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Vikings Mock Draft 2.7.16

In my last mock I gave a summary of the current offensive linemen and the free agents that may be available. This off season plan is a fantasy of how the Vikings could conceivably(?) overhaul their offensive line and possibly be in good position going forward for hopefully the next 3 to 5 years.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

First off, the Vikings trade for Joe Thomas.  Last year the Browns were in serious discussion to trade him to the Broncos.  According to some tweets in this article, the Browns, wanted the Broncos 2016 1st & 2nd round picks in exchange for Thomas and the Browns 4th round pick.

According to this article indicates the Browns wanted the Broncos 2017 1st and their 2016 2nd.

Considering Thomas has one more season (albeit a great one) under his belt and will be 31 to start the 2016 season, the Vikings offer their 2017 1st, 2016 3rd, & Cordarelle Patterson to the Browns for Thomas and a 2016 5th.  That is the deal in this plan.  They get a first round pick and a third which is pretty close to what the Denver Post reported plus they get the top kick returner in the league.

Why include Patterson though?  Well, they need some help at receiver even if Josh Gordon returns.  CP84 is probably going to be in his last season anyway.  I doubt he is going to re-sign especially since he cannot get on the field here.  I would think he would want to go somewhere that he has a chance to play IMO.  Sending him to Cleveland to "sweeten" the deal may give him a chance to earn a better second contract.  Yeah, I think this would be a pretty good deal.

The next move is the trade of Matt Kalil to the Oakland Raiders for their 4th round pick (#111).  The Raiders have a ton of cap space and can afford Kalil easily even if he does not extend his deal.  They are likely to lose Donald Penn who also turns 33 in April and they may not be able to get one of the top tackles in the draft although Taylor Decker may be there at #14.  Now paying Kalil 11 mil may not be what they want to do but maybe Kalil could be more amenable to extending his deal to something a lot cheaper for the Raiders? 

I just do not see Kalil doing that here.  I think he should ask for at least 8 mil per year in a 2 to 3 year extension if the Vikings approach him about extending his deal.  I would not allow him to play for 11 mil this year. I do not believe in the "sunk cost" argument either.  Not sure I really know what it means to be honest.  But letting him go saves 11 mil which you could use elsewhere or even carry a lot of it over.

I think the Raiders could be interested in getting a young tackle for cheap who once played at a near Pro Bowl level.  If he turns it around then they get a pretty good deal.  Also, they and the Jaguars are well below the minimum cap spend according the the NFLPA.  The Raiders are $41 mil under.  Getting and paying Kalil cuts into that amount pretty well.

The next move is to cut Wallace, Sullivan, & Loadholt.  I think letting Wallace go is due to his salary.  They may work out something that is a less than 11.5 mil.  Sullivan and Loadholt are due to the uncertainty about their future capabilities after recovering from injury and their salaries which adds to the risk.

The current cap space according to Spotrac and outlined in Arif's plan is 24.4 mil. 

So with these moves the Vikings cut 33.8 mil and adds in 9.5 mil for Thomas.  By trading away CP84 they take a 908K dead money cap hit though which I will round up to 1 mil.  So the net of these moves is 23.3 mil.  If we add that to the 24.4 we end up with 47.7 mil still available.

In Arif's plans he includes the estimated charges for the rookies and an extra 3.5 mil as a buffer.  I will just go with 11 mil reserved for rookies and a buffer.  That takes the available cap space to 36.7 mil.

The Vikings have 17 of their own free agents next year.  Greenway, Newman, Harris, Sherels, Sendejo, Trusnik, Matthews, Asiata, Robinson, Ellis, Trattou, Ellison, Blanton, Cole, Line, Thielen, & Bykowski.

I would re-sign Harris, Asiata, & Ellison.  I think Robinson will go elsewhere to get a better chance at starting and playing time.  Greenway, Newman, Sendejo, Blanton, Cole, Matthews, Trusnik, Trattou, Sherels, & Ellis would be free to test free agenecy and it is possible that a few could circle back and get signed by the Vikings.  Line, Thielen, and Bykowski would be signed as they are restricted free agents.  The total for those 3 would be about 2 mil.

