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NFL mock draft: Minnesota Vikings 1.18.16

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Now that the season is unfortunately over the attention of the majority of the fan base has turned to the off season. Obviously we have free agency which Ted has written about and the start of my favorite time of year which is discussing the draft and doing 1,000 mocks. The Fearless Leader has written about what Mel Kiper Jr thinks and he has written about the impending free agents.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

First let me say that I am no draft guru, scout, or expert of any kind unless goofing off is considered and then, well, let's just say I have that mastered.  My motto is simple ...

I dont watch tape, I dont do big boards, straight mock homey!


I know that most fans, media types, internet scouts, etc. feel the offensive line is priority #1. I must admit it is hard to argue with this sentiment but I like to try.  Some feel it is me being contrarian but I like to play the devil's advocate.

Since that is the first priority let me give my view on the subject.  First thing you have to do is check the current roster and salaries.  I am going to list the player, age, the salary, the cap hit, the amount of dead money the team absorbs if the player is gone, the cap savings if a player is gone, the year the player is a free agent, and the round drafted.

Player ~ Age ~ Salary ~ Cap Hit ~ Dead Money ~ Cap Savings ~ Free Agent Year ~ Round Drafted
Matt Kalil ~ 26 ~ 11.096 ~ 11.096 ~ 0 ~ 11.096 ~ 2017 ~ 1st
Brandon Fusco ~ 27 ~ 3.25 ~ 4.05 ~ 2.40 ~ 1.65 ~ 2020 ~ 6th
John Sullivan ~ 30 ~ 5.50 ~ 5.833 ~ .667 ~ 5.167 ~ 2018 ~ 6th
Phil Loadholt ~ 29 ~ 6.00 ~ 7.75 ~ 1.75 ~ 6.00 ~ 2017 ~ 2nd
Joe Berger ~ 33 ~ 1.035 ~ 1.035 ~ 0 ~ 1.035 ~ 2017 ~ 6th by the Panthers
TJ Clemmings ~ 24 ~ 525k ~ 656k ~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 2019 ~ 4th
Austin Shepherd ~ 22 ~ 525k ~ 542k ~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 2019 ~ 7th
Jeremiah Sirles ~ 24 ~ 600k ~ 600k ~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 2017 ~ UDFA by the Chargers
Zac Kerin ~ 24 ~ 525k ~ 525k ~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 2017 ~ UDFA by the Vikings
Nick Easton ~ 26 ~ 525k ~ 525k ~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 2017 ~ UDFA by the Ravens

The Vikings do have Mike Harris as a free agent and I expect they will try to re-sign him. 

So, obviously the consensus opinion is the line was not very good at pass blocking at all.  The question is how can the Vikings upgrade the line and improve upon this season's results?  If the Vikings replace a few starters and the team is not as successful but the line plays better would that be OK?  I don't think so.

If the Vikings cannot get Kalil to agree to a reasonable extension (assuming that they even want to give him one) then how can they replace him and what can they get for him in a trade?  I do not think you should let your former #4 overall pick leave for nothing in return.  Despite what many Vikings fans say, I have to think he would still be viewed favorably by some actual GMs around the league.  He definitely would be worth a shot. 

I will not speculate as to what kind of trade the Vikings could get in return but I will talk about what possible free agents they could taget.  The obvious targets would be Russell Okung and Cody Glenn.  After that I think the cupboard is pretty bare unless you want Donald Penn, Jake Long, or Kelvin Beachum.

I think Kalil is going to stay and the Vikings will work out a reasonable extension.

At right tackle there are some free agents worth considering.  Andre Smith, Mitchell Schwartz, Joe Barksdale, and maybe Bobby Massie.  If the Vikings think it is time to let Loadholt go, then I could see them considering a free agent right tackle.

But I think they believe in Clemmings and will give him another shot at the position.  At least he will get to compete as Zimmer said.

At guard, I think Fusco is not going anywhere and Harris will get re-signed.  He wants to re-sign and is staying in Minnesota this off season to train.  He really wants to be here so it is going to get done.

This makes it hard to imagine the team going for a free agent.  But if you wanted to look at some then Alex Boone, Kelechi Osemele, Brandon Brooks, & Jeff Allen are all possibilities that I like. 

At center you have John Sullivan returning from his back surgery.  Since he had a second back surgery he is at greater risk for a recurrence.

