Supa's 2017 Vikings mock, v3.0

I won't mess with free agency strategy this time. Hopefully they focus on using 2017 cap space on getting Xavier Rhodes a big 2017 salary number to give some measure of relief against the remainder of this (likely) five-year $75 million deal.

So let's get to it!

Round 2, pick 48: Dion Dawkins, OG/OT, Temple
BUT WHAT ABOUT DAN FEENEY??? I like Dawkins here for a couple reasons. I think his upside is higher than Feeney's and I value his versatility to play RT if needed. I know Feeney played there some too, but by accounts his performance was poor. Mostly, though, from the scouting reports I read (PFF's was most glowing) he is a better fit for a man-blocking scheme while Feeney has been a zone blocking stud at Indiana. The Vikings work in a man-blocking scheme. And finally, I couldn't help but obsess over PFF's labeling of him as the "able to block anyone man on man in power run blocking" and "the kind of OL you want to call plays to run behind." This line was atrocious run blocking last year. I think Dawkins will be the best available player to allow the Vikings to finally run for first downs on short yardage at minimum. You need to move people. And what's more, he has capability to play RT as well (where, per PFF, he flashed "big-time ability in a pro-style offense"), where the same physicality would come into play.

Round 3, pick 79: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
I know people won't like a non-need pick here. But to me, if you see a guy who can improve you from "OK" to "great" at a position, wouldn't you take it over need-picking your way to mediocrity? I do think Andrew Sendejo is fine. But he is also supremely limited. I see Evans as one of a handful of safeties who will be available after round 1 who can start their rookie seasons and contribute well. Maybe not right off the bat. But then again, I think the draft is first and foremost for finding talent (and potential studs) instead of finding guys who can fill a need immediately, even if not all that well. Scouting reports use words like "explosive" and "outstanding range" when describing this kid. Premier coverage grade from PFF in 2016. No longer would Zimmer have to hide Sendejo from his weakness in deep coverage. We could finally let him use his safeties interchangeably, to ramp up the confusion factor of QBs who are already panicking over the double A-gap looks. It's not that I am seeking to find a simple upgrade at safety. I think this kid is a future stud in the making, although he won't see that level year 1 in such a complex scheme that takes guys a while to digest.

Round 3, pick 86 (from Miami): Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
This is my favorite running back in the draft of all the guys who will be taken after the first round. Love the physical mentality he brings, which he can pair with good feet and quickness for a 230-pound back. Has the stoutness you want in pass pro and can catch. Most of all, with a team in a committee approach at running back now, I see a perfect fit for a sledgehammer to improve (running behind Dawkins of course!) short-yardage results from 2016's disastrous game-killing failures. I don't care if you miss out on the 4.4 speed. The man is very fast for his size. And think about Marshawn Lynch late in his career after he lost his top-end speed. He was a force because of his physicality. Sign me up!

Round 4, pick 120: Tanzel Smart, DT, Tulane
Anyone who has listened to my blathering on the DN over the past few weeks knows I consider three-technique defensive tackle to be the primary need for the Vikings heading into the draft -- because of Tom Johnson's injury and because of the news on Sharrif Floyd that makes me pretty confident he will retire. (If he doesn't, then all the better but I wouldn't want to bet and lose). So why would I wait until now to address that need? I just don't like the talent available at the position in round 2 more than I like this kid, who I think is safe to be had here. Not as big as you would like but he possesses instincts and quickness, and contributes against the run and in pass rush. Per PFF's scouting report, he's a dominant bull rusher who also features good hands and excellent quickness. I think Patterson will love this raw material to ply his trade to coaching up great athletes. Just add 5-6 pounds (which should be easy considering he shed more weight than that for the combine) and you have a nice piece of the rotation at the position in year 1 and a candidate to take over the job fulltime in 2018 when Floyd and Johnson are likely both gone.

Round 4, pick 128 (from Miami): Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
The defense and the run game have been given their due. Now we focus on increasing the passing game targets. And this draft is chock full of intriguing tight ends. Again, not a need at first blush. But then again, who is your move TE? We see so many offenses thrive with a speedy, athletic tight end who is a mismatch for both LBs and DBs. And the Vikings don't have one. They have David Morgan, who I like a lot as an inline blocker TE who can catch more than people think but is by no means a seam threat. And we have more of a hybrid guy like Rudolph who is a better receiver than Morgan but certainly missing the athleticism to threaten the post. At 6-6 236 Hodges ran a very good 4.57 at the combine and possesses oustanding quickness and explosion based on his other combine metrics (39-inch vertical at 6-6?? 134-inch broad jump; 12.08 secs in the 60 shuttle). He would be your move TE and not much of a blocker day 1. But think of the mismatches with his size and athleticism. Two TE set in the red zone. Who covers him? Line him up wide or in the slot. A much needed vertical component added at the TE position in the 4th round.

Round 5, pick 160: Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M
More artillery for Bradford in the passing game, this time in a 6-3 receiver who runs 4.52 (great time for that height) and is known as a deep threat who is very good in the air, excellent tracking the ball and capable of hitting another gear with the ball in the air. Mostly think the value in round 5 is outstanding -- and almost all projection sites had him in late 4 to early 5. With Hodges and Reynolds, I like the added vertical component that Zimmer has said the team is looking for.

Round 6, pick 199: Jon Toth, C, Kentucky
Late-round developmental center to add into the mix for 2018. Who knows? Maybe could contribute in 2017 at guard after the Orgy of Injuries 2017 strikes the team.

Round 7, pick 232: Jalen Reeves-Maybin, OLB, Tennessee
Late-round flier on a long-armed athlete who would need to add some weight to contribute on offense, not to mention stay healthy. Could make a special team contributor early. Injury-risk player with big upside to add to a shallow LB pool.

So what is this draft missing?

The one thing I am disappointed with here is missing out on Tanoh Kpassagnon, who I tried to find a place for in round 3 (I don't think a guy with those measurables goes round 4 or later). I think it would have been a coup to pair him with Danielle Hunter long term. But I valued the need at RB a bit more and I see more immediate impact in the next two seasons at safety and RB.

The other thing it's missing is a true LB prospect to serve as the lead contender for Greenway's spot. But my philosophy on the draft is you never fill all your roster holes and you can wreck drafts trying to do that instead of finding talent. If you are good enough in other areas, your roster gaps are far less noticeable. Greenway was a below average player last year but when the defense was flying around and dominating on the DL and in the secondary, who really noticed? That is why I aimed to upgrade DL and secondary over forcing a need pick at OLB. Just not many OLBs I like a ton after round 2.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.