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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Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
UNLV 61 FINAL
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
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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 NoonX13-9

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