So what can the Vikings do at center if Sullivan cannot return to form?  Should they be proactive and just release him?  The cap savings would be 5.167 mil.  What free agents should they consider?  I like Steve Wisniewski, Ben Jones, and that is about it.  Alternatively, if Sullivan is released then Berger should get a nice raise and they should let him start while they continue to develop Easton & Kerin (or maybe even draft another one).

If you look at only free agency in an effort to upgrade your line then it will be tough as other teams are also looking to sign these free agents.  But the Vikings may be an extra attractive destination due to the success the team had this year which includes one of the youngest rosters and the brand spanking new stadium!

I certainly can imagine several different free agent plans that involve signing at least 2 free agents.

However, I want to look at the draft first.  I always love talking about the draft and about specific players.

I think a lot of fans believe the solution does exist via the draft and to be honest, this would be the cheapest and most preferable method.  Let's take a look at some recent drafts to see how these draftees actually have panned out (to the best of our ability).

In 2015, you have Brandon Scherff, Ereck Flowers, Andrus Peat, Cameron Erving, Cedric Ogbuehi, DJ Humphries, and Laken Tomlinson all taken in the first round.  Even though I really do not believe in the grades from PFF, I realize that a lot of fans do believe.  According to a story in December the only two picks that did well were Scherff and Peat (and Peat was a backup and rarely used).

In the 2nd round, Donovan Smith, Mitch Morse, Jake Fisher, Rob Havenstein, Ty Sambrailo, and Ali Marpet were selected.  Smith, Marpet, and Havenstein all did pretty well.  Morse started so that is good too.

In the 3rd round, Jeremiah Poutasi, AJ Cann, Hroniss Grasu, Jamon Brown, John Miller, and Chaz Green were selected.  Poutasi, Cann, and Miller all started.

Looking at 2014 there were 5 linemen selected in the first round with all in the top 19 (Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, Zack Martin, and Ju'Waun James). Another 6 were selected in the 2nd round (Xavier Su'a-Filo, Joel Bitonio, Weston Richburg, Cyrus Kouandjio, Jack Mewhort, & Justin Britt). 10 were taken in the 3rd round (Morgan Moses, Billy Turner, Marcus Martin, Travis Swanson, Spencer Long, Gabe Jackson, Chris Watt, Trai Turner, Brandon Linder, & Michael Schofield).  A few picked after the 1st round seem to be doing OK.  Joel Bitonio, Xavier Su'a-Filo, and Gabe Jackson come to mind.

The 2013 draft did not have as many players do as well as people hoped.  Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Jonahtan Cooper, Chance Warmack, DJ Fluker, Justin Pugh, Kyle Long, and Travis Frederick all went in the 1st.  In the 2nd round you had Menelik Watson who was the only lineman taken.  Larry Warford, Terron Armstead, Dallas Thomas, High Thornton, and Brennan Williams went in the 3rd.  I would say this draft falls into the OK category and there still is time for some of the top players to make more of an impact.

The draft sure is hit or miss.  This brings us to this current draft.  Which players should we like to see the Vikings select and will they be available.

At tackle here are some players ...

