NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock on Monday said the Vikings have multiple options in the first round with the 11th overall pick, but added "if they went corner at 11, that wouldn't surprise me."
Mayock was holding his annual conference call with reporters before the opening of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. The first wave of more than 300 top draft-eligible prospects is scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis Tuesday.
Mayock was asked what he thinks Minnesota may do with its first-round pick, the 11th overall spot, and what the Vikings might do if they have to replace Adrian Peterson.
Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said last week the team would welcome back the 2012 NFL MVP who missed all but the season opener of 2014.
"I think, as you've heard from Coach (Mike) Zimmer and our General Manager Rick Spielman, you know, Adrian has done a lot of good in this community," Wilf said. "He's done a lot for us on the football field as well, and of course, he's a Minnesota Viking and we'd love to have him back. Of course a lot depends on the NFL and the steps he's making on his own personal journey, but that's where we're at with it."
The NFL Players Association appealed on Feb. 6 a suspension of Peterson issued by Commissioner Roger Goodell that is scheduled to last at least until April 15, more than a month after the start of free agency and just 15 days before the 2015 NFL Draft commences in Chicago.
"It's interesting, because Minnesota's sitting there at No. 11 and the whole Peterson thing becomes intriguing because (Jerick) McKinnon's coming off surgery," Mayock said. "(Matt) Asiata was a tough guy. I get all of those kinds of things. But at the end of the day, you're going to have to look for a full-time tailback."
Mayock, however, said he thinks the Vikings "can wait until the second or third round" before looking at a running back group that he considers deep.
"At running back we start talking about big, strong guys that are the Boise (State) kid, (Jay Ajayi), he's a solid second round pick," Mayock said. "Tevin Coleman from Indiana is a little like a (Darren) McFadden from the Oakland Raiders. Upright, explosive kid. He gets a gash and he can take it to the house."
Possibilities in the first round, Mayock said, could include options on the offensive line or cornerback. He cited the growth of 2013 first-round pick Xavier Rhodes last season in his first year under Head Coach Mike Zimmer.
"I really like what's happening with Xavier Rhodes, and I think Mike Zimmer's one of the best corner evaluators and coaches in football," Mayock said. "So if they went corner at 11, that wouldn't surprise me."