Yes, I understand that there are still three weeks left in the 2018 NFL regular season, but with this story coming out on ESPN yesterday, it does give us something different to talk about, so I’m bringing it to everyone’s attention. (There’s another draft story coming later on, too.)
Behind the great E$PN paywall yesterday, draft expert Todd McShay released his first mock draft, even though we’re still about four and a half months away from the NFL Draft and a couple of months away from the Scouting Combine.
McShay has the Minnesota Vikings selecting at #22, and his pick for the purple shows that he really has a solid understanding of how our favorite team operates. How so?
Because he ignored the Vikings gigantic, glaring, overwhelming need on the offensive line to draft a defensive player, tabbing the Vikings to select Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown with their selection. You know. . .like the Vikings have done for several years now.
Here’s McShay’s justification for the selection:
Getting a prospect like this at No. 22 would be robbery. Brown is the type of pass-rushing tackle that Mike Zimmer loves, and Sheldon Richardson’s one-year deal provides an opening in the interior of that Minnesota line.
Now, in McShay’s defense, he had four offensive linemen off of the board before the Vikings’ selection, all of them offensive tackles.
- Jonah Williams, Alabama (#6 overall)
- Cody Ford, Oklahoma (#13 overall)
- Greg Little, Mississippi (#14 overall)
- Jawaan Taylor, Florida (#17 overall)
McShay also has just one interior offensive lineman. . .which many (including myself) would argue is the Vikings’ biggest need. . .going in the first round, that being Wisconsin center/guard Michael Dieter at #27 overall.
I think that a lot of people are going to be pretty miffed with the Vikings if they try to wait until the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft to address the offensive line, as they were after this past draft. The selection of Mike Hughes appears to have been a good one, as he was performing at a very high level before he got injured, but it did cause the Vikings to miss out on the run of interior offensive linemen that started early on Day 2.
I don’t think they’re going to make that same mistake again, and I’m sure that at least a few interior offensive linemen will establish themselves as first round-worthy between now and April. It’s just interesting that one of the first mock drafts that’s come out this season has the Vikings passing on what is, by far, the team’s biggest weakness to address a strength again.