Since I missed doing one yesterday, I'll use today to take another run at a seven-round mock draft for the Minnesota Vikings using the Fanspeak On The Clock draft simulator. You can check out my first three tries at it here, here, and here.
(Once again, in the interest of full disclosure, the folks from Fanspeak gave me a free premium account, so I'm using it to do this sim.)
For this time around, I'm using Fanspeak's "Composite Big Board," which I assume to be an amalgamation of a bunch of other Big Boards from around the internet. So, let's see what the simulator gives us this time around, shall we?
Before things even got underway, I got a couple of proposals from teams wanting to trade down in the first round:
Both of these would require me to drop out of the second round entirely, and moving up either five or seven spots just isn't worth that to me, so I turn down both proposals and move on.
Here's how the first round of the draft went leading up to pick #23:
Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff, QB, California
Philadelphia Eagles - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
San Diego Chargers - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
Dallas Cowboys - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Cleveland Browns - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
New York Giants - Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
Chicago Bears - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Miami Dolphins - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Oakland Raiders - Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Tennessee Titans - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Detroit Lions - Josh Doctson, WR, Texas Christian
Atlanta Falcons - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi
Indianapolis Colts - Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Buffalo Bills - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
New York Jets - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Washington Redskins - Austin Johnson, DT, Ohio State
Houston Texans - Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
With that, here were the top 15 players on the "Composite Big Board" at this point in the proceedings:
Well. . .my top two receiving targets, Doctson and Treadwell, are off the board. Lee is gone as well, and he'd be a solid option at the linebacker spot if he fell that far. So, I'm going to go ahead and take the guy that I think is the best fit for the team at this spot, and he's a guy that not many are projecting to go to our favorite team.
#23 - Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
Floyd might not project as the classic 4-3 outside linebacker, but he has a lot of versatility. He played both inside and outside linebacker at Georgia this past season, and has the ability to get after the quarterback as well. I'm not sure exactly what role Floyd would play in the Minnesota defense to start out with, but I'm sure that Mike Zimmer and George Edwards would find some way for him to make an impact, even if he started out in a situational role.
Rankins got some serious consideration from me as well, but while Floyd may or may not be able to start right away, Rankins would definitely start out behind Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph at the defensive tackle spot. Coleman would be an option as well, but the receiver spot is something I can address later on. Had Doctson or Treadwell fallen to this spot, they would have been the pick.
So, on to Round 2, and I again got two trade proposals before the round even started:
So, the Saints appear to be just as dumb in the simulator as they are in real life. That trade isn't happening. The Patriots' proposal, on the other hand. . .three extra draft picks just to move down six spots? Yes, please. I accept New England's offer and move on.
When my selection, now #59, comes up, here is what the Top 15 on the board looks like:
I've made it clear that I'm no fan of Will Fuller, and I'm not wasting a pick on him here, either. But I do want to address the receiver spot here.
#60 (from New England) - Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
The decision for me came down to either Boyd or Braxton Miller. . .and while Miller is an incredible athlete, I'm going to lean towards the guy that has been a wide receiver for the longest amount of time. With the Cordarrelle Patterson experiment sort of blowing up in Minnesota's face thus far, the thought of taking another "project" at wide receiver doesn't appeal to me. (Sorry, Ted.) Boyd was really the only thing that Pitt had last season, and had a pretty good season despite their issues at the quarterback position. He could probably contribute fairly quickly, so he's a solid selection here.
We'll get into a little less detail from here on out.
#86 - Nick Martin, C/G, Notre Dame
This is a steal at this spot, as far as I'm concerned. Martin will likely be the starter at center as early as 2017, and could certainly compete at guard in the meantime.
#121 - Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
There aren't any compelling safeties on the board at this point, and this seems like a good spot to take a guy that could work his way into the defensive tackle rotation early on.
#160 - Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson
Now we address the safety spot. Kearse is going to need some seasoning at the next level, but has the ability to be a contributor long-term.
And now, thanks to the earlier trade I made, the Vikings have six picks in the final two rounds. . .think we're going to go a lot of "best player available" from here on out.
#180 - Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa
The Vikings can afford to double up at the wide receiver position, and getting the 6'3", 220-pound Garrett at this point is almost outright theft.
#196 - Jacoby Brissett, QB, North Carolina State
I've said this in past drafts, but the Vikings need to have a better backup plan at quarterback if something happens to Teddy Bridgewater. Between Taylor Heinicke and Brissett, one of them would likely be able to jump into the second spot, I would think.
#204 - Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
Probably not a three-down guy in the NFL, but has the ability to plug in as a middle linebacker in the Vikings' 4-3 defense.
#240 - Tre Madden, RB, Southern California
Madden dealt with a lot of injury issues at USC, but could work his way into the running back rotation if he stays healthy.
#243 - James Burgess, LB, Louisville
#244 - Derrick Kindred, S, Texas Christian
In a first for me in these simulations, all of the available punters were off the board at this point. If they hadn't been, I would have taken one with one of the final two selections.
If you want to see how the entire draft played out, you can see all 253 picks here.
Gotta be honest. . .not sure how big a fan I am of this mock overall. While the trade down with the Patriots seemed like a good idea at the time, it cost me an opportunity to get the true impact safety this team could need (the Bengals took Karl Joseph with the selection after the Vikings' original pick in Round 2). This is probably a good example of why I'm not in charge of an NFL team. . .thank goodness.
Thanks to the folks from Fanspeak for allowing me to access the premium section of their Mock Draft Simulator for this year. Hopefully things will go better for the Vikings on Thursday night than it did here.