Player ~ Pos. ~ School ~ Class ~ Ht. ~ Wt.
Laremy Tunsil ~ OT ~ Ole Miss ~ Jr ~ 6-5 ~ 305
Ronnie Stanley ~ OT ~ Notre Dame ~ rJr ~ 6-6 ~ 315
Taylor Decker ~ OT ~ Ohio State ~ Sr ~ 6-7 ~ 315
Jack Conklin ~ OT ~ Michigan State ~ rJr ~ 6-6 ~ 318
Shon Coleman ~ OT ~ Auburn ~ rJr ~ 6-6 ~ 313
Germain Ifedi ~ OT ~ Texas A&M ~ rJr ~ 6-5 ~ 325
Jason Spriggs ~ OT ~ Indiana ~ Sr ~ 6-6 ~ 305
Jerald Hawkins ~ OT ~ LSU ~ Jr ~ 6-6 ~ 305
John Theus ~ OT ~ Georgia ~ Sr ~ 6-6 ~ 305
Kyle Murphy ~ OT ~ Stanford ~ Sr ~ 6-7 ~ 302
Willie Beavers ~ OT ~ Western Michigan ~ rSr ~ 6-5 ~ 312
Joe Haeg ~ OT ~ North Dakota State ~ Sr ~ 6-5 ~ 300
Le'Raven Clark ~ OT ~ Texas Tech ~ rSr ~ 6-5 ~ 316
Avery Young ~ OT ~ Auburn ~ rJr ~ 6-6 ~ 305
Cole Toner ~ OT ~ Harvard ~ Sr ~ 6-6 ~ 300
Pearce Slater ~ OT ~ San Diego State ~ Sr ~ 6-7 ~ 335
Tyler Johnstone ~ OT ~ Oregon ~ rSr ~ 6-6 ~ 295
Alex Lewis ~ OT ~ Nebraska ~ rSr ~ 6-6 ~ 297
Nick Richter ~ OT ~ Richmond ~ rSr ~ 6-5 ~ 304
Taylor Fallin ~ OT ~ Memphis ~ rSr ~ 6-6 ~ 325
Brandon Shell ~ OT ~ South Carolina ~ rSr ~ 6-5 ~ 328
Clay DeBord ~ OT ~ Eastern Washington ~ rSr ~ 6-6 ~ 305
Halapoulivaati Vaitai ~ OT ~ TCU ~ Sr ~ 6-6 ~ 315
Jordan Swindle ~ OT ~ Kentucky ~ Sr ~ 6-7 ~ 309
Dominick Jackson ~ OT ~ Alabama ~ Sr ~ 6-6 ~ 315
Tyler Marz ~ OT ~ Wisconsin ~ rSr ~ 6-7 ~ 318
Ryker Mathews ~ OT ~ Brigham Young ~ rSr ~ 6-5 ~ 320

I like Decker, Conklin, Coleman, Ifedi, Murphy, Beavers, Haeg, Clark, & Toner.


At guard here are some players ...

Player ~ Pos. ~ School ~ Class ~ Ht. ~ Wt.
Cody Whitehair ~ OG ~ Kansas State ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 309
Vadal Alexander ~ OG ~ LSU ~ Sr ~ 6-5 ~ 329
Landon Turner ~ OG ~ North Carolina ~ rSr ~ 6-3 ~ 325
Spencer Drango ~ OG ~ Baylor ~ rSr ~ 6-6 ~ 320
Joshua Garnett ~ OG ~ Stanford ~ Sr ~ 6-4 ~ 321

Sebastian Tretola ~ OG ~ Arkansas ~ rSr ~ 6-5 ~ 334
Christian Westerman ~ OG ~ Arizona State ~ rSr ~ 6-3 ~ 302
Denver Kirkland ~ OG ~ Arkansas ~ Jr ~ 6-5 ~ 340
Rees Odhiambo  ~ OG ~ Boise State ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 305
Parker Ehinger ~ OG ~ Cincinnati ~ rSr ~ 6-6 ~ 315

Jordan Walsh ~ OG ~ Iowa ~ rSr ~ 6-3 ~ 290
Eric Mac Lain ~ OG ~ Clemson ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 315
Joe Dahl ~ OG ~ Washington State ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 303
Connor McGovern ~ OG ~ Missouri ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 304
Joe Thuney ~ OG ~ NC State ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 295
Nila Kasitati ~ OG ~ Oklahoma ~ rSr ~ 6-3 ~ 320
Alex Redmond ~ OG ~ UCLA ~ Jr ~ 6-5 ~ 305
LaQuan McGowan ~ OG ~ Baylor ~ Sr ~ 6-6 ~ 410
Vi Teofilo ~ OG ~ Arizona State ~ rSr ~ 6-3 ~ 304
Aaron Morris ~ OG ~ Ole Miss ~ rSr ~ 6-5 ~ 315

I like Whitehair, Drango, Garnett, Odihiambo, Ehinger, and Dahl.


At center here are some players ...

