BTB Community Mock '14 No. 8: Minnesota Digs Into The Trenches

Our community mock continues with the Minnesota Vikings on the clock.

The 2014 BTB Community Draft continues!

This is our favorite opportunity to interact with our community and allow them some front-page limelight, while simultaneously getting our first in-depth look at several candidates for the draft's first round.

This will be much more than just one community member's idea of how to help out their assigned teams. After each selection is forwarded to me, I will gather all of the pertinent information about this prospect from some of the internet's best draft resources. We will try to highlight the profile's best and worst traits, so that our reader's are highly educated come May 8th when these guys names are called.

To keep things simple, no trades are allowed; I think for a one round exercise that does little to actually project how things are going to turn out. One GM, one team, one pick. Let's get it on!

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Draft Pick # 8

Team Name: Minnesota Vikings

GM: TruBluToTheCore

Selection: (DT) Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

Why the pick:

A new head coach comes to town in Minnesota and with it a new philosophy.  Minnesota is in a tough spot here with the top 3 quarterbacks already off the board. Inconsistent play from that position was a huge reason why Minnesota finished where they did and why Frazier lost his job. Knowing they can find a decent QB to hand off to Peterson later in the draft, they won't be reaching for one at this spot.

With Mike Zimmer,  he brings an understanding of how to build a pressure defense and will push for the front lines of the D to be fortified with strong pass rushers.  Though they signed Linval Joseph in FA he is more of a 1 tech, and Shariff Floyd from last year can play either spot.  No other DE in this class is worth taking this high but they need help on the DL to take pressure off the secondary.

Zimmer knows what he had in Cinncinati with Geno Atkins and Donald brings all of those same traits and more with his ability to penetrate and cause havoc in the backfield. Instantly makes the interior of the defensive line a potential strength for years.  Aaron Donald is aside from Clowney one of the top athletes in this year's draft with high production to go with his measurables, and paired with Shariff Floyd on the interior will give him the ability to shine from the get go.

Also considered  Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson and Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma

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HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com

-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Quarterback

-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Cornerback, Strong Safety, 4-3 Defensive Tackle, 4-3 Defensive End, COP Back, Guard, Tight End

-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Feature Receiver, 4-3 Inside Backer, 4-3 Outside Backer, Feature Running Back

-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): Speed Receiver, Right Tackle, Center, Left Tackle, Free Safety

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-- Drafttek.com ranked #15 Overall, #1 at the position

-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #29 Overall, #4 at the position

Donald lines up as a three-technique in Pitt's 4-3 scheme. While he lacks ideal height, he has long arms, is very strong, and is a very good athlete. His initial quickness is exceptional. He, often, is past his opponent before they can get a hand on him. He has very good instincts and reactions and is consistently around the ball. In the run game, he is very disruptive because of his ability to shed blocks and penetrate. This year, he had 26.5 tackles for loss. He is highly competitive with a non-stop motor and is a relentless pursuit player.

Aaron is also a top inside pass rusher. He has quick hands and very good inside hand use. He has the skill set to set up blockers with both his hands and feet. He shows a variety of moves and uses counter moves effectively. Going into their Bowl game, Donald has 10 sacks this year and close to 30 for his career. Donald's size, athleticism and skill set say he is best suited to play as a three-technique for a one-gap 4-3 defense in the NFL. A team that plays that scheme could very well draft him high. I doubt the 3-4 teams will be that interested. He is not a two-gap type player and can have some trouble with double teams. In the right scheme, he can be a very effective pro.

-- CBSSports.com ranked #14 overall, #1 at the position

-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #16 overall, #2 at the position

-- OptimumScouting.com ranked #11 overall, #1 at the position

-- DraftCountdown ranked #19 overall, #2 at the position

-- Scout.com ranked #12 overall, #2 at the position

-- Mike Mayock ranked #1 at the position

-- Josh Norris ranked #12 overall, #3 at the position

-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):

STRENGTHS:

Comes off the snap like he's shot out of a cannon. His first step routinely beats opponents for immediate pressures. Has an effective arm-over swim move, though he doesn't use this often enough. His stature gives Donald the leverage advantage which he uses well to get under the pads of opponents and drive them into the backfield on bull-rushes.

WEAKNESSES:

As with most undersized pass-rushers, when Donald's burst is contained his short arms limit his effectiveness. Donald keeps his legs churning and plays with effort, but he can get caught up in the hand-to-hand combat.

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'13 Aaron Donald vs Virginia

'13 Aaron Donald vs UNC

Previous Picks: Houston, Jadeveon Clowney,
St Louis Rams, Greg Robinson,
Jacksonville Jaguars, Johnny Manziel,
Cleveland Browns, Blake Bortles,
Oakland Raiders, Khalil Mack
Atlanta Falcons, Jake Matthews,
Tampa Bay Bucs, Teddy Bridgewater

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