Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/15/13
With the 2013 NFL draft around the corner, NFL teams are scouting and going over film of potential draft picks and figuring out who they want and who they don't want.  Every team has a their own unique set of needs and all the draft experts seem to be saying pretty much the same thing.  Tavon Austin and Sylvester Williams seem to be the popular choice by the experts when the Vikings select at picks 23 and 25 in the first round. I, however, beg to differ and have come up with my own ideas on what the Vikings should do with this years draft.  Here is a 7 round mock draft of potential draft picks the Vikings my select. Only my opinion. Round 1)23rd pick - Manti Te'o/MLB/Notre Dame - Minnesota is already in love with Notre Dame alumni and Te'o should be available when the Vikings select at 23.  A lot of experts have them taking elusive wide out, Tavon Austin with this pick, but I have a feeling he wont make it past Dallas.  There was a reason Ray Lewis fell so far into the first round when he was drafted. He had a bad combine and all of a sudden his speed and size was an issue.  It wasn't an issue with Baltimore however, and they enjoyed 17 years of one of the most feared players to ever put on an NFL jersey. I am not saying Te'o will play 17 years, make too many Pro Bowls to count, win two championships, and be accused of murder. But I am saying that one bad game and a bad combine don't sum up a players college career and just like Lewis, Te'o has a brain for football and will make a huge impact for years to come.25th pick - Desmond Trufant/CB/Washington - Antoine Windfield was released by Minnesota four weeks before and now has signed with the Seattle Seahawks.  With a huge void in the already thin secondary, the Vikings will need to address this issue via the draft.  They are a little over $5 million under the cap at this current time so hitting the free agency market would be hard with draft picks still needing to sign. In my opinion, Trufant is the best coverage corner in the draft.Called "the Glove", he did not put up very big numbers his senior year. And for good reason.  No teams wanted to bring the ball his way.  With a Revis like feel to him, look for Minnesota to grab him if he is available and to make an instant impact on defense.Round 2)52nd pick - Robert Woods/WR/USC - Finally, a compliment to the ton of cash they threw out to Greg Jennings. A high price to pay just to take someone from their arch rivals, the Green Bay Packers.  However, Woods could be the most polished WR in the draft.  He is not great at any certain skill but he is very good at them all. One of the more smarter players in the draft, with high character grades as well.  He could immediately start opposite of Jennings with Wright taking the slot where Harvin once played.Round 3)83rd pick - Brandon Williams/DT/Missouri Southern - The Williams wall is back!  Most would think I was talking about Sylvester Williams, but no, I am talking about another run stuffer by the first name of Brandon. The Vikings really need a big guy like this to help with veteran and all pro in Kevin Williams. For the first time since the departure of Pat Williams, Minnesota can once again start to dominate against the run like they used too with the original Williams wall. Round 4)102nd pick - Tyrann Mathieu/CB/LSU - Yes, he is a troubled kid.  Yes, he has been given too many chances. But thus is life in the NFL. If you can play, they will pay.  The Honey Badger is undersized, and a head case, but the Vikings seem to like to take chances in the 4th round.  They took a chance on DE Everson Griffen in the 4th round, and it has worked out well for them.   This pick gives the Vikings the special teams player they need after losing Harvin and also gives them more depth in the secondary.  Hard to say when he will go in this year's draft, but I would be surprised if he was still available at this point that they would pass on him. 120th pick - EJ Manuel/QB/ Florida State - You might think I am crazy, but this wouldn't surprise me.  Yes, they have Ponder who also went to FSU, but Rick Spielman is a big believer in team unity. Yes, I know they signed veteran and ex-Chief starter Matt Cassel, but that is for only one year and I don't think the team is completely sold on current starter Christian Ponder.  Manuel is a bit rough around the edges and a few years holding a clip board wouldn't hurt.  Nothing wrong with investing in a plan B and the future. Round 5)155th pick - Josh Evans/FS/Florida - Still in need of more depth and especially at the safety position, look for Minnesota to address this issue sometime in the draft.  Unless someone drastically falls, they will probably wait until the later rounds.  Evans could be good insurance in case Sanford or Smith get hurt. Round 6) 189th pick - Brad Wing/P/LSU - The Vikings could be fed up with current kicker Kris Kluwe.  His on the field play didn't over shadow his off field controversial and political views. If they can get one of colleges best punters around this pick, look for Wing to be in purple come August. Round 7) 213th pick - Duron Carter/WR/?? - The son of former Viking and HOF player Chris Carter.  Duron had a bit of a academic problem in college and played a bit here and a bit there for a few colleges where he ultimately had to sit for bad grades.  Like his Dad, he has some issues but talent is not one of them.  He may or may not be drafted as his opinion is up in the air. But worth taking the risk.214th pick- Adrian Bushell/CB/Louisville - Again, they need some depth in the secondary and a warm body is about all youll get this far in the draft, but ya never know.229th pick - P.J Lonergan/C/LSU - This would be the Vikings 3rd player from LSU taken in the draft. They need the depth and team unity.
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