This time around, McShay has the Vikings tabbing linebacker Darron Lee from THE. . .dramatic pause. . .Ohio State University with the 23rd overall selection. Here's what McShay had to say about the selection.
A former high school quarterback, Lee is a terrific athlete and a natural playmaker, racking up 27.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 3 INTs and 3 forced fumbles over his past two seasons. He's still developing as a run-stopping LB, but he has come a long way in that regard. Even if Minnesota signs free-agent LB Chad Greenway, it's time to add another young piece to the linebacker corps.
While I'm not sure if Lee would be a "bad" selection or anything, I'm not sure if he's the best selection for the Vikings at #23, particularly with the way McShay's scenario plays out.
From my perspective, the three biggest needs that the Vikings have at the present time are (in some order) wide receiver, safety, and offensive line. In McShay's mock here, he has just one receiver coming off the board before the Vikings' selection, that being Mississippi standout Laquon Treadwell (#7 to San Francisco). He has just two wide receivers going in the first round overall, with the second one being Lee's teammate at Ohio State. . .Braxton Miller. Yes, McShay has the former quarterback going off the board before a bunch of more accomplished wide receivers, as he has the Cincinnati Bengals taking him right after Minnesota at #24.
McShay also has just one safety coming off the board in the first round. . .or two, depending on how you view Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey (who the Vikings likely won't have any shot at). That safety is another Buckeye, Vonn Bell, who McShay has going to Kansas City at #28.
This mock also has five offensive linemen coming off the board in the first round. . .all of them offensive tackles, and four of them going in the top eighteen selections.
Overall, the twenty-two selections before Minnesota's in this mock feature three quarterbacks, one running back, one wide receiver, four offensive tackles, three defensive ends, five defensive tackles, three linebackers, and two defensive backs.
Given the talent that the Minnesota Vikings have amassed through the NFL Draft over the past few seasons, I have full faith in Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer to pick a player that will have an immediate impact, whether it's upgrading a developing offense or solidifying one of the NFL's best young defensive units. Just think. . .the 2016 NFL Draft is only 83 days away!