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.


Mock Mania: Vikings' options could be all over the place

Posted by: under Football on TV Updated: April 25, 2013 - 2:34 PM
Finally. Draft weekend has arrived. Now months of speculation and analysis and confusing conjecture ends. With actual picks being made. For real this time. Imagine that.
And yet with the first round beginning at 7 tonight, there’s still little certainty on what the Vikings might do tonight with picks 23 and 25.
Will they look to upgrade one of the league’s worst passing attacks by finding a difference-making receiver that fits their system? That’s certainly a logical possibility. But there may also be valid reasons to wait.
Will General Manager Rick Spielman opt to fill the team’s vacancy at middle linebacker with Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o? That’s a topic that has sparked plenty of debate.
Or maybe the Vikings won’t use both of their picks tonight after all, opting to trade one of them in an effort to move back in the draft and stockpile an additional pick or two.
If the number of possibilities seems endless at this point, there’s a reason for that. Even Spielman admits the Vikings have staged a number of mocks behind closed doors at Winter Park and been as intrigued as the rest of us at the complexity of it all.
"It was kind of like putting a Rubik's Cube together,” Spielman said.
So many options. And the Vikings won’t have a decision to make until more than two hours of picking has been done Thursday with each of the first 22 picks changing the matrix. No wonder there have been approximately 4,197 mock drafts posted in the past month with very few having the identical combination of picks for the Vikings at both 23 and 25.
Don’t believe us? Here are 20 mock drafts with 14 different players, six positions and 15 combinations projected for the Vikings.

MOCK DRAFT
PICK 23
PICK 25
Mark Craig, Star Tribune
Manti Te’o, LB
Justin Hunter, WR
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
Robert Woods, WR
Alec Ogletree, LB
Todd McShay, ESPN
Sylvester Williams, DT
Alec Ogletree, LB
Peter King, Sports Illustrated
Manti Te’o, LB
Justin Hunter, WR
Mike Mayock, NFL.com
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
Sylvester Williams, DT
Gil Brandt, NFL.com
Justin Hunter, WR
Sheldon Richardson, DT
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com
Sylvester Williams, DT
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
Jason LaCanfora, CBSSports.com
Robert Woods, WR
Manti Te’o, LB
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com
Traded to Buffalo
Desmond Trufant, CB
Pat Kirwan, CBSSports.com
Sheldon Richardson, DT
Justin Hunter, WR
Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com
Robert Woods, WR
Sylvester Williams, DT
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
Tank Carradine, DE
Kevin Minter, LB
Bob McGinn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Arthur Brown, LB
Desmond Trufant, CB
Dave Birkett, Detroit Free press
Bjoern Werner, DE
Manti Te’o, LB
Scott Wright, DraftCountdown.com
Sylvester Williams, DT
Manti Te’o, LB
Greg Cosell, Yahoo! Sports
Justin Hunter, WR
Arthur Brown, LB
Sam Farmer, L.A. Times
Eric Reid, S
Robert Woods, WR
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
D.J. Hayden, CB
Traded to Jacksonville
Greg Bedard, Boston Globe
Manti Te’o, LB
Justin Hunter, WR
Sporting News
Manti Te’o, LB
Robert Woods, WR

 
The most popular picks: Te’o (with seven votes), Hunter (six) and Williams and Woods (five each).
The most popular combo: Te’o-Hunter (three votes).
Yeah, not even sure the Rubik’s Cube was this difficult to solve.

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Los Angeles - LP: Z. Greinke 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 4
San Diego - LP: J. Benoit 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: B. Logan 6
Toronto - LP: A. Loup 7 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Grilli 8
Miami - LP: S. Cishek 3 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 4
Washington - WP: D. Fister 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2
NY Yankees - WP: C. Whitley 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: V. Pestano 4
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 4
Chicago Cubs - LP: D. Beeler 1 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Guerra 4 FINAL
Boston - WP: K. Uehara 5
Kansas City - WP: A. Crow 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 8 FINAL
Texas - LP: Y. Darvish 4
Philadelphia - WP: R. Hernandez 4 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse 1
Pittsburgh - LP: B. Cumpton 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 5
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Oakland - LP: J. Hammel 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Cain 5
Winnipeg 7/11/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 7/11/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Washington 72 FINAL
Chicago 65
Seattle 58 FINAL
Phoenix 78
New York 66 FINAL
San Antonio 80
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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