Hey kids, how are you?
Can we be honest? Like 100% honest with each other? I'm not a fan of mock drafts, I think I might have told you that in the past. They're never even close to accurate from the real draft, and I'm not even close to what one would consider a scout or personnel evaluator.
Hell, in the byline of the Brian Robison story I did earlier I initially called him a tight end, not a defensive end. I'm normally not that dense, but still, I know what the Vikings needs are, and some of the players available in the draft, so please, I beg the following:
I can barely tie my shoes in the morning, so don't use me as an 'expert' when referencing mock drafts and who the Vikings might select. I don't know. Mike Mayock doesn't know. Hell, the Vikings don't know right now, because they don't pick until the second round, and they have no idea how the board is going to fall.
So, with that out of the way, LET'S MOCK DRAFT MAN WOOOOO!
I used the Fanspeak draft site, and because I'm not 'squeeze blood out of a turnip' cheap like my Dad tried to teach me, I spent the seven bucks and splurged for the deluxe option to make trades. I did a seven round draft using the CBS Sports big board, which is just my own personal preference.
As we all know, the Vikings don't have a first round pick because of the Sam Bradford trade, so let's recap where we sit pick wise as the draft unfolds:
First, a couple things about how I'm approaching the draft. I'm being me, not trying to be Rick Spielman. I'll do a 'What I Think Rick Thinks' mock in the coming days, but for today, this is what I think team needs are, and they're almost all offense--offensive line, running back, and wide receiver. Everything else is gravy, except linebacker, but that's kind of a depth pick right now. I have needs listed as:
1. Offensive Line
2. Running Back
3. Wide Receiver
I'm not looking to trade up into the first round, but I will move into the second if a premium guy at one of those spots starts falling. I'm not going to trade the farm to do it, though. If I make a trade, I'm going to try and make at least one more to recoup some of the traded picks, if possible. So, let's get to it.
Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles. Wait, I mean no selection.
So, it turns out a premium offensive lineman started dropping, and was still on the board at the end of the first round. Cleveland had the first pick in that round, and I figured this guy was going to go fast, so I offered my second round pick (16th) my 22nd pick in the third round (the lower of the two), and my fifth round pick (16th in that round)
I propose a trade with Cleveland. They accepted. The terms of the deal:
My thinking is that I still have my higher third round pick, and I keep both fourth rounders, while moving up to spot 33. I thought it was a good deal, because I used it for:
Selection: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Ramczyk is a guy that can be a day one starter in the NFL, and I plug him in at RT to compete with Mike Remmers. If he beats out Remmers, I move Remmers inside to RG, and I've essentially solved my offensive line, save for depth. I still have a third round pick and 2 fourth round picks to play with, so I think this is a big upgrade for minimal cost.
Before the 3rd round started, I was offered two trades. One from Cleveland, the other from the Giants.
Cleveland offered a 3 and a 5...essentially the two picks I sent them to move up in the second round (although this 3rd round is 15th in the round, not 16)... for my 22nd pick in the 3rd round.
I wanted a little bit better return, so I countered by suggesting they Browns make that fifth round pick the first selection in that round, and they agreed. So, the trade:
So now I have the following picks as the third round unfold:
4: 14, 22
As I got to my selection, this is what the big board looked like:
Selection: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
I didn't think Elflein would be available here, but he was, and I didn't hesitate. With two trades, I now have shored up the Vikings offensive line for the foreseeable future. Please, please folks, keep it down. I'm having a hard time hearing myself think over the hosannas of praise you're heaping on me. I still have four rounds to go.
I am now content to stay where I am and just let the draft come to me, as it were.
I'm offered a couple trades, but I decline them. I think I can really fill some depth needs in this round, so I sit tight with both picks and wait for the draft to unfold. As I get to pick 14, the board looks like this:
Selection: Chad Hansen, WR, Cal
I get the best WR still on the board. He's not a stretch the field type, but he's tall, is sure handed, can get open, and can move the chains. I think he's a guy that would fit well in the Vikings offense, and compliment Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright, Laquon Treadwell, and Stefon Diggs. As pick 22 rolls around, this is what I see on the board:
Selection: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Just between you and me, I think the Vikings looking at Joe Mixon so closely at OkIahoma's Pro Day was a smokescreen for Perine. With him, I get a running back that is a great fit for the Vikings offense. He's low to the ground, but agile, and fast. He's already a pretty good pass blocker, so he can compete right away for the third down back job. He hasn't caught a lot of passes in Norman, but when they do throw him the ball he's a good receiver. Having him available here and being able to take him is an absolute steal. So far, I'm really liking this draft a lot.
With my earlier trade with the Browns, I now have the first selection in the fifth round.
Looking at the board, I've got options. You can make an argument for going in a bunch of different directions, but yeah, gonna go best player available. Here's what the big board tells me:
Selection: Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
Pocic is a guy that can play all positions on the line, and now, finally, the Vikings have starting quality and depth, to go along with youth, to make this unit a problem no more. Elflein can be your center for when Joe Berger retires, and Pocic can be the new ‘super sub' role that Berger played so effectively. With three offensive linemen in this draft, to go with two free agent signings, not only do you have quality starters, you also have depth now, and can look to move on from Willie Beavers and T.J. Clemmings.
I should probably go defense at some point, but let's see how the board plays out. Here's what we have:
Selection: Stevie Tu'kolovatu, DL, USC
Tu'kolovatu is a guy that can fill either DT spot, and is rotational insurance in case Shariff Floyd's knee injury lingers in to 2017. I don't expect him to be a starter, but I can see him fighting for time behind Linval Joseph, Floyd, and Tom Johnson.
I'm just looking for the best player available right now. Here's what the board shows:
Selection: Tashawn Bower, DE, LSU
If there's one thing I don't like about this draft class is that I didn't get a linebacker. Maybe I should've, but picking Bower might fill that need. He's a bit light for an edge guy in the NFL at 250, and a move to either the Will or Sam is something that's not out of the question. I think he's a guy you try out at linebacker, and get him on the practice squad to develop.
If you'd like to look at the entire mock draft I ran, apparently this link Fanspeak provided should get you there:
Anyways, let me know what you think.