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POD Community Mock Draft: Pick No. 22

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Rd. # Player Pos. College
1 22 Eben Britton OT Arizona
General Manager: AZ Yooper

With the 22nd pick of the 2009 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Arizona offensive tackle Eben Britton.

Here is AZ Yooper's reasoning for the pick:

With an earlier pick, this would be simple choice. Much like the Lions, the Vikings' most glaring need is at QB. I think it goes without saying that neither Jackson nor Rosenfels is likely to be the answer Minnesota needs. Unfortunately, there are no QBs in this draft after Sanchez and Stafford worth taking in the first round, only developmental prospects that will still be available in later rounds. That eliminates QB from the pick.

They also have needs at DT and CB (with Pat Williams and Antoine Winfield likely in their last one or two seasons). However, I feel the same issue exists with the remaining players at these positions. The more talented corners remaining in the draft have concerns (Davis' character issues and A. Smith's size) that I don't think the Vikings want to gamble on in round one. At DT, the talent drop-off after Raji is pretty steep--enough so that a DT taken in round two or three holds much greater value than a reach at this spot..

That in mind, we come to their other two most pressing needs, OL and WR. Fortunately, this draft has plenty of both. At this point, the best available for each position are: OT - Eben Britton; and WR - Darrius Heyward-Bey. I leave Hakeem Nicks out because of recent concerns over his durability and work ethic (lackluster combine, hamstring injury, significant weight gain). In my opinion, these red flags take him out of first-round consideration.

With Britton and Heyward-Bey to choose from, the choice becomes not as much between players, but between positions. I think the deciding factors here are the fact that Minnesota's QB situation is what it is, and that they're a run-heavy team with AP and Chester Taylor in the backfield. These both would indicate that solidifying the O-line is the most important thing the Vikings can do at this point. Their mediocre QBs will need plenty of time to make their throws; without that, another target doesn't do a whole lot of good. Plus, throwing a solid blocker on the right side can only help AP's production. With Britton at RT (where he played most of his time in college), the Vikings can hope to become more of a multi-dimensional threat on offense.

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