Hi kids! Welcome to my third mock draft, and welcome to the weekend being so close, you can taste it. Let's keep in mind my general mock draft ground rules:
1. Sequels are rarely better than the original. Part 3 usually sucks worse than the first two...except when you have a huge plot twist. Or a big trade AHEM AHEM AHEM.
2. I am not an expert. Well, at least not with mock drafts. You want to talk to someone about being a functioning alcoholic and a general jackass, though, look me up.
3. This will be nowhere near the actual draft the Vikings have at the end of the month, so getting extra happy or super mad is just kinda dumb. Like every mock draft is kinda dumb. But not as dumb as writing 1,800 words about a mock draft. I'm pretty much questioning every decision I've ever made in my life that's gotten me to this point.
My standard rules of the road for making trades hasn't changed: I'm not going to trade up in the first round, but I will try to trade up in the second if an impact player is there that I really want. If I do that, I'll try to make another trade and move down later to re-amass the lost capital in moving up. I really don't want to move down in the middle rounds, unless I get blown away with an offer AHEM AHEM AHEM. (Folks, I'm trying to do some obvious foreshadowing here if you're not picking up what I'm throwing down yet).
I still feel that interior offensive line is my primary need, followed by defensive line, running back, and wide receiver. If there's a game changing player somewhere I'm not going to follow those needs in order, but I do plan to address these needs early. From there, I'll kind of see how the board falls and go from there.
For this mock draft, I'm using the Fanspeak mock draft simulator using the CBS Sports player rankings, and because my nickname is The Million Dollar Man*, I peeled off a Lincoln and Three Washingtons and am using the deluxe upgrade premium edition, available only to bourgeois like myself, and not the lowly proletariat.**
*The only Ted with the nickname The Million Dollar Man was Ted DiBiase
**I have no idea what a proletariat is. Or a bourgeois, for that matter. I had to look up the spelling for both.
So, let's do this, then. Here's a quick reminder of the picks the Vikings have in the draft:
You're over here all mad about the Sam Bradford trade and not having a first round pick because of it, and all I can think is if the Vikings didn't pull off that trade the Vikings QB depth chart looks like the Chicago Bears, and we're talking about DeShaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky. And frankly, I wouldn't wish that on my own worst enemy. Except the Green Bay Packers, because man will it be awesome when they don't have a Hall of Fame quarterback consistently underachieving in the playoffs for once.
So the first round goes without a whole lot of surprises, and I really don't see a player sitting at the top of round two I feel I really need to go after. So I stand pat, and I'm thinking offensive line. When I go on the clock, I receive no trade offers, and I have no desire to trade down. This is my big board:
Well...this is interesting. There are literally half a dozen guys I like here, but when I look at how mediocre the Vikings offense was last year, there's one guy sitting there that just pops out at me. AND NO HIM BEING FROM OHIO STATE DOESN'T MATTER WELL OKAY MAYBE A TINY BIT BUT STILL WOOOOOOOOOOO
Selection: Curtis Samuel, WR/RB, Ohio State
Rationale: Yes, the Vikings need offensive linemen. But there are linemen I can get in the third round, and a playmaker like Samuel will be long gone. He is, arguably, the best all around offensive player in this draft, and he played the role of Percy Harvin at Ohio State better than Harvin did at Florida. Samuel is a guy you can use as either a running back or a wide receiver and he gives the Vikings offense an immediate boost.
I had no offers as the third round opened, and I don't feel a need to trade up. I have two picks in this round, so I just waited to see how things played out. When I went on the clock, this was the big board:
There's really only one option, I think. I need offensive linemen, and the top rated interior lineman is right there, begging me to pick him.
Selection: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State.
Rationale: This is a no brainer, and for those of you that are thinking my OSU homerism is blinding me...GUILTY AS CHARGED WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, but not really. Seriously, I think both of these picks filled legitimate needs with players that can immediately help the Vikings. Elflein is a guy that can compete for center, and allow Joe Berger to either kick out to right guard if Elflein can hold his own. If not Elflein is solid depth for this season with an eye on starting next year.
Now here's where things get interesting. As it came around to my second pick in the third round, I was offered two trades. The first one was from the Cardinals:
Yeah, that's not bad. Three fourth round picks? Three fifth round picks? I think I'm gonna take OH HEY HAI INDY HOW ARE YOU DOING WHAT'S THAT YOU WANT TO OFFER ME WHAT:
So you're telling me I get the top offensive lineman in the third round, and then can pick up three additional 4th round picks by giving up this pick? Yeah, deal. So I accept, and now have the following picks left after the Colts trade:
That's right kids...five...FIVE fourth round picks AH AH AHHHHHHH (That's my 'The Count' impression from Sesame Street, by the way). So yeah, I'm gonna load up and fill damn near every need this team has, at least that's my plan.
