It’s Mock Draft Sunday, folks. . .well, at least for me, it is. Much like I did last week, I’m going to sit down and, using the fabulous “On the Clock” Draft Simulator from the folks at FanSpeak, see what sort of draft class I can hammer out for the Minnesota Vikings.
After using Matt Miller’s Big Board for everything in the previous edition, I’m going to switch things up a little bit and use the Big Board provided by the folks from Walter Football. They have a slightly different take on things a lot of times, and so it will be interesting to see how that alters things throughout the course of this mock.
With that, let’s get underway and see what sort of damage we can do.
Round 1 - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Easily the best quarterback available to the Vikings this year. Good thing they acquired him beforehand.
When it came time for me to make my selection in the second round, I had two trade proposals that would net me a whole lot of picks for the 48th overall selection.
In accepting the package of picks from the Rams, I would have three third round selections, four fourths, and two fifths, while the deal with the Jaguars would give me three picks in the third and fourth rounds and two picks in both the fifth and sixth rounds. Both would give Virtual Rick Spielman 11 picks to work with. Just for fun. . .and because this is, you know, not real. . .I take the deal with the Rams and get loaded up for the middle rounds.
Going into Round 3, we now have the following picks:
- Round 3, Pick 5
- Round 3, Pick 15
- Round 3, Pick 22
- Round 4, Pick 5
- Round 4, Pick 13
- Round 4, Pick 21
- Round 4, Pick 34
- Round 5, Pick 5
- Round 5, Pick 16
- Round 6, Pick 15
- Round 7, Pick 14
So, here we go.
When we finally get a chance to pick in the third round, here’s what the board looks like for us.
Since there’s no way that he should be available at this point, I’m going to go ahead and pounce on the best player available here.
Budda Baker, S, Washington
You can never have too many defensive backs in today’s NFL, and the fact that Baker is available here makes him a steal for this football team. He’s the perfect “center field” type of safety that would allow Mike Zimmer and company to be even more flexible with how they use Harrison Smith. He also played some slot corner in college, and if Mackensie Alexander continues to struggle he could be an option there, too. This pick really was a case of talent trumping need, as while the Vikings could use a safety, it isn’t necessarily a pressing issue.
A couple of trade proposals float in for our next selection, but I’m not sure how many more trades I’m interested in making, and neither of the deals were particularly intriguing anyway. Here’s the new board at this point.
Well, would you look at that? The top player on the board matches a position of significant need for the Vikings.
Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
Siragusa. . .who is not, in fact, related to Tony Siragusa. . .is a mauler. If the Vikings want to improve their running game, Siragusa is the sort of player that they could plug in between Joe Berger and Mike Remmers at the right guard slot and give themselves a serious upgrade. He isn’t terribly mobile and might have some pass protection issues at first, but everything is there for him to be a solid long-term answer at guard.
The board hasn’t changed that much as we roll into the third of our picks in this round, and it looks like it’s time to address the wide receiver position with another player that probably shouldn’t be on the board at #86 overall.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
Kupp is a player that could be huge for the Vikings if they continue to rely on the short passing game. He’s not a burner or anything like that, but he’s a very good route runner and someone that could be as much of a threat from the slot as he is from the outside. He’s capable of making the big play, as his 37 receptions of 40 yards or more can attest, and could even contribute as a return specialist.
On to the next round, where we now have four selections.
As we get to our selection with the fifth pick in the fourth round, here’s an update on what the board looks like.
Hey, it’s our old friend from the last mock, and we still need help along the offensive line, so let’s call his name again.
Ethan Pocic, G, Louisiana State
We went over Pocic’s attributes in the last mock. He’s someone that could see time at all three interior line positions, and could be a solid replacement for Joe Berger if this does turn out to be his last season.
The board hasn’t changed a whole lot over the course of the next eight picks, so let’s grab another player who. . .once again. . .probably shouldn’t be available at this point.
Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
Just like a defense like Minnesota’s can never have too many defensive backs, they can also never have too many pass rushers. Lawson is the sort of guy that you take a shot on at this point in the draft if he’s available. He has all the physical traits to be outstanding, but missed significant time in college with a torn ACL and a hip injury. If he can stay healthy, he could be a long-term part of the rotation with Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter at defensive end for the Vikings.
Eight picks later, we’re back on the clock again. Here’s what the new board looks like.
Why on earth is Pat Elflein still on the board?
Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
Pat Elflein is no longer on the board. Seriously, I don’t know why he’d last this long. Maybe this big board is a little too different. Still, we’ll take him.
With our last fourth-round selection, we another player that seems to have fallen way too far and fills a need for the Vikings.
Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
Ha, ha. . .Butt. Seriously, though, Butt is the sort of player that could be a pretty solid complement to Kyle Rudolph at the tight end spot in the Vikings’ offense. At 6’5” and 245 pounds, he could present some matchup problems for opposing defenses. He’s coming off of a torn ACL he suffered in the Wolverines’ bowl game and could start camp on the PUP, depending on his progress, but would likely contribute at some point in 2017 and in the future.
On to the next round, where we only have two selections.
Here’s what the board looks like as we roll into the fifth round.
According to FanSpeak, the Vikings’ needs that I haven’t addressed at this point are, in order: Running Back, Defensive Line, Offensive Tackle, Linebacker, and Quarterback. As you can see, there aren’t a lot of players on the board that presently match up with that. So, I’m going to go with a player that’s just off that list at this point that Walter Football has ranked at #173 overall.
Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
Sing it along with me, folks. . .there’s no way that Gallman should still be on the board at the top of the fifth round. But he’s here, so we’re going to take him. Gallman is a solid all-around back that should be able to contribute as part of the team’s new running back rotation right away.
We’re going to go ahead and fill the quarterback need here as well.
Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
This is actually just about the right spot for Dobbs, from everything I’ve seen. If the Vikings want a developmental type of quarterback, Dobbs is exactly the player they should be looking for, in my opinion. He’d almost certainly unseat Taylor Heinicke for the #3 spot, and could potentially be a longer-term option depending on how things work out with the team’s current signal callers.
On to the next round!
This is the updated board as we get to our selection in the sixth round of action. Only one pick for us in this round, so we’re slowing down as we get to the end.
Let’s fill the need at linebacker with this selection.
Matt Milano, LB, Boston College
Milano, who actually came into college as a safety, might have a future in the NFL as a hybrid type of player. He’s also the sort of guy that could be a core special teamer for the Vikings, as he was solid in that role for Boston College. When you get to this point in the draft, the ability to contribute on special teams right away is important, and Milano would have a very good chance of sticking with the team in that capacity.
One more selection to go, folks!
As we get to our final selection, here’s our final look at the Big Board.
We still need an offensive tackle, according to the needs chart. So, let’s go ahead and do that here.
Dan Skipper, OT, Arkansas
Skipper is huge. I mean, freaking huge. He’s 6’9” (or 6’10”, depending on your source). His height will obviously give him issues when it comes to getting low enough to create an initial push, but someone with size like this is a pretty intriguing prospect, particularly this late in the process. In time, he could end up as a solid right tackle at the NFL level.
With that, here is the entire 11-player list for my second fake Minnesota Vikings draft class of 2017.
- Round 3, Pick 5 (#69 overall. . .nice): Budda Baker, S, Washington
- Round 3, Pick 15 (#79): Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
- Round 3, Pick 22 (#86): Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
- Round 4, Pick 5 (#112): Ethan Pocic, OL, Louisiana State
- Round 4, Pick 13 (#120): Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
- Round 4, Pick 21 (#128): Pat Elflein, OL, Ohio State
- Round 4, Pick 34 (#141): Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
- Round 5, Pick 5 (#149): Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
- Round 5, Pick 16 (#160): Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
- Round 6, Pick 15 (#199): Matt Milano, LB, Boston College
- Round 7, Pick 14 (#232): Dan Skipper, OT, Arkansas
You can see how the entire draft played out at this link right here.
That’s my mock for this week, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll be back next Sunday with another one. That’s right, not even taking off for Easter this time around.