The Minnesota Vikings are in need of a wide receiver after the off-season trade of Percy Harvin. With plenty of options at that position still on the board, however, the Vikings are taking a different direction with a highly-regarded defensive prospects that's fallen into their laps.
|23. Minnesota Vikings||Bjoern Werner, Florida State||DE||6'3"||266||JR|
Christopher Gates: "At this point in the draft, the eternal debate of drafting for need versus best player available has reared its head. At first glance, with Jared Allen, Brian Robison and Everson Griffen on the depth chart at defensive end, it wouldn't appear that the position is one of glaring need for the Vikings. However, upon closer examination, we see that all three of the Vikings' current defensive ends are in the final year of their contracts, and two of them (Allen and Robison) will be on the wrong side of 30 when the 2013 NFL season finishes. At least one of those three guys - and probably two - won't be members of the Vikings going into the 2014 season, which will leave a hole for the team to fill at that point.
"That's a big part of the reason that I've decided to tab Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner with the 23rd overall pick in this year's draft. I can't envision any scenario where the big German falls this far, as he's probably the best pure 4-3 defensive end in this year's class and a consensus top 10-12 pick. Talent like this simply can't be passed up for a team like the Vikings, who are as much of a 4-3 defense as there still is in the league. Werner was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, racking up 13 sacks and 18 tackles for loss on the season. He probably projects more to the left defensive end position, currently occupied by Robison, than to the right defensive end spot.
"Admittedly, this pick has been made with an eye towards the future as well as attempting to help the team in the present... if any of the top three guys get injured, Werner would be a nice option that could step in. But with a very real chance that the Vikings will be losing at least two of their top three defensive ends after the 2013 season, the Vikings should be running to the podium on draft day if Werner were to just drop into their laps, as he has in this scenario.
"Plus... hey, a Viking named Bjoern? He's a natural fit, right?"
Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:
In the draft, Werner is probably going to drop to the 20s, and wherever he happens to land he’ll be a good value. So from that standpoint, he’s a good fit. But why could he drop? He’s not a quick-twitch player, and he’s not the fastest around the corner. Indeed, that may limit him to playing left end in the NFL – and that’s where he predominantly lined up at Florida State. A comparison to Robison is apt. Werner would probably even push him for playing time. When you’re a playoff team, that could lead to good results.
|19||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame||6'6"||250|
|20||D.J. Fluker *||OT||Alabama||6'5"||339|
|21||DeAndre Hopkins *||WR||Clemson||6'1"||214|
|22||Damontre Moore||OLB||Texas A&M||6'5"||250|
|23||Cornelius Carradine||DE||Florida State||6'4"||276|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Geno Smith||QB||West Virginia|
|3||Oakland Raiders||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Dion Jordan||OLB||Oregon|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||LSU|
|8||Buffalo Bills||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|9||New York Jets||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|12||Miami Dolphins||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|
|15||New Orleans Saints||Alec Ogletree||LB||Georgia|
|16||St. Louis Rams||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee|
|18||Dallas Cowboys||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|19||New York Giants||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri|
|20||Chicago Bears||Arthur Brown||LB||Kansas State|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas|
|22||St. Louis Rams||Jonathan Cyprien||S||Florida International|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Bjoern Werner||DE||Florida State|