ESPN draftnik Todd McShay has released his third mock draft of the offseason, and it looks like we're going to have a new name to add to the Mock Draft Database next weekend when the next one comes out.
McShay has given the Minnesota Vikings a defensive back this time around, but maybe not one that you've heard a lot about to this point. He tabs safety Vonn Bell from THE. . .dramatic pause. . .Ohio State University to Minnesota as a running partner for Harrison Smith.
From behind the mighty E$PN Paywall, here's what McShay had to say about the selection:
WR Josh Doctson would make sense here too, but this is a pure value pick. Bell is currently No. 17 on our board, and the Vikings are in need of a playmaker opposite of Harrison Smith. With nine career interceptions, Bell has elite cover skills for a safety. He shows good recovery speed when needed and can match up with most slot wide receivers and tight ends one-on-one. Bell is ready to start from day one.
The buzz recently has been that the Vikings might be making a play in free agency for another former Mike Zimmer disciple from the Cincinnati Bengals in safety George Iloka. I'm not 100% sure how Bell's play style compares to Iloka's, but there are definitely cases to be made for both bringing him in and drafting someone like Bell to be a long-term answer at the safety spot. Of course, Iloka will be demanding a pretty hefty salary, and with a Harrison Smith extension still forthcoming in the near future, that would be a lot of money to have tied up in the safety position.
Bell measured in at just under 5'11" and 200 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine this past weekend, and didn't do any drills outside of the bench press. (That reminds me, the defensive back workout results from Monday will be up here shortly.) But he was a first team All-American and first team All-Big Ten in 2015, so he's got that going for him. . .which is nice.
Todd McShay sees the Vikings going with a safety. . .as it stands right now. . .in the 2016 NFL Draft. Do you agree with his assessment?