After a surprisingly successful 2012 season, the 2013 season showed just how far the Minnesota Vikings are from being a factor in the NFC North division race. While the rest of the division battled it out for the division title, the Vikings lagged behind. Quarterback play and issues at multiple defensive positions plagued the Vikings all year long.
Round 1, Pick 8: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
It’s safe to say that the Christian Ponder experiment was a failure. The 12th pick of the 2011 draft was never able to become the weapon that the Vikings were hoping he would become, and the 2013 season became a carousel of quarterbacks for Minnesota. Veteran Matt Cassel had arguably the most success. But when compared to the results of Ponder and Josh Freeman, that isn’t much to say.
While Carr has been ranked as a late-first round pick by many experts, the Vikings’ desperate need for quarterback will probably force them to reach for the former Fresno State signal-caller since the top 3 ranked quarterbacks will most likely be off the board by the 8th pick. Carr has an NFL bloodline as his brother David was the number one pick of the expansion Texans in 2002. Carr is a well-rounded quarterback with the ability to throw the ball anywhere and everywhere, but has played against weak competition and solely out of the shotgun.
Round 2, Pick 8: Xavier Su’a Filo, OG, UCLA
While the Vikings offensive line was not a weakness, the team’s left guard was clearly the weakness for the 6th ranked o-line. Because the team already has weapons to surround the young quarterback they will most-likely draft, making sure that he is protected will give that pick the best chance of success in the pros. With the possibility of a lack of talent in the defensive backfield in the early second round, shoring up the o-line would make sense for the Vikings.
Su’a Filo is a strong and quick lineman who would help create even more holes for Adrian Peterson, along with providing more protection for the new signal caller for the Vikings. Su’a Filo has the strength to defend bullrushes and the agility to move around in pass protection. He also has shown maturity after spending two years on a Mormon mission before playing football for UCLA.
There you have it, my 2014 Vikings mock draft. While the Vikings will undoubtedly spend draft picks on defensive help, making sure the offense takes advantage of the weapons already in place is necessary to make a real move forward in the NFC North. Look for Minnesota to select a defensive tackle, safety and cornerback at some point in the draft as well.
What do you think is the best way to get the Vikings out of the NFC North cellar? Should they address defensive holes before fixing the offense? Comment with your thoughts.