NFL Draft mailbag: What should the Minnesota Vikings do in the first round?
The Vikings could be after a wide receiver in first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. But could they target another position? This week’s #DraftBag also compares Amari Cooper and DeVante Parker, answers what the Titans should do and picks out the most underrated quarterback in the draft.
Every week NFL Draft questions are solicited on Twitter as part of #DraftBag. Answers are attempted.
— Jeremy (@Jeremy_B82) December 22, 2014
That is an interesting factoid some may not know. Of course, everyone knows Teddy Bridgewater was a star at Louisville throwing to DeVante Parker. But he was Amari Cooper‘s teammate at Miami Northwestern High School. Naturally, you’d expect Bridgewater to have a good rapport with both.
Do the Vikings need to take a wide receiver in the first round? The quick answer is “no,” because a good wide receiver can be found in the second round and later. For instance, six of the top 10 receivers in yards this season aren’t first-round picks. Is it easier to find a true No. 1 receiver in the first round? Yes. Is it necessary? No, especially in a draft where there should be good receivers around during Minnesota’s second-round pick.
Heading into Week 17, the Vikings are currently slated to pick ninth. A wide receiver could be in that play because first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson hasn’t come along as expected. He’s only catching half of the passes thrown to him, doesn’t have a game of more than 100 yards receiving this season and likely won’t break 500 yards receiving this season. When a team’s top receiver is 31-year-old Greg Jennings, it’s easy to see why a wide receiver in the first round.
Cooper is the best player at the position in the draft. But a team like Oakland could take him in the top five picks. Parker, while very good, may not grade out as a top-10 pick. Minnesota might also want to target an offensive tackle because Matt Kalil hasn’t played like a fourth-overall pick. A trade back might be Minnesota’s best option in the first round.
@MockingTheDraft smarter move for Titans if they’re 2? Winston or trade back?
Compared to the first question, this is a short, simple answer. The only quarterbacks under contract for Tennessee next season are Zach Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst. Jake Locker could be gone. Third stringer Jordan Palmer is, well, better as someone who coaches quarterbacks leading up to the draft.
While Mettenberger showed flashes before getting injured, The Titans need a quarterback. Jameis Winston has the potential to be a very good one. A much better one than Mettenberger. For the lazy, Winston isn’t Vince Young 2.0. That comparison is ridiculous. The ceiling for Winston is so much higher than Mettenberger that the Titans should feel comfortable with the Heisman Trophy winner.
@MockingTheDraft Who is the most underrated QB in this year’s draft?
— Casey Dulson (@Casey_Dulson) December 24, 2014
Every year, draft nerds like myself tend to fall in love with a quarterback prospect who is expected to go deeper in the draft. For me last year, it was Aaron Murray. 2013 was a complete disaster. Just look at this mess. In 2012, I would’ve taken a bullet for Brock Osweiler. This is starting to not look good for me.
This year’s version is Sean Mannion of Oregon State. He’s No. 5 in the most current quarterback rankings. He’s that high because of his size (6-foot-5, 227 pounds) and arm. He can make a variety of downfield throws and can actually fit the ball into tight windows. It’s a bonus that he’s experienced playing under center. The rub is that he’s a statue. He’s one of the least mobile quarterbacks in the draft and he tends to throw a lot of interceptions.
This is a good time to reiterate that it’s a bad year to be drafting a quarterback.
— Kristian Vatsaas (@noseonarug17) December 24, 2014
McKinney of Mississippi State and Perryman of Miami are considered two of the best inside linebackers in the 2015 draft, along with UCLA’s Eric Kendricks. McKinney gets the nod purely because of physical traits. He’s bigger and faster than Perryman, by quite a bit really. McKinney gets off blocks better and has the advantage in coverage situations. Perryman just makes plays. He’s a plug-and-go rookie linebacker. He can do for a team what Chris Borland did for the San Francisco 49ers this year or Kiko Alonso did for the Buffalo Bills in 2013. At the combine, Perryman is going to measure short and his timing numbers may not blow people away. But on the field, he’s smart, tackles well and just gets it done.
Cooper and Parker are two of the draft’s top three wide receivers, with the other being Kevin White of West Virginia. Compared to Cooper, Parker has the size advantage. He’s not only a taller receiver, but he knows how to play physically. He uses his body to create space while running routes and can break tackles. Cooper is a superior player is just about every other aspect. He gets up to speed faster and has better deep speed. Cooper is dangerous after the catch because he’s shifty and can make defenders miss while Parker isn’t quite as agile. Both have good hands, but Cooper has the slight edge. A team can’t go wrong with either player, really. This is going to end up being like the Sammy Watkins vs. Mike Evans debate a year ago.