With two first-round picks Thursday, Nos. 23 and 25 overall, the Vikings have a chance to make a splash early in the draft.
What makes sense?
With two first-round picks Thursday, Nos. 23 and 25 overall, the Vikings have a chance to make a splash early in the draft. So who might they target? Here are six players to watch:
Notre Dame middle linebacker
Why it makes sense: The Vikings need a starting MLB. And in 2012, Te’o was the emotional leader and playmaking linchpin for the 12-1 Irish.
Reason to pass: Lacks elite speed. Plus that whole fake girlfriend hoax soap opera could bring an unwanted and exhausting media swarm.
LSU middle linebacker
Why it makes sense: If you get past his ordinary combine numbers and simply zero in on film, Minter is proven as an alert and aggressive run-stopper.
Reason to pass: Might be a half-step too slow for what the Vikings want their MLBs to accomplish in coverage.
Why it makes sense: Allen might not have eye-popping speed. But he is proficient at making catches in traffic, blessed with the instincts on how to use his 6-3, 205-pound frame.
Reason to pass: Without top-end speed, he doesn’t project to be a consistent deep threat, which is what the Vikings offense needs most.
Why it makes sense: Christian Ponder could use an outside speed guy. Hunter is that. He’s 6-4 with long strides and ran the 40 in 4.43 seconds at the combine.
Reason to pass: The depth at receiver this year gives the Vikings the potential luxury of waiting into Round 2 to grab a quality pass catcher.
XAVIER RHODES º
Florida State cornerback
Why it makes sense: In a division with Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall, a corner with Rhodes’ size (6-1, 210), speed and physicality would be hard to ignore if available.
Reason to pass: Rhodes is at his best in press coverage and might not be the ideal fit in a zone-heavy Vikings defense.
North Carolina defensive tackle
Why it makes sense: In the search for a successor to Kevin Williams, Sylvester Williams’ combination of power and quickness makes him a matchup headache.
Reason to pass: His two-year stop at UNC was filled with inconsistency and he might have stamina issues.
Also keep an eye on: Alec Ogletree, Georgia LB; Robert Woods, Southern Cal WR; Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee WR; D.J. Hayden, Houston CB
|Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano||0||FINAL|
|Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto||4|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi||0||FINAL|
|Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez||3|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel||0||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka||3|
|St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly||1||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta||5|
|NY Mets - WP: D. Gee||5||FINAL|
|Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy||2|
|Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran||1||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee||0|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood||0||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda||2|
|Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister||3||FINAL|
|Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez||2|
|Washington - WP: D. Storen||6||FINAL|
|Miami - LP: M. Dunn||3|
|Seattle - LP: F. Rodney||2||FINAL|
|Texas - WP: P. Figueroa||3|
|Boston||4||Bottom 12th Inning|
|Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy||6||FINAL|
|Houston - LP: J. Williams||4|
|Oakland||4||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Colorado||2||Top 8th Inning|
|Los Angeles||1||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Golden State||95||4th Qtr 8:19|
|LA Clippers||87||4th Qtr 9:33|
|Phoenix||94||4th Qtr 4:34|
|Dallas||2||3rd Prd 8:45|
|Red Bull New York||2|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon||X||29-26|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon||X||48-30|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon||X||42-14|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||14-13|