Hey, everyone! I almost forgot that today was mock draft day, but here I am with my fourth mock draft centered around the Minnesota Vikings and what they might end up with in this week’s NFL Draft. I’m going to try to bang out one more of these before the draft, but I’m not totally sure if I can promise that. . .I’m going to have movers bringing things into my house both Wednesday and Thursday, so if I do manage to get one pushed out, it will probably be late Wednesday. But, we’ll see what happens.
Once again, this mock will be presented to you via the On The Clock mock draft simulator from the folks at FanSpeak, and this week I’m bringing the ability to trade back. For this draft, I will be using the big board created by none other than our own Arif Hasan! Yes, his consensus big board is now an option on the On The Clock site, and is current as of four days ago, so let’s roll with that, shall we?
And awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay we go!
Round 1 - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Weird, this is the one pick that never changes. And the Vikings still get it right every time.
As I get ready to make my selection, I get a couple of trade proposals coming in which could give me an opportunity to trade out of Round 2 entirely.
However, I’ve been watching the board and there’s a player that I really want to make sure I get. . .so, as intriguing as these deals are, I’m going to have to shoot both teams down.
Here’s what the current board looks like:
Lots of corners on the board at the moment, and Melifonwu would be a nice get. . .but, there’s only one guy in the mix that helps us at our greatest position of need.
Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Yep, it’s Feeney time again. Like we said when we took him in the SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft, the drop-off from Feeney to the next level of interior offensive linemen is pretty significant. Sure, if you could guarantee me that Moton and/or Elflein would fall to the third round, then I might make one of the trades and go that route, but since I don’t have that guarantee, I’d rather make sure this team gets a Day 1 starter rather than missing out on him.
Moton did end up going just after our selection at #51 overall, so I think grabbing Feeney was still the right move. So, as we move into the third round, here’s what the board looks like:
So, Elflein is there again at #79. Do I double up on offensive linemen again and not worry about it for the rest of the draft?
Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
Four drafts, four selections of Pat Elflein for yours truly. I don’t need to go on about him again, so I won’t. But we have solved the Vikings’ offensive line problems for this season, I think.
So, as we get to #86, here’s how the board has changed.
I’m now mildly annoyed, as now Hunt and Perine are both off the board. They’re two of my favorites at the running back spot. . .much more so than Foreman. . .so that hoses what I wanted to do at this spot. Nobody’s offering to trade or anything, so this is where I’m at. I don’t want to take another offensive lineman at this point, so let’s go to the defensive line well.
Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama
As I talked about in the bit I did earlier today on potential defensive line targets, Tomlinson could have an immediate impact as a run stuffer with his power inside. He’s going to need some refinement if he wants to contribute as a pass rusher, but if anyone can get that out of him, I’m guessing it’s Andre Patterson. This is pick #86 and he’s #87 on the Big Board, so this appears to be just about right.
As the round starts, I get two more trade proposals coming in:
You’ll note that these are for two separate fourth round picks. . .the Colts are asking about the pick we got from the Miami Dolphins, while the Lions are asking about our original fourth. Since a pick next year doesn’t mean anything to me because I’m writing an article now, damn it, I go ahead and accept the Lions’ offer. This means we’ll now be selecting back-to-back picks when it gets to us in this round.
So, as we get ready to select at #127 and #128 overall, here’s what the current board looks like:
Honestly, I have no idea who at the FanSpeak headquarters Ethan Pocic has pissed off, but he’s always going about two rounds later than he should in these drafts. As much as I’d like to take him again, I don’t think I’m going to do that here, as we still have other needs to look at. We’ll start by filling a spot at wide receiver.
Ardarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
Back-to-back Crimson Tide players for us in this scenario, as Stewart has all the makings of a high-quality receiver, and getting him at this spot in the draft is crazy. The two “dead tree media” draft guides I have here in front of me compare him favorably to Anquan Boldin, and hey, we could definitely do worse here. He does have a bit of a case of the dropsies, but Stewart is the sort of guy you take a chance on in this spot despite those sorts of issues.
I’m not terribly intrigued by a lot of the other names on the board at this point, so let’s grab a guy that is incredibly raw but, in the right hands, could be a difference-maker.
Tanoh Kpassagnon, Edge, Villanova
Kpassagnon is a freak athlete, checking in at 6’7”, 280 pounds and running a 40-yard dash in about 4.9 seconds. He played against a lower level of competition at Villanova, but with physical traits like his, the foundation is there for a big-time player on the edge. I know the Vikings don’t exactly have issues at defensive end as things stand right now, but that just means Kpassagnon would have time to develop a bit in the hopes of making a big impact in 2018.
No trade offers come in as we prepare for Round 5, so here’s what we’re looking at for pick #160 overall.
Looks like it’s time to fill the running back need, and we’ll do it with a guy that has too much talent to be available here, in my opinion.
Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
Yes, I know. . .Wisconsin running backs. Clement has had some injury issues during his college career, but finally got past that to have a solid season for the Badgers. He’s someone that would fit nicely into a rotation with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon, though, and allow the Vikings’ offense to do a lot of different things. So, we’ll grab him here.
We now have two selections in this round, thanks to the trade with Detroit earlier. No more trade proposals come in, so this is what we’re looking at as we get to selection #199 overall:
The board is really not coming together at this point. I know I’m the one person that thinks the Vikings need to get themselves an insurance policy at quarterback. . .or at least some competition for Taylor Heinicke. . .so I’m going to go with that here.
Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech
Regardless of who wins the third quarterback job, they’re going to have some developing to do. With Evans, he has some pretty significant size and athletic ability to build on, so I think he’d come in and take Heinicke’s spot as the #3 quarterback for the future.
The board hasn’t changed that much as we come back to pick #205 overall, so let’s address our linebacking corps.
Marquel Lee, LB, Wake Forest
Lee is definitely more of a middle linebacker than an outside guy, and his ceiling is likely as a two-down middle backer that has issues in coverage. The Vikings already have someone like that in Kentrell Brothers, and at least initially I would expect Lee to make the same sort of special teams contribution that Brothers has early in his career.
Our last pick comes at #232 overall, and here’s what we’re looking at:
Since we haven’t addressed it, let’s move on to the secondary for our final pick.
Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson
Johnson is another player that’s likely going to have to make a mark on special teams before he really starts contributing on defense. He’s not much in run support as things stand right now, but he’s got some pretty solid coverage skills already and could potentially be a pretty good “center field” type of player at the safety spot.
So, to review, here is the final Minnesota Vikings’ 2017 draft class from my fourth mock draft.
Round 2, #48 overall - Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Round 3, #79 overall - Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
Round 3, #86 overall - Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama
Round 4, #127 overall - Ardarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
Round 4, #128 overall - Tanoh Kpassagnon, Edge, Villanova
Round 5, #160 overall - Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
Round 6, #199 overall - Jerod Davis, QB, Virginia Tech
Round 6, #205 overall - Marquel Lee, LB, Wake Forest
Round 7, #232 overall - Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson
As always, if you’d like to see how this entire draft played out, the link where you can do so is right here.
Once again, I will attempt to get another one of these put together before draft night, but if I can’t I hope that you’ve enjoyed the ones that I’ve done to this point.