Jan 02, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) before the snap against the Florida Gators during the second half of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. defeated Florida 33-23. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings 2014 NFL Draft: The Players, The Picks, The Fits


Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) during the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr, Pass Rusher, UCLA

6’5″, 255 LBs.

The Player

Speed. Barr is pure, down hill speed that he used to run by offensive lineman in college and straight into the quarterback. He has great speed when rushing upfield and has even shown a bit of ability in coverage. Despite that, he has strength issues that really worry me when taking on blocks and he is a very raw player mentally.

The Pick

I am not a huge fan of Barr’s but I can see why teams would like a lengthy, speed rusher. With Brian Robison and Everson Griffen on the team, this seems like a bit of a luxury pick, but in a division with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matt Stafford, getting after the QB is pretty damn important. I don’t like the value considering my board, but I understand the reasoning behind the pick.

The Fit

If there was a guy I’d trust with developing raw talent, it is Mike Zimmer. I think he’d put Barr in a great position to succeed by putting him at weak side linebacker where he can stay clean and use his speed to flow to the ball carrier and blitz. Also, Barr can come down on third downs and pin his ears back. There is a ton of raw talent on that Minnesota defensive line and it should be fun to watch them go.

Dec 5, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts to a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

6’2″, 214 LBs

The Player

Teddy Bridgewater is the best quarterback prospect in this draft and it isn’t close. He is smart, accurate, poised and has the ability to put the ball all over the field. There are some general concerns about his arm strength, but it is a minor mechanical issue that is easy to fix. People talk about his size and yet he has been durable his entire collegiate career. Bridgewater is a tough player and very talented. Vikings got their guy.

The Pick

Best pick in the draft. My number two overall player and they got him with the last pick in the first. That is value.

The Fit

Ideally this is someone you start day one. The Vikings are loaded with talent at the skill positions and along the offensive line and Teddy walks into one of the best situations for a young quarterback in the NFL. I am confident with Bridgwater’s skills, Vikings can contend the minute he steps on the field.

 

Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

6’3″, 273 lbs.

The Player

Crichton is a very powerful football player who flashes good speed on the edge. He needs to refine his pad level and he is somewhat stiff, but he can bullrush with the best of him.

The Pick

I love this pick.

The Fit

The Vikings are building a monster up front with a host of young, athletic pass rushers. Crichton figures as a strong side defensive end who can dominate in the run game and create pressure in the passing game.

Sep 7, 2013; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers defensive end Scott Crichton (95) runs around Hawaii Warriors offensive linesman Mike Milovale (77) at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern

5’9″, 209 lbs.

The Player

McKinnon is a freak. He has speed, incredible acceleration, balance and impressive strength for someone his size. His vision is very raw due to the offense he played in, but he is a special runner.

The Pick

I always worry about running backs with poor vision, but his physical talent is immense. I would say this is the right spot to take McKinnon.

The Fit

Luckily, McKinnon does not need to be a featured back out of the gate. He gets to learn behind one of the best running backs of all time and could develop better field instincts and when Adrian Peterson finally decides to hang it up, McKinnon could step right in.

 

David Yankey, G, Notre Dame

6’6″, 315 lbs.

The Player

Yankey is a powerful player and he uses his hands well, but he is a limited athlete and doesn’t move very well, but operates well in a phone booth.

The Pick

This is very good value for Yankey.

The Fit

Yankey could push for starting time year one, but it is more likely he has a year to sit and develop his footwork.

 

Antone Exum, DB, Virginia Tech

The Player

Exum is a rangy player who can flow in zones but also has the size and physicallity to man up. He is also a very good run defender. He is not a great athlete, but he is very smart. Also, there is a concern with his history of knee injuries.

The Pick

With the risk of his injury, this is perfect value as Exum is likely a first round talent if he is healthy.

The Fit

Exum may need some more time to get comfortable with his bod post injury, but Exum could start at corner or strong safety the moment he is back at full stop.

Dec 28, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Antone Exum (1) returns an interception thrown by Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Gary Nova (not pictured) during the fourth quarter of the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Kendall James, CB, Maine

5’10″, 180 lbs.

The Player

James is a smart player with great playing speed and versatility. However, he is not very physical and needs to add some weight and strength.

The Pick

This is a very good pick for someone with James’ natural skills and upside.

The Fit

James likely won’t see much time outside of special teams, but he is certainly a moldable player who could start in the future.

 

Shamar Stephen, DT, UConn

6’5″, 305 lbs.

The Player

Stephen is a powerful space eater who flashes movement skills to disrupt the line of scrimmage. He needs to anticipate better and he has a poor first step, but he is a big man and that in itself is valuable.

The Pick

Good pick for a contributor.

The Fit

Stephen is going to be part of a very deep defensive line rotation and could be a good player at one tech.

 

Brandon Watts, LB, Georgia Tech

6′, 225 lbs.

The Player

Watts is a very athletic, rangy linebacker who works well in coverage both in man and zone. He is not very physcial and can get washed out against the run due to his size.

The Pick

Watts is a high upside player in today’s NFL and could be a contributor early. Good pick.

The Fit

He may not be much more than a special teamer early on, but he has the ability to contribute as a nickel linebacker. If he can improve his strength, he could take Chad Greenway’s job.

 

Jabari Price, CB, UNC

5’10″, 200 lbs.

The Player

Price is a very good athlete who moves very well and fights for the ball in coverage. He is also a very willing run defender and a good tackler. His instincts need some work, but he can contribute as a man corner.

The Pick

Another speedy, high upside corner with the Vikings’ last pick. Good value.

The Fit

He fits the mold for this scheme. Rangy, athletic corners that can make plays on pressured quarterbacks’ passes. Price is a special teams player in his first year, but has starting potential down the line.

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Tags: Minnesota Vikings

  • Gordon Guffey

    Wow you really like this draft ~ Most likely more than I do and I like it a lot ~ The only things we disagree on is Barr and Bridgewater ~ I like him much more than you do ~ I believe he will have the kind of effect on defense as you do for Teddy on offense ~ I see Teddy setting his until the bye week ~ If he doesn’t start by then I dont see him starting this year ~ And thats not a bad thing ~

    I hope your right about Teddy ~ I’m not sure how I feel about him yet ~ I was down on him because of some of the reports I read ((all I really had to go on because I dont watch that much college ball ~ My wife watcges all of the Vikings games with me so I’m not pushing it ~))) The I saw him next to some of the players and I was almost in shock ~ He looked much bigger than I thought he would ~ Now I feel better about the pick ~ Going into the draft I wanted defense with the first 4 picks ~ Looking back I too think the Vikings did well ~

    • Ben Natan

      I am lower on Barr than most, but I feel Zimmer will use him very well, so I feel more comfortable with the pick. There was a smear campaign on Teddy pre-draft and it was very strange. He is a stud.