Vikings fans got their draft questions answered by Chris Steuber of Scout.com in a chat Tuesday…
Mayock: Draft fits Vikings' needs nicely
In a conference call Tuesday, Mayock said the 2010 draft is probably the deepest defensive draft in eight years, especially at defensive tackle and cornerback.
"If you need a DT, a corner or a safety, you can get a quality player deep in the third, fourth, fifth round," Mayock said.
He listed cornerback and safety as two of the Vikings' top three needs.
The Vikings have their two starting cornerbacks coming off of injury. Antoine Winfield missed six consecutive games during the regular season with a fractured foot and then tried to play through the pain in the final four games and into the playoffs, and Cedric Griffin tore his anterior cruciate ligament in overtime of the NFC Championship Game.
"The (Vikings') defensive backfield to me can take some upgrading, especially since I love Winfield and he's getting older, he got hurt. The other corner, Cedric Griffin, got hurt," Mayock said.
The draft guru has Florida's Joe Haden as his top cornerback and one that will be gone well before the Vikings pick at No. 30. However, some of the other cornerbacks in Mayock's top five at the position – Boise State's Kyle Wilson, Rutgers' Devin McCourty and Florida State's Patrick Robnson – could be available.
Mayock is used to bucking conventional groupthink draftniks, and this year one of his against-the-grain predictions is that Earl Thomas will be a better safety than Tennessee's Eric Berry. Berry is projected by many to be a top-five pick, but Mayock lists Thomas as a player that the Vikings could consider with their first-round pick.
"The (Vikings') safety position I think has upgraded itself a little bit athletically. I think you've got to be looking at that back side of your defense and saying, ‘OK, where we're drafting happens to hit depth in this class.' You can have a really good safety or really good corner either late in the first or late in the second round," Mayock said. "So I think that's a real logical place for the Vikings.
"… The safety position, after Berry is gone, I happen to think Earl Thomas is even better and you guys probably haven't got my new list yet, but I think Earl Thomas, the safety from Texas, is the best safety in the draft. He won't go ahead of Berry, but I happen to think the kid is just an amazing playmaker suited for today's NFL. Taylor Mays from USC will probably be there. I don't think he's anywhere near as instinctive, but he's a big, strong, tough guy in the middle of the field. I think that's the biggest area of need."
Mayock also listed offensive tackle and a complementary tailback (assuming Chester Taylor is gone via free agency) as needs for the Vikings. He said four offensive tackles could go in the first nine picks, but after that the position gets much dicier with talent.
He also listed quarterback as one of the team's primary needs but, unlike other positions on defense, the quarterback class isn't full of answers.
Last week, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said the team will be sending about 60 people to the NFL Scouting Combine, which starts Thursday. It will be up to those coaches, scouts and support staff to help answer all the questions.
Note: VikingUpdate.com and Scout.com will have continuing in-depth coverage from the NFL Scouting Combine starting Thursday, with blogs, interviews and analysis all in one incredible spot for draft information overload. Remember to check back more than hourly for blog updates throughout the day and more in-depth stories throughout the evening.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
VikingUpdate.com Recommended Stories
Vikings stadium about a quarter complete
The new Vikings stadium was 23 percent complete at the end of September and progress continues with 650 workers on site daily. Plus, injury updates on the offensive line and Amy Senser is done with…Read More
Vikings lament the last-second loss
The Vikings couldn’t really explain it, but they had to accept the one-point, last-second loss.Read More
Zimmer adjusting with youth of Vikings
Mike Zimmer is staying patient with young players who are learning on the fly.Read More
Dr. Roto Video: Week 8 Strategy
Should you keep Fred Jackson or cut him? Should you cut Zac Stacy or trade him? Each team requires its own strategy based on different circumstances and Dr. Roto does his best to clarify your…Read More
Who's Hot? Week 8: Trevone, Pitt D, Kirby
The stud teams, players, coaches and trends from Week 8Read More