I think I would offer Harris 2.5 mil per year, Asiata would get a 1.4 mil offer, and Ellison would get a 1.8 mil offer which is a slight increase over what Jacob Tamme received last year.  That totals 7.7 mil and takes the Vikings down to 29 mil.

The free agents I would target are ...

Alex Boone OG 49ers - I would offer a 4 year 20.5 mil deal with a 4 mil signing bonus
Steve Wisniewski OC Jaguars - I would offer a 4 year 16 mil deal with a 2 mil signing bonus
Eric Weddle S Chargers - I would offer a 4 year 22 mil deal with a 4 mil signing bonus

These deals have a cap hit of 8.5 mil in the first year which would take the cap down 20.5 mil.

I like the two offensive linemen obviously and they would provide some needed experience if you are cutting Sullivan and Loadholt.  The Vikings do have some youts that they are developing but you cannot go with all youts.  I would love to sign Iloka or a younger safety but I think Cincy is going to pay him well to stay.  If they decide not to then I think there would be a bidding war.  So getting a proven veteran safety for at least a couple of years (he can be let go after two seasons to get cap space or if he is not doing well) to help the younger safeties like Harris and Exum could be very good.

These would be the only free agents signed at the start of free agency.  There obviously will be other signings to fill out the roster in order to have 90 players and some of the Vikings own free agents that I did not sign right away could get re-signed once they test the market.

The last two items to take care would be to first give Harrison Smith a 5 year 47.3 mil extension with a 5 mil signing bonus, a 4 mil roster bonus paid in the first season, a 3 mil roster bonus paid in the second season, and 20 mil guaranteed with cap hits of (7.3 mil, 9 mil, 9 mil, 10 mil, and 12 mil).  He has a cap hit of 5.3 mil already and this adds 2 mil to that which would take the cap down 18.5 mil.

Then, I would give Joe Berger a 1 mil raise bumping his 2016 salary and cap hit to 2.435 mil.  This takes the available cap down to 17.5 mil.  That leaves the Vikings with the rookie money set aside as well as the 4 mil buffer which now becomes 21.5 mil.

I think saving some money is essential since Floyd and Rhodes are likely to get their 5th year option exercised.  The will need new deals after the 2017 season (maybe before).  After the 2017 season, Barr & Bridgewater will need their 5th year options exercised.  Robison is going to come off the books after 2017 but he may not see the 2017 season.  Munnerlyn's deal comes off the books after the 2016 season.  So there should be money to take care of these players even with adding in these free agents.  Plus, AP is not going to get that 16 mil plus in 2017 so that money will freed up to use elsewhere which could include extending AP again.  I am not a fan of this at all but it is possible I suppose.

So now we draft and I am using the drafttek mock as a guide.

The Vikings have the #1.23.23, #2.23.54, #4.16.111, #4.23.118, #5.2.129, #5.21.148, #6.5.182, #7.19.208, & #7.23.212 picks after the Thomas trade.

Trade: The Vikings trade #23 to Denver for the #30, #94 (3.30), & #196 (7.7) picks
In the actual NFL 2013 draft, the Rams traded #22 & a 2015 7th to the Falcons for #30, #92, & #198 so this is pretty instructive.

Why would Denver move up?  Well they already have 10 picks and probably will get at least 2 or 3 compensatory picks because the players they lost in free agency signed much bigger deals than the players they added in free agency.  In this mock they are selecting Connor Cook but they also could be trying to move up for Jack Conklin which I think they will do in this mock.

The Vikings now have the #1.30.30, #2.23.54, #3.31.94, #4.16.111, #4.23.118, #5.2.129, #5.21.148, #6.5.182, #7.7.196, #7.19.208, & #7.23.212 picks

1.30.30 Corey Coleman WR Baylor
2.23.54 Germain Ifedi OT Texas A&M
3.31.94 De'Runnya Wilson WR Mississippi State
4.16.111 Austin Hooper TE Stanford
4.23.118 Chris Jones DE/DT Mississippi State
5.2.129 Graham Glasgow OC/OG Michigan
5.21.148 Cyrus Jones CB Alabama
6.5.162 Kenyan Drake RB Alabama
7.7.196 Willie Henry DT Michigan
7.19.208 Kamalei Correa OLB Boise State
7.23.212 De'Vondre Campbell LB Minnesota

