2011 NFL Mock Draft: The Minnesota Vikings Select...

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans flanked by Tyron Smith #70 and Ronald Johnson #83 runs off the field after the Trojans scored a touchdown during the first half of the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 18 2010 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

With the twelfth pick of the 2011 CSC Community Mock Draft, the Minnesota Vikings (represented by HansDat) select...

Tyron Smith, OT, USC

The general consensus from my areas of research - lurking on the Daily Norseman and Walterfootball.com - brought me to the following areas of need for the Vikes (in no particular order): QB, OL, secondary, OLB, DL.

Given that for the most part, the top-flight, high first-round talent (except for Auburn's Nick Fairley, whom I nearly selected instead of Smith) at those positions was gone, it seemed a no-brainer to select the top OT of the draft at the 12-spot, so that plays like this might be eliminated from the Vikings playbook:

No matter whom they have taking snaps next season (Joe Webb, Patrick Ramsey, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett), they cannot have him feeling heat like that all the time.

So, why Tyron? Here are his measurables:

Height:
 6'5"

Weight:
 307 lbs.

Arm Length: 
36 3/8 in.

Hand Size: 
11 in.

Check out that hand size - 11 inches of power for pushing, holding and staving-off rushers and tacklers, I tells you!  Actually, I'm not sure what to think of that hand size. 

And here are some possibly conflicting blurbs about him - first from NFL.com:

Overview: Smith is one of the best prospects on the hoof in this class. Blessed with an ideal NFL frame and has the outstanding feet and athleticism necessary to be a starting left tackle. Does a great job staying in front of speed rushers, locks on and sustains, and can anchor against the bull rush. Shows solid power in the running game and is really productive out in space. Football IQ is lacking. Fails to find his target at times in the running games and is a tick slow recognizing blitzes. Smith could come off the board early in the first round due to his rare physical gifts.

Strengths: Smith possesses ideal height and length combined with rare speed and mobility for an offensive tackle. Can sink his hips to counter the bull rush. Moves his feet really well to shadow quicker speed rushers. Very comfortable blocking in space pulling on the perimeter and getting to the second level. Has a mean streak.

Weaknesses: Would benefit from adding more bulk to his frame. Does not have natural football instincts. Overall awareness is lacking. Can be baited by stunts and twists. Does not recognize the blitz as quickly as you'd like to see. Can be beat by speed-to-power pass rushing moves.

And now from ESPN.com:

Espn_medium

Well, I'm not paying ESPN Insider fees, so that's all we're going to get from espn.com and Scouts, Inc. on Tyron Smith.

And here's WalterFootball.com's scouting report:

Strengths:

Excellent pass blocker

Long arms

Athletic and displays good balance

Moves well laterally

Quick off snap

Gets to the second level effectively

Left tackle potential

Plenty of upside

Weaknesses:

Not a powerful, driving run blocker

Could use more lower body strength

Must prove he can be effective after putting on weight

Only two years experience - both at right tackle

Suspended one game (academic)

Summary: Tyron Smith is only 20 years old and has it all in front of him. He declared early for the 2011 NFL Draft, which raised some eyebrows. If draft projections hold it is the right move. Next year, he might have been in the same class as his teammate Matt Kalil, who is the starting left tackle for the Trojans. 

It is still an issue with some skeptics who wonder why Smith was relegated to the right side, yet is such a highly regarded prospect. The answer is pretty simple - both guys are very talented and in the USC offense, it wasn't that big of a deal. Smith probably would not start immediately in most systems, especially on the left side, but his development could be sped up if he lands on a team running a zone-blocking scheme, which he worked in at USC.

And there you have it, the first purple brick of rebuilding the Vikings in the post-Brett, post-Brad Childress era.  Vaya con dios, Leslie Frazier, vaya con dios.

   

Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this years community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible. 

Below are the complete results from our community mock draft. 

Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2011 CSC Community Mock Draft Section.

Pick Team Selection Team Representative Approval Rating
1 Carolina Panthers  QB Cam Newton - Auburn DatFan 35%
2 Denver Broncos  DT Marcell Dareus - Alabama Jeff.l.b 71%
3 Buffalo Bills  QB Blaine Gabbert - Missouri SpreeGoogs 52%
4 Cincinnati Bengals  DE Da'Quan Bowers - Clemson coldpizza 73%
5 Arizona Cardinals  CB Patrick Peterson - LSU GRIZZ 61%
6 Cleveland Browns  DE Cameron Jordan - Cal theprogrammerman 11%
7 San Francisco 49ers  LB Von Miller - Texas A&M who dat patate 68%
8 Tennessee Titans  WR A.J. Green - Georgia shipgoalie05 48%
9 Dallas Cowboys  CB Prince Amukamara - Nebraska saints fan in cowboyland! 67%
10 Washington Redskins  WR Julio Jones - Alabama VAsaintsfan 56%
11 Houston Texans  DE/OLB Robert Quinn - UNC Jon Banks
12 Minnesota Vikings  OT Tyron Smith - USC HansDat
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