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.


PFW has Vikings taking Wisconsin DE

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Bears, NFL draft, Leslie Frazier, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Ray Edwards Updated: March 26, 2011 - 9:56 AM

Nolan Nawrocki predicts the Vikings will take Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt in his third mock draft for Pro Football Weekly.

Nawrocki writes: "Although common perception is that a 3-4 defense will select Watt to man the five-technique post, Watt played in "40" front in Wisconsin and possesses the type of power, energy and leadership traits desired by personnel boss Rick Spielman and new head coach Leslie Frazier. Watt can alleviate some of the pressure on Jared Allen, kick inside along Kevin Williams on third downs to create havoc inside, and mirror the type of power the division-champion Bears brought last season with Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije."

While everyone knows the Vikings need a quarterback and probably will take one in the first two rounds if they feel they can get the right fit, Frazier has said he wants to address the defensive line. This draft is extremely deep with defensive linemen and end could be a position of need if Ray Edwards leaves as a free agent. There also have to be concerns after Everson Griffen had a couple of issues with the law this offseason.

As for the quarterbacks, Nawrocki has Blaine Gabbert going fifth to Arizona; Cam Newton 10th to Washington; and Jake Locker 15th to Miami.

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