The Minnesota Vikings improved in 2014 but still have multiple holes on their team to fill. That was shown by their 7-9 overall record and 1-5 conference record at the end of the season. They are slated to pick at No. 11 overall and should still have a good group of players to pick from.
ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay said he could see the Vikings going with a wide receiver, an offensive lineman or a cornerback in the first round.
“Well the Vikings are sitting at No. 11,” McShay said on a conference call Monday. “To me, one possibility given the depth of the wide receiver class, or I should say the strength of the wide receiver class, maybe a DeVante Parker at that spot. … Ironically, it would be teaming up with his former Louisville teammate in Teddy Bridgewater, so he’s someone to keep an eye on.”
Parker is always listed among the top three receiver in this year’s draft class. The order of which of the three is best will vary, but it is consistently Parker, Kevin White, and Amari Cooper.
“There are three receivers that have a chance to go in the top; I guess possibly the top 10, certainly the top 15,” McShay said. “And I think Amari Cooper, Kevin White – Cooper from Alabama, White from West Virginia – then DeVante Parker’s the third from Louisville.”
The Louisville receiver missed multiple games during the 2014 season and that could hurt his draft stock. But in the seven games that he played in, he played well and he performed well at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“(Parker) just played seven games with 855 receiving yards, averaged 20 yards a catch and showed up (to the NFL Scouting Combine) and ran well,” McShay said. “And at 6-2½, good size around 210 pounds. I think that’s one place they could go.”
McShay also said that offensive line was a need for the Vikings but never specified any positions or players.
The biggest need along the offensive line for the Vikings is at guard – specifically left guard, and the best guard in the draft is considered to be Brandon Scherff from Iowa. Although No. 11 might be a little too high to be drafting a guard, he could be another person that the Vikings choose to target.
Another player that McShay said the Vikings could target in the first round is Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes. When it comes to physical skills, he has Waynes as the No. 2 cornerback in the draft behind Washington’s Marcus Peters. Peters, however, has had character issues in college, which could make him fall in the draft.
“Now Peters has got some baggage – behavioral issues – and Waynes doesn’t,” McShay said. “Waynes is a clean slate and has the work ethic you look for. And I think he’s well-coached and I think he takes well to coaching – you can tell. I think he does a lot of the little things well, very efficient with his movement. I think there is a little more tightness there than you’d like to see at times comparing him to the elite cover corner. But I think he’s absolutely fast enough, has the length and has the ability to be a good starting cornerback in the league.”
There is also the possibility that the Vikings decide to move back in the draft to acquire more picks because it is a relatively deep class at their positions of need. But if they choose to stay put, any three of these players could be potential picks for the Vikings.
McShay has his favorites for Vikings
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