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Mel Kiper Projects The Vikings’ First Three Picks

And somehow does not take an offensive lineman.

2007 NFL Draft Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Much like his ESPN counterpart Todd McShay did last week, Mel Kiper. . .dramatic pause. . .draft expert has projected the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft and what he thinks would be an “A” draft for each of the 32 NFL teams. (Naturally, this is behind the great E$PN paywall.)

Who does Kiper have the Minnesota Vikings selecting with their selection in Round 2 and their two picks in Round 3? Well. . .if you’re hoping for offensive linemen, you’re going to be a little confused and a lot disappointed.

At #48 overall, Kiper has the Vikings selecting Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley to pair up with Linval Joseph in the middle of Minnesota’s defense. With the team’s two third-round selections, he has the purple selecting LSU linebacker Duke Riley and Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh.

That’s right. . .zero offensive linemen on Day 2 of the draft for the Vikings in Kiper’s scenario. Frankly, I think that if it wound up going down like this, the pitchforks and torches would be out in full force at Winter Park.

Here’s what Kiper had to say about the selections:

The Vikings almost certainly will try to take an offensive lineman on Day 2, but I don't have any left on the board at 48. As a result, I'm switching gears to defense, where there are questions about former first-round pick Sharrif Floyd's future. Snagging Brantley, my third-ranked defensive tackle, in the second round is good value. He had an up-and-down career but was incredibly disruptive when he played at his best. Riley is a versatile defender who started only one season for LSU but made plays all over the field. With the extra third-round pick they received when the Dolphins traded up last year, I'm giving Minnesota a project receiver in Darboh, who had 14 career touchdowns.

If that were the case, then what Kiper’s saying would make sense. However, he doesn’t have Western Michigan star Taylor Moton coming off the board until #64 overall, and has Indiana guard Dan Feeney staying on the board until #70 overall. Both of those players would be immediate fits at right guard for the Vikings. He also doesn’t have Pat Elflein anywhere in the first three rounds of the draft, which confuses the heck out of me, quite frankly.

Obviously, I don’t know what Kiper’s entire “Big Board” looks like to know where he has every single player ranked, but to say that there aren’t any offensive linemen left on his board at 48 is a strange declaration, in my opinion.

But, that’s what Mel Kiper has in his latest mock draft for the Minnesota Vikings. Sufficient to say, I am not a fan of what he has here and certainly hope that the draft doesn’t turn out this way.