Mayock assesses Vikings’ draft options

The Vikings have several needs that could be filled in the first two days of the draft and NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock gave his opinion of which players could fill their needs in the early rounds (Photo: Jay Ajayi/USA TODAY).

With the NFL Scouting Combine coming up, the analysis of players and when teams might draft them is in full swing. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock gave his thoughts on what he thinks of players, and where they will end up come draft day during a conference call on Monday.

The Minnesota Vikings are sitting at No. 11 and still have plenty of holes to fill on their team. Some speculated positions that the Vikings could choose to address with their first-round pick are cornerback, safety, wide receiver and offensive line – specifically guard. Then there is the question of whether Adrian Peterson will be back with the team next year or if the Vikings will have to move in a different direction.

“It’s interesting because Minnesota is sitting there at No. 11,” Mayock said, “and the whole Peterson thing becomes intriguing because (Jerick) McKinnon is coming off surgery, (Matt) Asiata is a tough guy. I get all those kind of things – but at the end of the day you’re going to have to look for a full-time tailback.”

The Vikings likely wouldn’t draft a running back at No. 11, even if Peterson and the Vikings end up parting ways. But it’s possible they address the position in the second round or later.

“I think running back could wait until the second or third round,” Mayock said. “At running back, we start talking about big, strong guys that are – the Boise kid (Jay Ajayi) … he’s a solid second-round pick. Kevin Coleman from Indiana is a little bit like (Darren) McFadden from the Oakland Raiders – upright, explosive kid. He gets a gash and he can take it to the house.”

If Peterson stays with the Vikings, though, then there is no real need for them to address the running back position. In that case, they will more likely address a position such as safety, cornerback or wide receiver.

Mayock seems to believe that cornerback would be a good position for them to draft even with the development of Xavier Rhodes. It remains a need for them and head coach Mike Zimmer is one of the best in the NFL when it comes to evaluating and developing cornerbacks.

“I think corner is still a need,” Mayock said. “I really like what’s happening with Xavier Rhodes, and I think Mike Zimmer is one of the best corner evaluators and coaches in football. So if they went corner at 11, that wouldn’t surprise me.”

The Vikings’ offensive line was devastated in 2014 and is likely to be an area of emphasis in both free agency and the draft, even if it is to just provide the team with depth. Offensive guard will likely be the first spot they look on the line because they might need to fill the starting spot at left guard after with Charlie Johnson getting older.

There is talent in this draft at the guard position, but drafting one at No. 11 might be too much of a reach. If the Vikings decide to address this position in the first round, it should be from them trading back and getting more picks.

“I think obviously No. 11 is too early for if they were going to take the kid from Iowa (Brandon Scherff), who could play guard or tackle,” Mayock said. “I think it would be too early to go in that direction.”

At this point in time it is still too early to tell what exactly the Vikings will choose to do in the first round of the draft, but you can start to get an idea based off need and talent available at their various positions in the first two days.


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