And with the #22 Pick in the Arrowhead Pride Community Mock Draft, the Minnesota Vikings Select...

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                        North Carolina WR Hakeem Nicks

kcsno56 with the pick...

The Vikings are taking a WR with their 1st pick in the 2009 draft.  This is almost indisputable. A quick look at their WR depth chart will help explain why:

Bernard Berrian (28 years old) Last season, 48 catches, 964 yards, 7 TD’s.

Sidney Rice (23) 15, 141 yards…This man is listed right now by the Vikings as their #2…and he took a step backward last year after a relatively disappointing rookie season.

Bobby Wade (28) 53, 645, 2 TD’s…respectable, would make a nice slot at this stage in his career.

Robert Ferguson (29) 3, 25…he’s about done. 

So, Berrian is a nice receiver, but he’s never had a 1000 yard season, and probably isn’t considered a #1.  They are paying him if not, #1 money, #1A money, last season was the first of 6-year $43 million dollar contract, $16 million of which is guaranteed.  He’s also probably reached his peak as a player, and it would make sense to slide him from the #1 option now to a #2 receiver over the next few seasons. 

That said, the Vikings are built to win now.  And need weapons to complement Adrian Peterson.

Their defense is pretty stacked.  So much, that there isn’t a player available at #22 that would for sure start on this defense.  The unit was ranked 6th in total defense last season.  There are some players that could help on that side of the ball, but it’s too early for a safety, and while their CB play has been a little shaky, with Jenkins and Davis gone, there’s no need to look there.

Many of you are probably wondering about QB…as that seems to be the biggest weakness on this team.  I’d like to thank Holmeslice and NJChief for taking those options off the table.  With the addition of Sage Rosenfels, who I think will end up starting, the Vikes need to focus on other positions, simply because there aren’t any other options out there, and they need to win now.  There is a lot of debate in Minnesota on whether they should have made a stronger (or any) effort to get Cassel…well, that’s too late, luckily for us in KC.  I don’t think the Vikings are taking QB even if Sanchez or Freeman fell to them, for the reasons stated previously.  They need to win now, and both QB’s are going to need time to develop, at least one season.

So that brings us back to WR.  Let’s look at the class of 2009:Crabtree and Maclin are sure to be gone…I was surprised to see how early Harvin went in our Mock, I think come April, there’s a good chance the Vikings will be calling his name.

So that leaves...(Click Continue Reading)

Previous pick: TE Brandon Pettigrew

Read more: Scouting Report (Mocking the Draft)

On the clock: New England Patriots (connerman)

Click over for the schedule and current draft results.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt…and maybe Brian Robiskie.

Heyward-Bey (6-1 5/8, 212 lbs) is the home run hitter. He’s probably the one with the biggest upside, based on his workout numbers. He ran the fastest 40 among WR’s at the combine (4.30) but also has likely the worst hands of any WR that will be drafted in the first 3 rounds. Terribly inconsistent, he’s basically a deep threat and nothing else. Can he develop into more? Well whoever drafts him must think so, because his actual production on the field last season was not of the caliber of others that will be considered here: 42 catches, 609 yards, 5 TD’s. You hate to see a guy who is mostly ‘potential’ regress statistically in his Junior season…but that’s what Heyward-Bey did.

Kenny Britt (6-2 7/8 218) is another big potential guy. And as some WR’s do, he has big issues with his character and ego. He was suspended a game this season, but still managed to put up 87 catches, 1371 yards and 7 TD’s for Rutgers. I like the guy’s production a lot, but "Scouts have serious concerns regarding his maturity, work ethic and practice habits. Scouts who have interviewed him have described him to us as 'arrogant' and having 'an inflated opinion of his skills'." I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Vikings take this guy, but think he’s a bit of a reach especially with H-B and Nicks still available.

Brian Robiskie (6-3 209) is a possession guy. He’s going to be a solid player in the NFL, but not likely to ever be considered a #1 WR on any team. He’ll be a great value when he comes off the board, but I think the Vikings need #1 WR potential with this pick, and Robiskie doesn’t fill that void. He had a very solid career at OSU finishing with: 55 catches for 935 and 11 TD’s. He’d be a great complement to a team with a strong #1 WR…maybe the Browns or Bengals in round 2.

