This is the last offensive position that we have to look at as far as potential draft targets are concerned, folks. With the Minnesota Vikings having tabbed two offensive tackles in free agency this season, it might look at first glance that this isn’t a position of huge need for them. However, as we saw last season, depth is important at offensive tackle as well, and last year the Vikings had none. In addition, Rick Spielman has said that Mike Remmers could eventually find himself inside at guard, and if the team got someone that could hold up at right tackle we might see that sooner rather than later.
So, let’s take a look at a few potential offensive tackles for the purple. Without them having a first round selection, I would expect them to not have a chance to draft Forrest Lamp of Western Kentucky, Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin, or Garrett Bolles of Utah. I also don’t think Cam Robinson of Alabama is going to be an option, either, as I expect him to be off the board before the 48th overall selection. With that, let’s press forward.
Taylor Moton, Western Michigan - Moton’s best fit at the present time appears to be right tackle, though there’s a chance he’s going to have to move inside to the guard position. Either way, he’d be a solid fit for the Vikings if he’s available at #48. I may have him slotted too low and he could easily find his way into the bottom of the first round.
Antonio Garcia, Troy - Of all the offensive tackles in this class, Garcia has as good a chance as any of them to stick as a left tackle rather than being relegated to the right side. He’s going to be a bit of a project, but if the Vikings can give him an opportunity to develop, he has all of the physical tools to be a potential long-term answer to protect either Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater’s blind side.
Roderick Johnson, Florida State - This might be a little high for Johnson, but if the right team gets their hands on him, he could be a very good left tackle. He held down the left tackle spot for the Seminoles for two-plus seasons, and already has plenty of experience in a pro-style offense.
Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh - While Bisnowaty held down the left tackle spot for the Panthers, he’s probably better suited as a right tackle in the NFL, or perhaps even as a guard. He’s had some injury issues, having missed at least one game in three of his four collegiate seasons due to injury, but that’s not a glaring thing or anything. Some Viking fans might be scared off by the fact that he went to the same college as T.J. Clemmings, which is ridiculous. Bisnowaty is a solid player and would be a nice get in the third.
Erik Magnuson, Michigan - Another player that’s more of a fit at either the right side or the guard spot, Magnuson was an all-B1G performer for Jim Harbaugh’s team last season. He also has some starts at guard under his belt as well. He might have a higher “floor” than some of the other tackle prospects, but his “ceiling” might not be quite as high. Still, he could at least provide depth for the Vikings if he found his way to Minnesota.
Julie’n Davenport, Bucknell - Davenport was a star at the FCS level, but is going to need some seasoning to get adjusted to the NFL game before he’s a solid contributor. This might be a little high for Davenport, but he has the physical talent to be intriguing to teams at the end of the third.
Chad Wheeler, Southern Cal - Wheeler is more of a developmental prospect at this point, and he has the measurables to stick at tackle at the NFL level. Still, he battled injury issues in college, and has some off-field red flags that could keep teams away.
Will Holden, Vanderbilt - Another prospect that appears to be destined for the right side, Holden has plenty of athleticism and can do a solid job once he gets to the second level. However, more often than not he plays too high, which is a coachable issue.
Dan Skipper, Arkansas - A guy that I grabbed in one of my mocks, Skipper is a massive offensive tackle. He’s either 6’9” or 6’10”, depending on who you ask. He’s got surprising movement skills for a guy his size, but not enough for him to be anything but a right tackle at the NFL level. Still, if someone can harness his physical skills, there’s plenty there to work with.
Later Rounds (Rounds 5-7)
Conor McDermott, UCLA - McDermott started at UCLA as a tight end, but bulked up and made the transition to tackle. However, that bulk may have cost him a little bit of his movement. If he wound up with Minnesota, he could hang out with his brother Kevin, who is the team’s long snapper.
Javarius Leamon, South Carolina State - Another FCS-level prospect, Leamon will come to the NFL as an incredibly raw player with some significant upside. He likely wouldn’t be ready to contribute in 2017, but a year of NFL coaching could turn him into a solid contributor.
Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M - Gennesy is a work-in-progress, though he did a fine job for the Aggies after being asked to step in at left tackle. He’s one of the more athletic linemen in this draft, but will likely require some time to get it to all come together. He’s another candidate to potentially kick inside to a guard spot as well.
Those are just some. . .and, as always, I emphasize some. . .of the offensive tackle prospects available in this year’s NFL Draft that could intrigue the Minnesota Vikings. We’ll start looking around at the defensive side of the ball in our next reports.