I really thought about packaging some of these picks to move up, but there's really no one worth doing that for, so I'm going to hold tight. This is what I saw for picks 13 and 14 in the fourth round:
I've got back to back picks, which is kinda cool. When I look at the board, there are two players I'm kind of fired up about, and with thse picks I think I've pretty much fixed what ails the offense:
Selection: Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
Selection: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Rationale: Four picks, four offensive players. I'm not apologizing, because these four guys have fixed the offensive line depth, given me a playmaker along the lines of Percy Harvin without the Harvin issues, and now I have a running back that fits Pat Shurmur's offense almost perfectly. I really like Perine, a lot, and would love to see the Vikes draft him in real life. And I still have three picks left in this round.
As I got to pick 21, this is what I saw:
I should really go defense here, I think, and Justin Evans looks pretty enticing here. But I need to grab a lineman here, so that's the direction I go:
Selection: Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina.
Rationale: Jones gives me a DT that can come in for depth, and if nothing else, buys me time for this season so I can wait and see what happens with Shariff Floyd and Tom Johnson.
I still have two picks left in the fourth round. This is the big board with the 30th pick:
I almost pulled the trigger on Carroll Phillips with my third pick in this round, but I thought I really needed a defensive tackle first. So when Phillips was still on the board, this was an easy pick for me.
Selection: Carroll Phillips, EDGE, Illinois
Rationale: Phillips gives me some more depth on the defensive line, but with a pass rush that can get stopped off the line, I'm thinking that he might be able to move to outside linebacker. He's a player that I think I have some options with, and can definitely use him for special teams.
As I get to the 37th pick in the 4th round (which is the last pick before the fifth round begins, I get a trade offer from Jacksonville:
So I move down four spots and get a fifth round pick for this year AND next year? CHYAHHHHHHH. Done. So now I have two picks in the fifth round, the fourth and the 16th.
So now with two picks in the fifth, this is the big board for my first go around here:
I'm pretty happy so far, and there's another defensive lineman sitting there I think fits well with the Vikings:
Selection: Devonte Fields, EDGE, Louisville
Rationale: I like the depth and potential long term rotation potential Fields gives the defense here, as he has a lot of talent, good enough to play linebacker in the NFL. His character concerns are troubling, but this is a type of guy Spielman and Zimmer like--naturally athletic and talented that needs to be coached. Think a poor man's Danielle Hunter, with baggage.
Here's what I saw with my second pick:
Selection: Conor McDermott, T, UCLA.
Rationale: It's no secret I'd like to see depth behind Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers as something other than Clemmings. McDermott is a UCLA product, the Vikings like UCLA players, bada boom bada bing.
I'm quite sure I've just drafted the players that will bring the Vikings a Super Bowl. I'm just missing one...more...piece. Here's my sixth round big board:
If I can get a kicker that won't shank a 27 yard field goal wide left in the playoffs...WE GONNA GO ALL THE WAY YOU GUYS:
Selection: Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State
Rationale: Gonzalez is simply the most prolific kicker in college football history, has a powerful leg, and will come in and compete with Kobra Kai Forbath for the kicking job.
Eenie Meenie Miney MoBo, catch a player by the toebo...here's my big board:
At this point, I want to take players from P5 schools that played against the best competition.
Selection: Tashawn Bower, EDGE, LSU
Rationale: He's the best player available from a big school. And seriously, don't gripe it's another defensive end, and I should've taken player X instead, because you've never seen either guy play, and it's a 7th round pick. In a mock draft. Which is completely made up. Stop it. STAHP it.
So to recap. Ted 3.0:
Strengths: I really like how the offensive line was improved, and I'm ecstatic with Perine and Samuel. I think they would add a huge boost to the offense, and I've got long term answers at offensive line and running back. With Samuel, I've got a guy that I can play at running back, wide receiver, special teams returner, and he adds a really exciting dimension to the entire offensive scheme. Also, OSU guys back to back. Bang.
Weaknesses: There are no weaknesses. This is literally the best draft ever, real or otherwise.
If you're interested to see how the whole draft played out, bang it here.
Enjoy your weekend!