Hakeem Nicks (6-0 7/8 212-226) is my choice. He’s probably the safest of this group of WR’s. He has shown steady improvement over his career:

Statistics

No

Yds

Avg

TD

 

2008

68

1,222

18.0

12

2007

74

958

12.9

5

2006

39

660

16.9

4

Career

181

2,840

15.7

21

 

He also is from all accounts a guy that demands the ball in clutch situations, and doesn't back down from a challenge.  This is evident both from quotes from his coaches and teammates, but also statistically.  Let's look at his biggest games last year.  @ Miami, 5 catches for 133 yards and a TD, Notre Dame: 9-141, Boston College, 8-139, 3 TD's, and finally in his bowl game, 8-217, 3 TD's vs. West Virginia.

Nicks performs when it matters.

Now, full disclosure, there are some concerns that he gained 14lbs between the combine and his pro-day, this is mostly due to a nagging hamstring injury.  I'm not overlooking this fact, but feel that whoever drafts him will look at his injury and character history (he has none) and have him spend the time between the draft and camp learning the offense on film and on the sideline.  There will be plenty of time for the hamstring to heal, and when evaluating Nicks, you have to look at his game tapes anyway.  His combine numbers include a 4.51 40 yard, 36 inch vert, both are solid, but not great.  But you're not drafting Nicks run 9's all day long.  Nicks is going to be able to go across the middle and grab 1st downs.  That's not to say you can't go down field with him (as his 18 ypc his senior season attests) but Nicks will make his mark at the next level as an all-around performer.

Nicks is probably the safest bet at WR after Crabtree and Maclin.  He's a guy that has been consistently productive, with great hands and the ability to run all routes.  Those skills don't erode on the next level, his upside might not be that of Heyward-Bey, but his chances of being a bust are far, far lower.

For my closing argument, I'll let this play speak for itself.

Pick Round 1 Selection Date Community Approval
1 Detroit Lions - UCrawford LB Aaron Curry Weds. March 10th Forgot to do a poll
2 St. Louis Rams - Lanier63 OT Jason Smith Monday, March 16th 67%
3 Kansas City Chiefs - TonyG88 OT Eugene Monroe Monday, March 16th 56%
4 Seattle Seahawks - mikvogel DT B.J. Raji Tuesday, March 17th 46%
5 Cleveland Browns - HIV2Elway WR Michael Crabtree Tuesday, March 17th 37%
6 Cincinnati Bengals - mistamic OT Andre Smith Weds., March 18th 43%
7 Oakland Raiders - mushin WR Jeremy Maclin Weds., March 18th 38%
8 Jacksonville Jaguars - DThomasReigns WR Percy Harvin Thursday, March 19th 29%
9 Green Bay Packers - JasonM DE/OLB Everette Brown
Thursday, March 19th 68%
10 San Francisco 49ers - Harry Feltersnatch QB Matt Stafford Friday, March 20th 61%
11 Buffalo Bills - ArrowDread LB Rey Maualuga Friday, March 20th 50%
12 Denver Broncos - Keyser Sose DE Brian Orakpo Monday, March 23rd 58%
13 Washington Redskins - Official Arrowhead Pride Parade T Michael Oher Monday, March 23rd 64%
14 New Orleans Saints - cmpotter CB Vontae Davis Tuesday, March 24th 46%
15 Houston Texans - ChiefsDude CB Malcolm Jenkins Tuesday, March 24th 61%
16 San Diego Chargers - Helmets DE Tyson Jackson Weds., March 25th 58%
17 New York Jets - NJChief QB Mark Sanchez Weds., March 25th 77%
18 Chicago Bears - Holmeslice QB Josh Freeman Thursday, March 26th 28%
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - madtheory DT Peria Jerry Thursday, March 26th 45%
20 Detroit Lions (from Dallas) - UCrawford DE Aaron Maybin
Friday, March 27th 54%
21 Philadelphia Eagles - Chiefsfan717 TE Brandon Pettigrew Friday, March 27th 60%
22 Minnesota Vikings - kcsno56 WR Hakeem Nicks
Monday, March 30th
23 New England Patriots - connerman
Monday, March 30th
24 Atlanta Falcons - RedNose
Tuesday, March 31st
25 Miami Dolphins - shraggyj
Tuesday, March 31st
26 Baltimore Ravens - Ben S
Weds., April 1st
27 Indianapolis Colts - craig in calgary
Weds., April 1st
28 Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina) - Chiefsfan717
Thursday, April 2nd
29 New York Giants - ChiefsFan90s
Thursday, April 2nd
30 Tennessee Titans - Lvl.99
Friday, April 3rd
31 Arizona Cardinals - THE_TRUTH
Friday, April 3rd
32 Pittsburgh Steelers - McWhirt33
Monday, April 6th
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