The Vikings may be in an ideal position to get one of the better cornerbacks in this April's draft.
While the top-rated cornerback by most draft analysts is Florida's Joe Haden, there could be several other choices available to the Vikings with their 30th overall pick in the first round, and even if they don't go to that position in the first round there are expected to be other strong options in the second and third rounds.
According to NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock, cornerback is one of the deepest positions in the draft.
"There is a lot of depth in this corner class. Let's assume Haden is gone, the next four or five corners, there are a lot of differences of opinions," Mayock said Tuesday. "I like Kyle Wilson from Boise. A lot of people think he's a second-round pick. There's a good chance he'll be there (later in the first round). He's a heck of a player. Devin McCourty from Rutgers. Patrick Robinson is probably the most talented corner in this draft and he's probably going to blow up this Combine, but he's inconsistent on tape and that bothers me. Jerome Murphy is the second-round corner."
The Vikings' coaching staff will get its first in-person look at some of the top cornerbacks over the next week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where more than 325 NFL draft hopefuls will interview, perform skills drills and get medical evaluations. Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman and his scouting staff have attended college games and college all-star games, but because of the team's playoff run to the NFC Championship Game, the coaching staff did not attend the week of Senior Bowl practices.
It was at the Senior Bowl where Boise State's Kyle Wilson helped solidify himself as one of the top cornerbacks in this year's draft while practicing against some of the better draftable wide receivers.
"Kyle Wilson, people were worried about size. He was 5-10, 190 at the Senior Bowl. More feisty than people think and I believe would be a good fit for what the Vikings do," Mayock said when asked about zone cornerbacks. "Devin McCourty might be the best special-teams value in the draft in addition to being a potential starting corner. He's a gunner and a jammer, he's the return guy. I think he could fit in quickly in the nickel package and he's a very, very physical defensive back. Most people have him in the second round, but he could be a legitimate late one (in the first round). Patrick Robinson, that's the biggest question about him is his lack of consistent technique and his lack of physicality. He's a gifted, gifted kid, but he's not a trained killer. He will not consistently hit people. I don't see a fit there with him and Minnesota."
But Mayock does see a number of cornerbacks who could be second- or third-round picks that would fit the Vikings' Cover-2 zone scheme, which requires their cornerbacks to be strong in run support.
"Jerome Murphy from South Florida, you want to talk about a physical kid that can play press coverage, man or zone, Jerome Murphy sometimes is over-aggressive," Mayock said. "This (Amari) Spievey kid from Iowa, another second-round type of kid that could be a top-round-level corner. Perrish Cox from Oklahoma State I think is a little inconsistent and I wouldn't trust him in zone. I'll tell you who would fit really well as a second-round pick is Kareem Jackson from Alabama. Technically solid, tough kid, understands zone and man concepts. I really like him."
Fortunately for the Vikings, there are a lot of cornerbacks to like this year as they search for an eventual replacement for Antoine Winfield and a potentially immediate fill-in while Cedric Griffin recovers from knee surgery.
Mayock sees deep CB class for Vikings
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