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.


Kiper's latest mock draft: Vikings pick Blake Bortles

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: April 17, 2014 - 10:53 AM

New mock draft, new quarterback.

Previously ESPN’s Mel Kiper had the Vikings taking Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the eighth pick, now it’s Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles in his latest mock draft on Thursday.

Bortles was projected to go fourth to the Browns in his previous mock draft (now it’s Manziel). Bortles is raw can’t start on Week 1. That shouldn’t be a problem for the Vikings after resigning Matt Cassel. He possesses the size of a prototypical quarterback, 6-5 and 232 pounds, and has the highest ceiling out of the top three quarterbacks (Manziel and Lousiville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater).

There hasn’t been a quarterback that’s been regarded top quarterback in the draft, and it will probably become the most fascinating thing to watch in three weeks on Day 1.

Also noteworthy: Bridgewater, Kiper’s top player on his Big Board, falls out of the first round.  He has the Texans drafting Bridgewater with the 33rd overall pick. Even with all the nonsense about Bridgewater being published, it’s very hard to believe someone that talented doesn’t get drafted in the first round.

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