We’re getting closer. . .very, very slowly. . .to the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia. We’re going to see a lot of mock drafts and big boards over the next couple of months, but one of the more interesting takes every year comes from NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.
I’m a big fan of Mike Mayock, and have been for quite a while. (Man, I wish he was still doing Minnesota Vikings’ preseason games.) But his lists of the top five players at each position in the draft always seem to be a little bit different from the mainstream. So, let’s take a look at his first edition of those lists, which he put out yesterday.
We’ll try to limit ourselves (at least for now) to positions that the Vikings would likely have some interest in.
- Dalvin Cook, Florida State
- Leonard Fournette, Louisiana State
- Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
- Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
- Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
The divergence with popular thought starts here. I’ve seen a couple of draft pundits rave about Fournette, and with good reason, but Mayock has him behind Cook in his rankings. I’m also a bit surprised that he has Mixon this high. If it was based on football talent alone, that’s probably accurate, but I’m guessing that Mixon’s well-publicized off the field issues will have him dropping further down the board. I’m guessing that the Vikings won’t be in a position to take Cook or Fournette anyway.
- Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
- Garrett Bolles, Utah
- Antonio Garcia, Troy
- Roderick Johnson, Florida State
- Taylor Moton, Western Michigan; Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M
Ramczyk in the top spot is a solid choice, in my opinion, despite the fact that he had hip surgery after the Badgers’ win in the Cotton Bowl that will prevent him from doing anything until just before the draft. Garcia is a guy that could potentially fall to Minnesota in the second round, and he’d be a pretty fine pick. I’m surprised to see Moton below a couple of these names, but hey. . .Mayock is the expert.
- Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
- Cam Robinson, Alabama
- Dan Feeney, Indiana
- Ethan Pocic, Louisiana State
- Dion Dawkins, Temple
I LOVE LAMP! (You knew that was coming.) I don’t think there’s any chance that Lamp makes it to Minnesota’s pick in Round 2, but he would really be the ideal fit for this team. Robinson spent much of the year being projected as (potentially) the top offensive tackle in this class, but Mayock has him at guard. Honestly, I think any of the five players on this list would fit in quite nicely in purple and gold.
- Reuben Foster, Alabama
- Haason Reddick, Temple
- Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
- Jarrad Davis, Florida
- Alex Anzalone, Florida
Depending on what the Vikings do in free agency, linebacker could be a consideration early on for them. Foster is likely going to be well out of their reach, but I like Cunningham a lot. If the Vikings want someone to partner up with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks at the second level, they could do a lot worse, that’s for sure.
- Malik Hooker, Ohio State
- Jamal Adams, Louisiana State
- Jabril Peppers, Michigan
- Budda Baker, Washington
- Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
Hooker? Shoot, I don’t even know ‘er. But seriously, folks, I don’t think Hooker or Adams are going to be possibilities for our favorite team. Peppers is one of those guys like Shaq Thompson was a couple of years ago where you want him on the field but you’re not exactly sure what to do with him. Baker would be a very nice fit next to Harrison Smith, I think.
You can check out the rest of Mayock’s Top 5s at the link at the top of the story. Anyone on these lists you’ve got a bit of a draft crush on already?