The action and drama of the NCAA tournament – aka “March Madness” – continues this weekend as the Sweet 16 is narrowed down to the Final Four. While the madness of college basketball continues, so does the madness of the pre-draft speculation season.
For the sixth consecutive year, vikings.com will piggyback off March Madness and run another “Mock Madness” series in the weeks leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, which will take place in New York City, NY on April 25-27.
Who will the Vikings take with pick Nos. 23 and 25? Having a pair of first-round selections has thrown a (great) new wrinkle into Mock Madness. Instead of spending an endless amount of time searching the internet for ideas on what will be available when the Vikings are on the clock, you can check vikings.com every week to get an update on what everyone is projecting.
Click here to view Mock Madness 1.0, and without further ado, here is Mock Madness 2.0!
Daniel Jeremiah – WR Keenan Allen (California), DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina)
Gil Brandt – WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee), CB Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State)
Both Charles Davis and Bucky Brooks have kept their projections the same as last week, so we’ve taken them out of the mix this week. But Daniel Jeremiah and Gil Brandt remain. Jeremiah projects the Vikings to take Allen at #23 and Williams at #25. This pairing would give the Vikings another playmaker in the pass-catching game to go along with
Mel Kiper, Jr. – WR Keenan Allen (California), DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina)
Todd McShay – DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina); hasn’t updated since pick No. 25 was acquired
There’s no update from the ESPN draft analysts. Kiper predicts the Vikings will address receiver and defensive line with the pair of first-round picks by selecting Allen and Williams, the same projection as Jeremiah of NFL.com. McShay has not updated his mock draft since the Vikings acquired an additional first-round pick from Seattle, but he did point to Sly Williams as his projection at No. 23.
Russ Lande – CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida State), WR Tavon Austin (West Virginia)
Lande doesn’t suggest a different position in his mock, but he’s offered a pair of new names compared to the analysts above. Rhodes at #23 and Austin at #25 would be a great haul for the Vikings in the first round. Fans know all about Austin by this point, but here’s what Lande said about Rhodes: “With Antoine Winfield no longer with the team the Vikings make the move to grab his replacement. As opposed to Winfield who lacked good size, Rhodes is a huge CB with elite speed that likes to play physical with receiver.”
Pat Kirwan – DE Datone Jones (UCLA), WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee)
Pete Prisco –DE Datone Jones (UCLA), CB Desmond Trufant (Washington)
This pair of analysts from CBS still agrees on a new name for the Vikings, but this week they also have him going in the same spot (#23) – Jones from UCLA to beef up the defensive line. Kirwan has switched his projection for #25, though, this week saying it’ll be Hunter after last week predicting Austin as the selection. This week Kirwan has Austin going to the St. Louis Rams at #22, leaving Hunter as the choice at #25. Prisco adds yet another new name to the mix at #25 for the Vikings, tabbing Trufant as the choice. He was impressive at this year’s Senior Bowl and would help upgrade the Vikings secondary.
WR DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson), DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina)
This hardcore football website goes all-out in its mock draft effort, and projects the Vikings to use their pair of first-round picks to address two areas of need – receiver and defensive line. Hopkins is the choice at #23 and Williams goes to Minnesota at #25.