Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net, citing multiple sources, reports that the Minnesota Vikings are “heavily leaning” towards selecting LSU QB Zach Mettenberger in the second round, while “looking” to grab a linebacker in the first round.
- Pauline specifically mentions Buffalo LB Khalil Mack as a potential target for Minnesota in round one.
Minnesota holds the No. 8 overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and many have projected that they could look to take a quarterback in that spot. Mettenberger would be considered by many to be reach in the first round, as most have him projected to go on the second day.
This report comes on the heels of a report that Vikings new HC Mike Zimmer grilled Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel regarding his “flags” during a meeting that was held a day after Manziel’s Pro Day.
“That’s the thing you want to know about him: Will he be into work early every single day? Will be the last to leave? Will he be the guy that is working the hardest to get better?”
Regarding Khalil Mack, the Vikings could certainly use an infusion of young talent at the linebacker position. The only consistent performer that Minnesota has is LB Chad Greenway, but he is on the wrong side of 30.
If Mack is available at No. 8, which is far from certain, he could be the type of outside pass-rusher that the team sorely lacks from the second-level.
Minnesota has upgraded its defense this offseason with the signings of DT Linval Joseph, DE Corey Wootton, and CB Captain Munnerlyn, but this draft strategy would allow them to take a dynamic talent, while still taking a quarterback that they appear enamored with in the second round.