Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
To tell you the truth, this pick wasn't hard for me to make. As soon as Scherff was off the board, there was only one logical choice. He was the best player left on the board in my opinion, and while the Vikings have needs elsewhere that are just as if not more pressing than CB, they are thin at CB depth.
But just leaving that as an explanation for my pick is too easy.
Looking into it, the Vikings have a fair amount of needs. Their OL was absolutely abysmal last season, and the Vikes did not do much to remedy the problem. Their LBs could be considered just as bad. Outside of budding star Anthony Barr and 32-year old Chad Greenway (who is only still there because he accepted a paycut), they have nothing to work with. The Vikings also have to decide between 25-year old Audie Cole or familiar face to many Eagles fans Casey Matthews to become their starter at MLB unless someone gets drafted. They also don't have much at Safety outside of Harrison Smith.
But to me, their biggest area of need was at CB. Outside of Xavier Rhodes, there isn't much to work with. They do have Captain Munnerlyn, but he's almost exclusively a slot CB. There's 36-year old Terrance Newman, who I was kind of surprised was still in the league. After that, they have practically nobody. In a division with Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Randal Cobb, and Alshon Jeffrey, they need a drastic improvement at CB if they have any intentions on competing.
Let's look at the actual player, though. What makes Waynes such a great prospect deserving of a pick so high? First of all, he excels in man-to-man coverage, often playing on an island and doing it successfully. I wouldn't go so far as to say he's a shutdown corner, but there's a chance he could develop into one. He is quick and great acceleration that allows him to stay with any WR in the league. Playing physical is nothing new to him, and he plays the bump and run perfectly. Plus, he has good hands.
What really helped him out was his combine.
His speed is unbelievable at a 4.31 40 time, which was the best of all DBs. He showed that he was a true athlete with fast feet, fluidity in his movement, and great agility. This vaulted him from being discussed as a mid-1st rounder to possible top 10 prospect.
There are some downsides to Waynes' game. His main criticism is that he uses his hands way too much, and that NFL referees would call penalty after penalty on him. Luckily with the right coaching, that is a fixable problem. He also has below average anticipation, tends to get off balance at times, and needs to still develop physically.
But overall, the Vikings get a great prospect in Waynes. His abilities make him a shutdown corner in the making and give Minny another solid CB to build around. His speed makes him a dangerous weapon and he is not afraid to be physical on the line of scrimmage. The kid has a very high ceiling, and it may be a matter of fixing his problem of being too handsy for him to reach that potential.
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11) Minnesota Vikings (ablesser88) - Trae Waynes, CB, MSU - [Explanation]
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