Devon Johnson FB Marshall
Morgan Burns CB Kansas State
Sean Davis FS Maryland
Geronimo Allison WR Illinois
Kolby Listenbee WR TCU
Jake Coker QB Alabama
Dean Lowry DE Northwestern
Riley Dixon P Syracuse

I still like Corey Coleman and I am taking liberty here that he would drop if the Vikings traded down and that Cincinnati would take Doctson instead.  Either way, Doctson or Coleman, the Vikings will need to stock up on the receivers.  Ifedi has played right guard and right tackle at Texas A&M and could conceivably backup or start at either position.  Wilson is the big possession receiver the team could use.  Austin Hooper is going to be needed because Ellison may not be back in time to start the season and could begin the year on the PUP list.  Glasgow can play center and guard so he should compete for a spot.  I like Jones because he has return abilities and coverage abilities.  Drake is interesting to me and is an early addition in anticipation of AP not being here in 2017.  Henry will have to compete and the two linebackers will need to as well.  But the team will need more linebackers.

Here is the roster after all of these moves ...

QB - Teddy Bridgewater - Shaun Hill - Taylor Heinicke - Jake Coker QB Alabama (udfa)
RB - Adrian Peterson - Jerick McKinnon - Matt Asiata - Kenyan Drake (d)
FB - Zach Line - Blake Renaud (r) - Devon Johnson FB Marshall (udfa)
LT - Joe Thomas - Austin Shepherd
LG - Alex Boone - Carter Bykowski - Isame Faciane (r)
OC - Steve Wisniewski - Joe Berger - Nick Easton - Graham Glasgow (d)
RG - Brandon Fusco - Mike Harris - Zac Kerin
RT - TJ Clemmings - Jeremiah Sirles - Germain Ifedi (d)
TE - Kyle Rudolph - MyCole Pruitt - Rhett Ellison - Austin Hooper (d)
WR - Jarius Wright - Charles Johnson - Terell Sinkfield (r) - De'Runnya Wilson (d) - Kolby Listenbee WR TCU (udfa)
WR - Stefon Diggs - Adam Thielen - Isaac Fruechte (r) - Corey Coleman (d) - Geronimo Allison WR Illinois (udfa)

DE - Everson Griffen - Zach Moore - B.J. Dubose - Dean Lowry DE Northwestern (udfa)
DT - Linval Joseph - Shamar Stephen - Willie Henry (d)
DT - Sharrif Floyd - Tom Johnson - Toby Johnson (r) - Chris Jones (d)
DE - Brian Robison - Danielle Hunter - Scott Crichton
LB - Eric Kendricks - Terrance Plummer (r) - DeVondre Campbell (d)
LB - Anthony Barr - Alex Singleton (r) - Kamalei Correa (d)
LB - Edmond Robinson - Brandon Watts
CB - Xavier Rhodes - Jabari Price - Morgan Burns CB Kansas State (udfa)
CB - Trae Waynes - Melvin White (r)
SCB - Captain Munnerlyn - Cyrus Jones (d)
S - Eric Weddle - Antone Exum - Johnny Lowdermilk (r)
S - Harrison Smith - Anthony Harris - Sean Davis FS Maryland (udfa)

K - Blair Walsh
P - Jeff Locke - Riley Dixon P Syracuse (udfa)
LS - Kevin McDermott

... this adds up to 79 players.  The Vikings would still have 21.5 mil in available cap space as well.  And again, Greenway and Newman could get re-signed for modest deals (2 mil or so) after free agency plays out a little.

An alternate draft would be ...

1.30.30 Cody Whitehair OG Kansas State
2.23.54 Jalen Mills FS/CB LSU
3.31.94 De'Runnya Wilson WR Mississippi State
4.16.111 Kyler Fackrell LB Utah State
4.23.118 Chris Jones DE/DT Mississippi State
5.2.129 Jerell Adams TE South Carolina
5.21.148 Le'Raven Clark OT Texas Tech
6.5.162 Kenyan Drake RB Alabama
7.7.196 Willie Henry DT Michigan
7.19.208 Kamalei Correa OLB Boise State
7.23.212 Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa

Well there you have it.  Probably too many draft picks.