Player ~ Pos. ~ School ~ Class ~ Ht. ~ Wt.
Ryan Kelly ~ C ~ Alabama ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 297
Nick Martin ~ C ~ Notre Dame ~ rSr ~ 6-4 ~ 302
Max Tuerk  ~ C ~ Southern California ~ Sr ~ 6-5 ~ 285
Jack Allen ~ C ~ Michigan State ~ rSr ~ 6-2 ~ 298
Evan Boehm ~ C ~ Missouri ~ Sr ~ 6-3 ~ 320
Austin Blythe ~ C ~ Iowa ~ rSr ~ 6-2 ~ 290
Mike Matthews ~ C ~ Texas A&M ~ Sr ~ 6-2 ~ 290
Matt Skura ~ C ~ Duke ~ rSr ~ 6-3 ~ 305
Sioasi Aiono ~ C ~ Utah ~ Sr ~ 6-2 ~ 310
Kyle Friend ~ C ~ Temple ~ Sr ~ 6-1 ~ 305
Joey Hunt ~ C ~ TCU ~ Sr ~ 6-2 ~ 295

I like Tuerk, Allen, Boehm, and Friend.


There are some nice looking prospects on paper.  But again, it sure is hit or miss.  The Vikings are in a tough spot in the draft too.  Tunsil, Stanley, Decker, Conklin, Coleman, and maybe even a guard like Alexander or Whitehair could come off the board before #23.  And then, by the time you get to 54, some of the next batch of linemen could be gone too. Of course this assumes the Vikings would take a lineman at #23.

It is difficult to come up with a mock unless you know the status of Sullivan and Loadholt.  If they return and are able to regain their starting spots and the team re-signs Mike Harris plus Berger comes back, well, then I really cannot see too many new faces.  They could draft some players to compete with the current dly be about it.

I did all the mocks over at fanspeak with no trades.  Different boards have different rankings and the drafts are mixed up because the site does this probably on purpose which is a good thing.  Seeing players drop that you do not expect to drop is not a bad thing.  It provides different variations and gives an idea of things that could happen.  Like Sharrif Floyd dropping to #23.  The Vikings were "gifted" this selection and could not pass.  Maybe they were thinking a WR here but decided they could not pass on Floyd?



Here is my favorite mock from fanspeak.com ...

CBSSPORTS
23: R1P23 DE EMMANUEL OGBAH OKLAHOMA STATE
http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/breaking-down-dc-vernon-hargreaves-iii-and-de-emmanuel-ogbah/

54: R2P23 WR JOSH DOCTSON TCU
http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/breaking-down-josh-doctson-and-laquon-treadwell/

86: R3P23 OG SEBASTIAN TRETOLA ARKANSAS
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000420003/article/arkansas-sebastian-tretola-now-a-sleeper-heisman-candidate
http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2016/jan/07/tretola-invited-nfl-combine/
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=113125&draftyear=2016&genpos=OG

118: R4P23 OLB KYLER FACKRELL UTAH STATE
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=107209&draftyear=2016&genpos=OLB

148: R5P21 FS TYVIS POWELL OHIO STATE
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=124796&draftyear=2017&genpos=FS

163: R6P6 CB MORGAN BURNS KANSAS STATE
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=105845&draftyear=2016&genpos=CB

208: R7P19 OG JOE DAHL WASHINGTON STATE
http://www.scout.com/college/washington-state/story/1618299-the-legend-of-joe-dahl-other-cougar-notes
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/sep/03/joe-dahl-anchors-what-should-be-one-of-cougars/

212: R7P23 DT JAVON HARGRAVE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=119678&draftyear=2016&genpos=DT

Obviously, taking a player like Ogbah will not be deemed a necessity but he is really talented.  Adding him to Griffen, Hunter, Crichton, and Robison.  Doctson is a necessity and should be able to make an impact sooner rather later.  Tretola satisfies the "we need a guard" crowd and he does have great size.  I love Fackrell as someone that can play any LB spot and can rush the passer too.  He is as big as Barr as well. I do not know a lot about Powell but I have read that some scouts like him better than Bell.  Burns has return abilities and hopefully can be groomed to eventually contribute.  Dahl played left tackle this year with most scouts projecting him to guard and some even project him to center.  Hargrave was a force and could be a steal.

