The Minnesota Vikings own the 11th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft following their 7-9 record in 2014. Mike Zimmer will be entering his second season as head coach and will look to make a leap in the competitive NFC North. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was up and down in 2014 as expected. He finished with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions after replacing Matt Cassell. Veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings was let go and speed threat Mike Wallace was traded for from Miami where he was a locker room issue. Cordarelle Patterson struggled in his second season with the Vikes and offensive coordinator Norv Turner will need to get the dynamic weapon back on track. Adrian Peterson is expected to be on another team this upcoming season which is probably best for both parties involved here. Minnesota was rather quiet in free agency not adding too many pieces outside of trading for Wallace. Former Eagles Mike Kafka and Casey Matthews were brought into the fold. The Vikings defense has talented players including Everson Griffin, Chad Greenway, Anthony Barr and safety Harrison Smith. Mike Zimmer is a very knowledgeable defensive coach and I expect the defense to be the strong suit once again for Minnesota. As is the case with most young quarterbacks and their offenses they tend to lean on the run to help that young starter get settled down. Norv Turner will stretch the playbook some in 2015 for Bridgewater, but still I see him emphasizing the run to help play action be that more effective for the Louisville product. The 11th pick is going to be far too high most likely for the Vikings to address the running back situation with Matt Asiata and Jerrick McKinnon returning to the roster. Offensive line will be the area I see the Vikings spending their first round pick on. With the 11th pick in the 2015 Birds Scoop Mock Draft the Minnesota Vikings select…
La’el Collins- Offensive Tackle (LSU)
Collins played tackle while in Baton Rouge for Les Miles. The tackles currently for the Vikings are Matt Kalil and vet Phil Loadholdt. I expect those two especially Kalil to remain at that spot for this season and Collins to start off his NFL career at guard. Collins is a mauler in the run game as described by many scouts and is very bullish with his opponents which will adapt well to the pro style running game. The major concern with Collins is his pass blocking and usage of his hands which he needs to work on in order to become a tackle in the NFL. Luckily, the Vikings have a luxury of having two pretty solid starting tackles that would allow Collins to get his feet wet at either guard spot. He also has the benefit of playing in the SEC which produces NFL talent at a high rate every year. Once he becomes acclimated to the NFL and improves his hand technique I can see Collins becoming the opposite tackle from Kalil. He also has the advantage of playing in a pro style offense at LSU under Cam Cameron which should help the transition. The depth of wide receiver in this class suggest the Vikings would be able to use their 2nd round selection if they chose to add depth to that position.
Impact on the Eagles
The Vikings drafting Collins at 11 would take another potential draft pick out of play for the Eagles who are going to be looking to get younger up front. I would expect the other notable first round names such as Ereck Flowers and Jake Fisher from Oregon to be drafted not too late after Collins. I don’t think Collins fits the exact type of style Chip is looking for in his offensive linemen so this would not be a huge disappointment.
Next Pick: 12th Pick Cleveland Browns