Earlier on today, Ted put together his first Mock Draft for the Minnesota Vikings for this year’s selection meeting. Since I’m damn sure not about to let Ted have all the fun with this. . .if this is something that can be classed as “fun,” in any case. . .I decided to follow suit and put together one of my own.
My priorities for what I’m looking for in this draft are roughly in line with Ted’s. Offensive line is, clearly, the biggest need. After that, I’m looking for depth along the defensive line and the secondary, and then some depth at the wide receiver spot. A third running back would be nice to find, too. I’m probably not going to offer many trades myself, but rather just sort of let things come to me and if other teams want to offer deals, we can evaluate whether the move down is worth it or not.
I’m using the same On the Clock Draft simulator as Ted did, and for now I’m just going to stick with FanSpeak’s Big Board. For upcoming mocks. . .and I’ll probably do this every week until we get to the 2018 NFL Draft. . .I may move to other ones that are more recently updated.
With that, let’s see how things turn out for our favorite football team!
Round 1, Pick #30
Much like Ted saw with his draft, there were no trade offers made to me when Pick #30 came up. So, I’m going to go ahead and make a selection here. This is what the Big Board presently looks like in our scenario:
I said at the beginning of this piece that the offensive line is my #1 priority, and I think that the choice here is pretty obvious.
Will Hernandez, G, Texas-El Paso
Hernandez is definitely a Day 1, plug-and-play starter. Depending on what the Vikings think of Nick Easton, Hernandez could potentially end up starting at right guard. I’ve said numerous times that I think the Vikings would be best served putting Mike Remmers back at right tackle, and drafting Hernandez would likely make that the scenario. Hernandez would start at one spot, leaving Easton and, perhaps, Danny Isidora to fight it out for the other guard spot. I know the reports are out there that Hernandez is more of a “mauler” than a guy that can play in space, but I think he’s going to be fine regardless.
So, now we move on to Round 2.
Round 2, Pick 30
Once again, no trade offers have come in, so I’m making the pick at #30. Here’s the Big Board as things stand right now:
So, this has fallen a bit awkwardly for what I want to do for the Vikings. I love James Daniels, but I’m not completely sure if back-to-back offensive linemen is the way to go here. There also aren’t any defensive backs or defensive linemen that really tickle my fancy here. Michel and Freeman are both tempting, but man. . .do I want to take a running back this early with Dalvin Cook set to return? Probably not. So, let’s fill the depth chart at wide receiver with this pick.
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Kirk isn’t a big guy, measuring in at around 5’10”, but he’s one of those guys that the NFL is starting to covet more and more. He’s incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands, and for now could be a big-time weapon in the slot with his speed and quickness. In the event that the Vikings ever do decide to move on from Marcus Sherels in the return game, Kirk was an elite punt returner in college (returning six punts for touchdowns). I think he’d contribute to Minnesota’s offense fairly quickly.
Round 3, Pick #30
Once again, no trades offered. . .maybe my trade thing is broken or something this year. So, this is going to be my last pick for a while, and I have a feeling that I might have to stray from my priority list again.
Here’s the board:
There are a couple of guys on this board that appear as first round selections in mock drafts across the interwebs. I had to think for quite a bit about this one, and the debate in my head was between two players: Leighton Vander Esch and Donte Jackson. Getting either of those guys late in the third is outright robbery, and in this scenario Vander Esch could, potentially, be the selection as insurance if either Anthony Barr or Eric Kendricks departs after this season. But, I’m looking for guys that can step in and contribute on Day 1, so I go the other direction.
Donte Jackson, CB, Louisiana State
Jackson is someone that could step in and challenge for. . .and, frankly, should be able to win. . .the slot cornerback job right away. He’s got world-class speed, and the ability to stay with smaller, quicker receivers.
That does it for us for the first two “days” of this virtual draft. We now get to sit it out until the fifth round, where we can start trying to grab depth pieces pretty much everywhere. Maybe someone will even offer a trade! Let’s see how that goes, shall we?
Round 5, Pick 30
Once again. . .no trades offered. This is about as far from a Rick Spielman draft as we can possibly get. But, we will soldier forward in any case.
Here is a look at our board after not having a selection for a while:
So, I’ve gotten the Vikings a new starting guard, a possible #3 receiver, and a possible slot cornerback. I still have not addressed the need for depth along the defensive line, so why don’t I go ahead and do that now.
Poona Ford, DT, Texas
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I AM THE CAPTAIN OF THE POONA FORD!
(And a very good Captain, he!)
Now that we have that out of the way, Ford is a defensive tackle that’s built like a fire hydrant. He’s about 5’11” and 310 pounds, and is probably more suited to the nose tackle spot in the NFL despite his lack of height. It would be interesting to see what Andre Patterson and company could potentially do with him.
On to the sixth round, where we have three picks.
Round 6, Pick #30
Still no trades. I don’t get it, but we’ll roll with it.
Here is how our board looks now.
I’ve hit the main areas of “need” to this point, so now I can look for best player available and/or guys that could contribute on special teams. This next pick is a guy that should be able to do at least that much.
Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana
There’s no reason for Scales to be on the board at this point, honestly. He could go late on Day 2, and really shouldn’t last until the end of Round 4. But, we’ll take him here in Round 6 if they want to leave him there for us. He’s a bit undersized, but again should be able to contribute as a special teamer right away while potentially contributing at the linebacker spot.
Round 6, Pick #39
The board really hasn’t changed that much, so let’s grab a small school guy that could be big for the Vikings if he develops.
Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State
Though his teammate, tight end Dallas Goedert, is garnering a lot more attention, Wieneke shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s got size at 6’4” and about 215 pounds, and could find himself as a red zone threat or potentially lining up as a “big slot” sort of receiver to create mismatches. Sounds like a guy worth taking a flier on to me.
Round 6, Pick #44
Finally, I can address the running back position.
Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
Wadley probably isn’t ever going to be an every-down back in the NFL, but he’s the sort of pass-catching threat that teams can use coming out of the backfield as a part of a rotation. With Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray in the fold for 2018, Wadley might not get many opportunities, but he could still be productive.
Round 7, Pick #5
Here’s one last look at the Big Board before the final pick is made:
There’s really nothing I see here that I like, so I’m going to go off the board here and grab a potential developmental player.
Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis
Ferguson is going to need plenty of seasoning, but he’s got NFL starter potential, in my opinion. At the very least, he can battle it out with Kyle Sloter for the #3 spot and possibly find his way onto the practice squad.
If you want to take a look at how the entire draft played out for this particular mock, you can find it at this link right here.
So, how do you think it went? I was surprised by the lack of trades. . .maybe it was something that I did wrong. . .but perhaps that will be remedied next time. I think I’ll probably do one of these every Monday just for something to discuss.
Have at it, everybody!