My best guess is none of these players will be there in the rounds I have them in this mock.  As usual.  :)



Here are some other drafts I did which I like too ...
CBSSPORTS
23: R1P23 OT JACK CONKLIN MICHIGAN STATE
54: R2P23 WR WILL FULLER NOTRE DAME
86: R3P23 ILB SCOOBY WRIGHT III ARIZONA
118: R4P23 RB PAUL PERKINS UCLA
148: R5P21 SS MILES KILLEBREW SOUTHERN UTAH
163: R6P6 DT HASSAN RIDGEWAY TEXAS
208: R7P19 OG JOE DAHL WASHINGTON STATE
212: R7P23 WR PAUL MCROBERTS SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE

23: R1P23 OT TAYLOR DECKER OHIO STATE
54: R2P23 WR COREY COLEMAN BAYLOR
86: R3P23 OG SEBASTIAN TRETOLA ARKANSAS
118: R4P23 C MAX TUERK SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
148: R5P21 CB MORGAN BURNS KANSAS STATE
163: R6P6 SS MILES KILLEBREW SOUTHERN UTAH
208: R7P19 OLB TERRANCE SMITH FLORIDA STATE
212: R7P23 RB KEENAN REYNOLDS NAVY




DRAFTTEK
23: R1P23 RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT OHIO ST
54: R2P23 WR TYLER BOYD PITTSBURGH
86: R3P23 TE HUNTER HENRY ARKANSAS
118: R4P23 OT JOE HAEG NORTH DAKOTA ST
148: R5P21 OT SPENCER DRANGO BAYLOR
163: R6P6 OLB KAMALEI CORREA BOISE STATE
208: R7P19 DE AZIZ SHITTU STANFORD
212: R7P23 S JUSTIN SIMMONS BOSTON COLLEGE

23: R1P23 DT A'SHAWN ROBINSON ALABAMA
54: R2P23 WR JOSH DOCTSON TCU
86: R3P23 OT KYLE MURPHY STANFORD
118: R4P23 OLB KYLER FACKRELL UTAH STATE
148: R5P21 OG PARKER EHINGER CINCINNATI
163: R6P6 CB MORGAN BURNS KANSAS STATE
208: R7P19 DE JASON FANAIKA UTAH
212: R7P23 FS KAVON FRAZIER CENTRAL MICHIGAN

23: R1P23 DE DEFOREST BUCKNER OREGON
54: R2P23 G VADAL ALEXANDER LSU
86: R3P23 WR DE'RUNNYA WILSON MISSISSIPPI ST
118: R4P23 QB CARDALE JONES OHIO STATE
148: R5P21 OT SPENCER DRANGO BAYLOR
163: R6P6 OLB KAMALEI CORREA BOISE STATE
208: R7P19 CB CYRUS JONES ALABAMA
212: R7P23 WR KEYARRIS GARRETT TULSA



FANSPEAK
23: R1P23 DT ROBERT NKEMDICHE OLE MISS
54: R2P23 DE SHAWN OAKMAN BAYLOR
86: R3P23 OT KYLE MURPHY STANFORD
118: R4P23 OT JOE HAEG NORTH DAKOTA STATE
148: R5P21 OLB KAMALEI CORREA BOISE STATE
163: R6P6 S MILES KILLEBREW SOUTHERN UTAH
208: R7P19 WR KEYARRIS GARRETT TULSA
212: R7P23 WR KOLBY LISTENBEE TCU

23: R1P23 OLB JAYLON SMITH NOTRE DAME
54: R2P23 G CODY WHITEHAIR KANSAS STATE
86: R3P23 WR TYLER BOYD PITTSBURGH
118: R4P23 CB ARTIE BURNS MIAMI (FLA.)
148: R5P21 OT JOE HAEG NORTH DAKOTA STATE
163: R6P6 DE BRONSON KAUFUSI BRIGHAM YOUNG
208: R7P19 RB KENYAN DRAKE ALABAMA
212: R7P23 S MILES KILLEBREW SOUTHERN UTAH

23: R1P23 ILB REGGIE RAGLAND ALABAMA
54: R2P23 DE SHAWN OAKMAN BAYLOR
86: R3P23 OT KYLE MURPHY STANFORD
118: R4P23 WR DE'RUNNYA WILSON MISSISSIPPI STATE
148: R5P21 OT JOE HAEG NORTH DAKOTA STATE
163: R6P6 S MILES KILLEBREW SOUTHERN UTAH
208: R7P19 CB CYRUS JONES ALABAMA
212: R7P23 WR COREY DAVIS WESTERN MICHIGAN


The highlighted mock is very nice and I would be very happy if the Vikings were able to do this in the draft.

Well, it has been a long time since I posted something and I hope that I can post more often now that the draft season is here.