struggled so much last season.

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Fifth Round-Josh Johnson, CB Purdue

NFL
Andrew Weber-US Presswire

Johnson isn't a big name prospect, but he's got real NFL skills. He's a little undersized, but he plays very physical in the run game and in coverage, and shows excellent anticipation and break on the football. He's also a very good return man which increases his value here in the 5th round. The Vikings can use depth at cornerback so Johnson this late is a very safe pick.

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Sixth Round-Mario Benavides, C Louisville

NFL
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Typically the center position is undervalued in the draft, so it won't shock me if a player as talented as Benavides falls this far. I actually like the fact that Benavides looks to be able to pay anywhere along the interior that makes him a very interesting pick for the Vikings who need line help on the inside.

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Sixth Round-Alex Hurst, OT LSU

NFL
Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

The Vikings have a 2nd pick in the 6th round due to a trade, so they roll the dice a little. Hurst was a very heralded prospect at the start of the season, having started at right tackle for 2 years and was set to start at left tackle this season. But after an injury things really started to go wrong for Hurst and this has been a wasted season for him, even hinting at one point he was quitting the team and the LSU staff citing some "personal issues". If a team can get Hurst in and motivated to play they could have a real steal as Hurst is a mauling run blocker and was improving as a pass protector.

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Seventh Round-Quinton Dial, DE Alabama

NFL
Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

Dial is an interesting prospect because Alabama runs the 3-4 so he's big at 6'6" and 305lb as a defensive end, but his frame is long and he's lean which tells me if could either work inside at a 4-3 defensive tackle or trip back a little and play a strong side end in a 4-3. If you don't know who Dion is, he's the Alabama player who ear holed Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the SEC championship game. This late in the draft a project player like Dial is a nice risk.


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