Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Sylvester Williams a Viking? So says the latest mock draft from ESPN's Todd McShay

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Vikings draft Updated: March 6, 2013 - 12:29 PM

Understand this much: The Access Vikings team never put a whole lot of stock in mock drafts. Especially mock drafts that are formed and updated before free agency begins. As we all know, when the free agent market opens next week, the needs of many teams will change as they add new pieces and reconfigure their depth charts.

But we at Access Vikings also understand the incredible popularity of mock drafts. So we see it as our obligation to share with you the latest projections of ESPN's Todd McShay.

McShay has updated his 2013 mock draft for a third time. And this time he has the Vikings scooping up North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams with the 23rd overall pick in the first round.

Reasons McShay:

Defensive tackle isn't a top need, and the Vikings have bigger needs at wide receiver, outside linebacker and offensive tackle. But Williams is a good fit in defensive coordinator Alan Williams' Tampa 2 defense. Williams is quick and active and has very good football character, too.

McShay's previous mock, posted last month, had the Vikings selecting Connecticut cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson at No. 23. In that version of the draft, McShay pegged St. Louis to select Williams one pick earlier. Which left the Vikings to add firepower to their secondary with Wreh-Wilson.

Said McShay then: 

Minnesota has options here, and a big receiver like California's Keenan Allen might make sense. However, Wreh-Wilson is a value pick at a key position and the Vikings need another talented young corner to go with Chris Cook and Josh Robinson. Wreh-Wilson is one of the most underrated prospects in the class. He plays under control, has good speed and excellent balance, and also supports the run well.

Back in December, before the draft order was set and before either the NFL or college seasons were complete, McShay also projected a Williams-Vikings union. So, hey, it's at least something to keep an eye on. But just to be clear, mock drafts are mostly designed for blogs like these to help you kill of a little free time during your work day boredom spells. So don't go rushing to order your purple Sylvester Williams jersey just yet.

Although it is worth mentioning that McShay's colleague Mel Kiper also currently has the Vikings selecting Williams at No. 23 in his most recent mock draft.

Before that, Kiper projected Baylor receiver Terrance Williams to come off the board when the Vikings go on the clock for the first time.

And if you need more of a mock frenzy, here are a handful of other projections for who the Vikings could scoop up in Round 1:

Yep, mock drafts are everywhere. And while they mean so very little, at least you can daydream about any of those seven aforementioned players for a while. Until a newer mock is posted. With some newer projections and new names to think about.


New England 5:30 PM
Miami 55 3rd Qtr 2:42
Boston 55
LA Lakers 23 2nd Qtr 10:24
New York 32
Arizona 0 2nd Prd 4:16
Montreal 2
St. Louis 3 2nd Prd 1:35
Washington 2
Nashville 2 1st Prd :37
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 44 2nd Half 3:47
East Carolina 38
Michigan 54 2nd Half 7:06
Michigan State 53
Marist 34 1st Half 2:35
Canisius 33
Fordham 24 1st Half 4:38
Dayton 39
Manhattan 32 1st Half 3:54
Monmouth 14
Quinnipiac 30 1st Half 3:57
Niagara 37
Utah 2 1st Half 18:03
Connecticut 2:00 PM
California 2:00 PM
North Dakota St 2:00 PM
Western Ill
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
(14) Texas 49 2nd Half 5:53
TCU 53
Coll of Charleston 39 2nd Half 4:24
Towson 64
Cornell 44 2nd Half 6:26
Yale 45
Xavier 53 2nd Half 4:50
Providence 53
Stony Brook 54 2nd Half 2:07
New Hampshire 42
Maine 46 2nd Half 1:37
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 57 2nd Half 4:06
Pittsburgh 72
(21) Georgia 48 2nd Half 11:52
(10) Kentucky 51
Arizona 63 2nd Half 2:21
Colorado 70
Wake Forest 55 2nd Half 6:21
(4) Notre Dame 79
Loyola-Chicago 35 2nd Half 9:10
Illinois State 55
(24) Oklahoma 14 1st Half 7:17
West Virginia 21
St Johns 20 1st Half 4:11
Seton Hall 30
Delaware 27 1st Half 5:00
Hofstra 23
Binghamton 18 1st Half 1:05
UMass Lowell 29
Vermont 23 1st Half 3:15
Hartford 18
William & Mary 22 1st Half 1:42
Northeastern 23
Boston College 20 1st Half 5:37
(16) North Carolina 26
Virginia 31 1st Half 5:56
Clemson 20
(2) Connecticut 39 1st Half 3:03
Temple 26
Arkansas 19 1st Half 3:09
Alabama 14
Virginia Tech 32 1st Half 2:53
Georgia Tech 36
Kansas 26 1st Half 4:01
(3) Baylor 25
Canisius 15 1st Half 6:23
Rider 19
Monmouth 11 1st Half 3:38
Fairfield 20
Quinnipiac 30 1st Half 2:04
Saint Peters 27
Butler 23 1st Half 2:56
Creighton 26
Wichita State 19 1st Half 4:20
Drake 23
Evansville 18 1st Half 2:56
Indiana State 19
(18) Miss State 2:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
Villanova 2:00 PM
Georgetown 2:00 PM
North Texas 2:00 PM
Auburn 2:00 PM
(12) Texas A&M
(11) Arizona State 2:00 PM
Missouri State 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Michigan 2:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Wisconsin 2:00 PM
Bradley 2:05 PM
Southern Ill
Florida 3:00 PM
(20) Iowa 3:00 PM
(5) Maryland
(1) South Carolina 3:30 PM
Ole Miss


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