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Who Will Be Available At #12?

Posted by cjsiewert on April 28, 2011 – 1:38 pm

It’s been a while since I last voiced my opinion here on vikings.com, but with the 76th NFL Draft kicking off tonight with primetime, 1st-round coverage, how could one stay away?

After over 2 months of speculation and mock drafts, it’s finally time to turn the mock into reality. And the biggest reality that the Vikings are facing in this year’s draft is the unpredictable nature of what the 11 teams ahead of the Purple will do with their selections. Who will be available at No. 12 and will that prod the Vikings brass to grab “their guy” at that moment? Or will they trade back with the hope of snagging the right player later on while gaining a mid-to-late round pick? Or do they trade up with their eyes set on an immediate impact player?

All of these questions will be answered tonight but the most prevalent question that lingers with the Vikings faithful is what position will be addressed with that first selection.

As Mike pointed out with his No. 1 (out of 7) factor that complicates the 1st round, the labor situation has prohibited free agency to begin before the draft, as it typically does, and this leaves teams with more needs during the draft which would often be addressed with free agent signings. This is certainly the case for the Vikings as nearly every position on offense and defense, except RB, may be addressed with their first selection.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at which players might be available when the Vikings are on the clock at the No. 12 spot.

QB: Jake Locker – Cam Newton is expected by many to go No. 1 overall and if not, it’s likely he won’t make it past the top 10 with teams such as Cincinnati (#4), Arizona (5), San Francisco (7) and Washington (10) possibly addressing the QB position. Blaine Gabbert is next in line for a top pick, leaving Locker as a strong candidate for the next QB to go off the board. But will Locker’s accuracy concerns convince teams to take a pass, or do any of the first 11 teams value him as a top selection?

CB: Prince Amukamara – If healthy, the Vikings core of CBs provides a stable secondary, but with Cedric Griffin coming off consecutive knee injuries, Chris Cook also rehabbing knee injuries and Antoine Winfield coming into his 13th year of service, the Vikings may look to bolster their secondary with the 6-0, 206-pound speedster.

DT: Nick Fairley – Vikings DT Pat Williams may be looking for a new home pending the result of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, possibly leaving a big hole to fill in his place. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier has stated numerous times that he wants the identity of his team to focus on establishing the run game and stopping the rush on defense. And the 6-4, 291-pounder out of Auburn is projected to be disruptive against the pass and run, fitting Frazier’s mold.

OL: Anthony Castonzo – I would be surprised to see the Vikings select an offensive lineman with their first pick, but many of the Vikings faithful have expressed concerns with the run and pass protection. Castonzo provides an imposing figure (6-7, 311 pounds) and is said to have the potential to shut down speed rushers with his great mobility.

This list could go on for another 10 or more players, but any one of the four named players could wind up as an immediate impact player for the Vikings in 2011.


Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 18 Comments »


18 Responses to “Who Will Be Available At #12?”

  1. By Will J. on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Nick Fairley all the way

  2. By animal26 on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Prince Amukamara!!!

  3. By Parody on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I like how you avoided any DEs in your analysis. If it’s not Jake Locker, almost every mock draft I see has us going after a DE. This just doesn’t make sense after we gave Robison a big money contract. Although I’m not in favor of taking Locker so early, the other 3 sound like good choices for the #12 selection.

  4. By xvike on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I would happily take Fairley if he is available. Although i do like prince, i think that another team will probably want him more if he’s there at 12. Then maybe we could trade down. I have a feeling that if they don’t take locker at 12, then they’ll probably trade down to pick up Castonzo.

  5. By Nick on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    MALLETT, who else in the first? In the second we could get a quality D-Lineman as this category is extremely deep this year.

  6. By MGR4FUN on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Fairley or Amukamara are both excellent choices … however i think we would all agree the purple are gonna be a run first team with a need to block for #28 and #32 first and most definately protect whoever is under center (joe webb is my choice) at any rate the offensive line is my first thought … c/g michael pouncey is my guy at #12 and that will be gettin the best O-Lineman in the draft !!!!!!

  7. By Alan Helimsky on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I WANT JAKE LOCKER. Value is 100% more important than need. We need a Qb but the second round is not a good place to look. If the vikes dont get mcnabb, then were done this season. I say get Locker at 12, then a DL after that. The DL class this year is SO good and you can get a quality pass rusher even at rd 5. aaron williams might be available at our 2nd rd pick. the draft is tonight and if the vikings dont get locker, they’ll be very upset when a team like the redskins draft him and he takes them to the playoffs. that accuracy stuff is bs. he really is a top 15 pick. The vikings will be Lockered and Loaded in 2011-2012!

  8. By David on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Please for the love of GOD DO NOT DRAFT LOCKER. The guy could stand on the beach and miss the frickin ocean for crying out loud. I would lean toward Prince or Pouncey myself

  9. By DCR555 on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Tyrod Taylor anyone? or am I the only one who is completely impressed by this man?

  10. By Alan Helimsky on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    lockers accuracy trash talk is bs. trrust me. if we dont get the BAQB(best available), then we are done.

  11. By Canadian Vikes fan on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I want more than anything for the Vikings to take either Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett. HOWEVER if Nick Fairley is available at 12 then by all means take him. He will make the line unstoppable. That being said if we don’t take a QB at 12 then they better still get one in the 2nd round. If the Vikings were able to draft Fairley in the 1st round and Mallett in the 2nd I might be the happiest person in the world.

  12. By Bob on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    The vikings will pass on mallett, I have a feeling the staff is going to do something ridiculous that will make the fans go crazy. Looks like another year without a qb dealing with rodger, cutler, and stafford.

  13. By Bleed Purple on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Why do a trade with Cleveland for the 6th pick? They are going to suck this year anyway. I say trade for the 6th pick and blow everyone’s mind and pick Gabbert!

  14. By Bleed Purple on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I meant why not do a trade with Cleveland. Sorry about that.

  15. By DAve on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    We should trade down 2 or 3 spots grab a second round pick and take Pouncy to shore up the O line. It hasn’t been the same since Birk left.

  16. By Austin on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Prince all the way if he is still available..he would totally be better than Locker

  17. By Nicholas on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Fairley or Prince A. would be GREAT @ 12 IMO. Mallett would be a great pick as well…but I don’t see us doing it. I still say that Joe Webb is a good Stop-Gap QB in his own respect.

    We always have next year to draft another developmental QB…and we may pick one up in the later rounds of this year too if we miss out in the first 2 rounds.

    Either way, I think that Spielmann and Frazier and the rest of the staff will do a great job rebuilding the Franchise.

  18. By K'net on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Tony or Prince.

    Two positions we are in most need of improvement.

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