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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Mel Kiper Jr. sees plenty of receiving options for Vikings at No. 23

Posted by: under Vikings, NFL draft, Percy Harvin, Vikings draft Updated: January 16, 2013 - 10:56 AM

Draft chatter. Gotta love it.

We’re now inside of 100 days until the first round of this year’s NFL Draft begins – 99 days to be exact. But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start speculating about what could happen in late April. This morning, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. presided over his first draft analysis teleconference of 2013. And naturally, we wanted to know who Kiper pegs as possible receiver targets for the Vikings with the No. 23 pick in the first round.

Kiper’s current mock draft – subject to change obviously – has the Vikings taking Baylor’s Terrance Williams. Here’s the quick analysis of that projection:

Last year, we saw both Josh Gordon and Kendall Wright taken out of Baylor, and Williams has the skill set to join them as a player drafted with the potential to make an early impact. Williams is first a player who can use his size and speed to stretch the field and take the top off a defense, but he also can make big plays on the sidelines, where he'll tiptoe and make the catches as well as any pass-catching target in the draft. Williams also will beat you with the ball in his hands as a nifty runner with good size. Minnesota needs a dependable pass-catcher next to Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph.

But in a draft that’s shaping up to be loaded with receiving talent, the Vikings should have plenty of options. In addition to Williams, Kiper points to Cal’s Keenan Allen and Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins as guys who could make sense and should be available when the Vikings go on the clock for the first time.

Kiper also highlighted Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson, who’s 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and a big-time playmaker. Patterson recorded 46 catches, 778 yards and five touchdowns in his lone season with the Volunteers after transferring from Hutchinson Community College. He’s also a threat as both a kick and punt returner. But the snag here is that he will likely be off the board well before the Vikings are slated to pick in the first round.

Said Kiper: “If they want to try to get him they’re probably going to have to move up into that middle of the first, early first to try to go ahead of, say, Miami at No. 12 who could be certainly looking for a wide receiver as well.”

And here’s one sleeper for you to keep tabs on through the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine and all the other pre-draft festivities that are ahead: Marshall’s Aaron Dobson.

Dobson has good size (6-3, 200) and is quick but is still raw. He is most lauded for his leaping ability, body control and ability to go get the ball.

“Here’s the kind of kid who could be like a Brian Quick last year out of App State,” Kiper said. “I think Aaron Dobson is a guy [to watch]. He’s going to be at the Senior Bowl. He has size. They didn’t have a quarterback there that could get him the ball on a consistent basis. He’s very athletic. And when he’s had the ability to go up there and had a chance to make a play, he can make it. He’s a tough matchup for cornerbacks. I think Aaron Dobson’s a kid who you could see maybe in the late first-round discussion or certainly in the early- to mid-second round discussion. He’s a guy that people aren’t talking a lot about that could emerge.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT