Okay, we're up to the 5th iteration of this...ridiculous...thing...and in case this is your first reading of one of my mocks, the ground rules:
1) I'm a dope. This mock will be nothing close to the Vikings real draft. How do I know this? Because mock drafts are 99.99% inaccurate. All of them, everywhere, all the time. If I get one pick right, I'm gonna go on the Nostradamus circuit.
2) If you get to the point where you think 'man this guy is pretty sharp about drafting and stuff' go back and read the first sentence in rule 1. Then talk to any member of my family, they'll set you straight.
3) I'm doing this for the fifth time, and it's getting stale. I'm going to go off the rails probably. I might accept every trade offered and end up with like 20 picks. Or I might trade as many picks as I have to to get into the top 10 and call it a night. Or I might make some trades and then draft based off of some serious analysis my buddy Dave did based on players the Vikings have had for a visit and how it correlates to draft tendencies.
I dunno yet. I'm gonna let the tides drift me to my destiny.
Finally, as always, I am using the Fanspeak mock draft site. And because I'm a powerful and influential member of the media,* I broke out the Daily Norseman expense account and paid for the deluxe version where I can make trades and stuff.** Just don't tell Fearless Leader; he gets kind of snippy over that stupid ass expense account. HE can go to strip clubs, and Eric can go to Comicon*** on the expense account, but Ted wants to spend a little money for actual football stuff? OH HEY TED LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR SPENDING HABITS FROM THE WORK ACCOUNT.
*I am neither powerful or influential. Or a member of the media.
**Daily Norseman doesn't have a company expense account. But I did pay for the deluxe Fanspeak draft site.
***Eric wouldn't be caught dead at a ComiCon, nor Chris at a strip club. It would be Arif at both. If there's a ComiCon strip joint, Arif either has a lifetime membership or owns the place.
So yeah, whatever. Drinks on me, using the company credit card. HA! Anyway, on with the draft.
As a reminder, here are the draft picks we have to play with:
If the Vikings don't make the Bradford trade, we're using round one on a quarterback that probably has no business being drafted in round one.Or we're talking ourselves into Case Keenum as a decent to good caretaker of the position until Teddy Bridgewater's knee is fully rehabbed.
I'm glad that's not what we're dealing with. So please, stop talking about how bad the Bradford trade was, because it wasn't.
So...I decided I'm going to make some trades. I want to improve my position in the third and fourth round if I can, especially the fourth because of all the third round compensatory picks. I actually tried to get back into the first round, but that was just too cost prohibitive. And depending on what happens when I pick and who's left here in the second, I am thinking about trying to get an additional second round pick. I didn't have any trade offers at the beginning of the round or when I came on the clock, so I stayed at 16.
Here's my big board:
Should I take Feeney? Yeah, probably. But I just did a post a couple days ago about the one player I really want. So yeah, gonna go with my heart and not my head.
Selection: Curtis Samuel, WR/RB, Ohio State
Rationale: I've explained why in several places. TL; DR other pieces: he's awesome, he's versatile, and he's one of my favorite playmakers from my favorite college team. Man I would be stoked if the Vikes drafted him. Also, in this draft, Joe Mixon is off the board, taken by Carolina eight picks earlier. So Samuel is the best RB remaining on the board as well.
Feeney is still on the board, and I want him. I know I'll have to give up two pick for one, but that's all I want it to cost me. Looking at the trade value chart, Miami is my best bet, and he lasts until the Dolphins are on the clock with the 22nd pick in this round. I picked up the phone and gave them a call. I offered:
They accepted. In the trade value chart world, there was only a five point differential (360 points for Miami's pick, 355 for both my third round picks), so it was a good trade from that perspective. No, I don't have a third round pick now, but I have another second round pick, and I have the opportunity to get a guy that can be a day one starter as opposed to two 'maybe someday starter' guys. Here's my big board with my second pick in this round:
Selection: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Rationale: So I get an offensive playmaker and the top interior lineman? I think I should close up shop and declare victory right now. At this point, I'm honestly happier I have Samuel and Feeney than Feeney and two middle round picks in the third.
Hey, you guys? I really want a third round pick back. But I don't want to lose both fourth round picks. I really like what I've done, but there has to be a way to come out of this with at least one pick in the third and fourth round when all the dust settles. Lemme call Cleveland. They have the first pick in both the third and fourth round, and see what it would take to get them. This is what did it:
And they accepted. So in addition to two second round picks, I now have the top picks in round three AND four, albeit only one pick in each of those rounds as opposed to two. As to the future third and fourth? It doesn't really bother me all that much. I'd rather have the top pick in the next two rounds than two middle to bottom of the round picks, especially when you consider all the compensatory picks that will happen at the end of the third round. If this were to go down in real life, the future picks could very well be spread out over two years, like a 2018 third and 2019 fourth, or vice versa. So honestly, I don't think it's a huge hit on any one particular draft class. And now I go from 5 of the first 128 picks to four of the first 108. That's quality over quantity, I only lose one net pick over it in this class, and I substantially improve my position in both the third and fourth round. And it doesn't cost me a first or second round pick in future classes. Anyway, that's my thinking. Here's my big board:
The top two players are guys that play a position the Vikings need. One is an Ohio State guy, one is a guy from That Team Up North. This is easy, man. No brainer.
Selection: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
Rationale: Wormley is the second or third best defensive tackle in this draft, depending on who you believe and where you choose your rankings list. With Shariff Floyd's injury really putting his future in doubt, Wormley is the obvious choice here. Three picks, three starters depending on Floyd's injury. Yeah, I'll take it.
With the Browns trade, I now have the top pick in the fourth round, like we mentioned earlier. And as the big board is laid out in front of me, I can't believe what I see:
This is an easy pick, too. I thought about WR for a second, but this is too good a player to pass up.
Selection: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
Rationale: Next to Feeney, Elflein is the best interior lineman available in this year's draft class. I think as we get closer to the draft, Elflein's stock (and Feeney's, for that matter) will start to rise, as there aren't a lot of elite offensive linemen in this class. I'll be stunned if Elflein is still around in the fourth, or Feeney in the second, to be honest. But Elflein is available here, so yeah, to not take him would be dumb.
I gotta say, I've addressed every need the Vikings have with a big time player. Now I'm looking for a combination of need and best available in these later rounds. I feel my two remaining needs are safety and linebacker, but an argument could be made that a tight end behind Kyle Rudolph is a position that needs to be addressed as well. Here's my big board:
Selection: Tedric Thompson, S, Colorado
Rationale: And now I get a safety to compete with Andrew Sendejo and Jayron Kearse. Man, I am in the running for fake GM of the year in my opinion.
There's not a payer that really jumps out at me here as I roll into the sixth round, so I'm gonna go off menu here with a position no one thinks the Vikings need. Here's the big board:
Selection: Chad Kelly, QB, Ol' Miss
Rationale: Either Teddy or Sam is going to get traded, assuming Teddy is given a clean bill of health at some point in 2017. That leaves either Sam or Teddy, Case Keenum (who is on a one year deal), and Taylor Heinicke (who is one year removed from putting his foot through a glass door). Yeah, let's see what a developmental kid can do.
Just looking for someone that matches top need with best available at this point, and a guy I can have come in and compete on special teams right away. Big board:
Selection: Blair Brown, LB, Ohio University
Rationale: Only position of need I haven't really addressed yet.
So, to recap. Here is the Ted Mock 5.0 Draft Class:
Which came about with these two trades:
Strengths: I made some bold moves, just like Rick Spielman does on draft weekend, to get four guys I think I can plug in as significant contributors or starters immediately, all at positions the Vikings needed to address. Curtis Samuel gives me my new multi-threat Percy Harvin, while Dan Feeney and Pat Elflein shore up the interior of the offensive line. I don't think both of them will start, but one of them will and the other will be a top sub. On defense, Chris Wormley gives me a day one replacement for Shariff Floyd, assuming he can't play anymore. If Floyd can go, I probably have the best and deepest defensive line in the NFL, or close to it.
Weaknesses: It cost a fair amount to make those bold moves, but at the end of the day I was only down one net pick in this class, going from eight picks to seven. It was steep, but with all the compensatory picks in the third round, to me fourth round picks are really devalued the later in the round you go, so I was okay sacrificing two later fourth rounders to help me get the first pick overall in that round. And I did end up with an extra second rounder and the first overall pick in the third round, too. Still, it cost me future third and fourth round pick to do it. If you're one that covets draft picks you probably think they were stupid trades, especially if you're not on board with Wormley. As to the picks themselves, I didn't get a linebacker early enough, and I didn't get a tight end at all. Still, when you contrast that to who I did get, I'll take it.
If you want to see how the entire draft played out with all 32 teams, bang it here.