If you care to review the previous iterations of my 2018 Mock Hard series, you can find them here:
Hi kids, how are we doing? I found myself in a quandary when I realized that this is my second to last mock draft, as I plan to do one more before the real draft next week...but this is the end of the Die Hard movie series. Six mock drafts, five Die Hard movies. I miscalculated simple math.
Public school education, guys. What can I say? Oh sure, there’s reports of a Die Hard 6 coming out, but to my knowledge there’s no title or anything yet, so I’m going to have to come up with something clever next week to wrap this up.
Anyway, of the four mocks I’ve had what I think are three pretty good ones, one that had some great trades and then LOLWTF TED RAWR RAWR according to many in the commentariat, and so for this week...I have no idea what’s going to happen.
Anyway, my methodology hasn’t changed. I took out a second mortgage to buy the Fanspeak On The Clock Uber Premium Cool Guy Let’s Make Trades version, or whatever it’s called. I also use the most up to date Big Board that is available, but I’m also adding in another factor. Our old buddy Arif Hasan’s guide as to which big board has a history of accuracy was posted over at Zone Coverage a few days ago, so I’m cross referencing that with the latest update. Based on those two factors I’m going to use the composite big board. The computer is using multiple big boards, which I think adds a sense of realism, and I’m using Fanspeak’s team needs chart. For any trade offers I make or receive, I’m using the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart, understanding it’s a guide, and not inviolate:
My draft strategy is to try and mimic GM Rick Spielman as much as possible—controlled aggression to get impact players that are dropping (see Dalvin Cook) or the best players available at a real position of need (see Pat Elflein). I know Spielman likes to have 10 picks heading in to draft weekend, and if he doesn’t have them he’ll make trades like like the Duggars make babies. But my ultimate goal is to get the best players I can assemble, not assemble 10 players.
Earlier today the Vikings signed Eric Kendricks to a big extension, with with Nick Easton signing his tender some o-line depth has been addressed, too. That doesn’t really effect my overall strategy, as I still think my biggest positions of need heading in to this draft are:
Defensive Line depth
Running Back depth
With that in mind, let’s look at the Vikings draft picks:
I still think Rick Spielman will trade out of this pick if he thinks he can drop a few spots and still get the guy he wants. As the round opens I get no offers, and it unfolds like most people expect it will. When I go on the clock, I get no offers, and I survey the big board:
I really like how things have played out, and I think I can move a few spots and still get one of the top targets I want, an interior offensive lineman. And I think I can get a 4th round pick to boot. Let’s see:
Done and done. Now, I have a fourth round pick, nine picks overall, and I only move down three spots. Boom!
But I have no selection in this round.
When the second round opens, I get two trade offers:
Wait...so the Niners want to move down three spots and are willing to give me a third round pick to boot? Okay John Lynch, you’ve got a deal. Now my total set of picks are as follows:
Add in the seventh round pick that I couldn’t get in the screen grab, and I now have 10 picks. When my pick comes up, here’s my big board:
Things couldn’t have gone better to this point, and a great offensive lineman is going to be mine.
Selection: James Daniels, C, Iowa
Rationale: If you look at the interior linemen the Vikings have, they like smaller guys that can pull and get to the perimeter for sweeps and screens. For example, both Pat Elflein and Nick Easton are listed at 6-3, 303 pounds. So while the physical presence of of a guy like Will Hernandez (6’8”, 330) is enticing, I don’t see the Vikes going this direction if Daniels is available. He’s played mostly center in college, but has played guard. If Daniels falls, I think the Vikes pounce.
When I get to my next pick in the second round, here’s what I see on my big board:
Since Mike Zimmer has become head coach they’ve only gone offense with their first two picks once, and that was last year, with Elflein and Cook. There’s a position on defense that needs to be addressed before tight end, and I consider it more of an issue than tight end.
Selection: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Rationale: Depending on what you think of Kyle Rudolph (who blocked me on Twitter for no reason and that makes me think no less of him in this situation), tight end isn’t a huge need here. Not with Terence Newman maybe/maybe not coming back, and Mackensie Alexander maybe/maybe not ready to take over full time at the nickel spot. For a guy that was either a late first or early second round projection, this feels like a real steal here.
When I get to my pick in the third round, here’s my big board:
I get no trade offers down, nor do I really want to. There’s a good player here that I think solves a potential problem:
Selection: Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida St
Rationale: With no guarantee Sheldon Richardson is in Minnesota beyond one season, the Vikes need depth, and a guy who can potentially compete for a starting job in case Richardson moves on. If he stays, Nnadi is a heck of a guy that can replenish the depth the Vikings lost with Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen signing elsewhere.
As I get to pick 30, I get no trade offers. I don’t really feel like making a deal, so I’m not really looking for a deal, either. Here’s the board:
I think my two options here are either defensive line, or shore up the offensive line for good. If you think defense, the EDGE player is the pick here. If you think the offensiove line needs one more guy, do you believe the Vikings when they say Mike Remmers is moving inside to guard? If so, the choice is simple. If not, the choice is just as simple.
Selection: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
Rationale: Ragnow is a big but agile guy, and completely solves the Vikings offensive line talent and depth issues for the foreseeable future.
No trade offers, not looking to trade down. I worked to get this pick back and I don’t want to really dance with it. Big board:
Pretty easy choice here:
Selection: Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State
Rationale: Hines is the guy that’s going to replace Jerick McKinnon, and he reminds me a lot of Jet. About the same size, maybe a little bit faster to the edge, maybe a little bit less of a pass catcher. Probably steps right in to the RB3 spot and it will be his to lose once training camp starts.
We’ve now entered ‘dudes with cool names’ or ‘dudes that went to Ohio State’ part of the mock draft. The big board:
There is only one player that has, far and away, the coolest remaining name on the board.
Selection: Equanimeous St Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Rationale: I really don’t see the Vikings having an issue re-signing Stefon Diggs in the coming months, so I really feel this is more of a guy they’ll look at when they move on (probably) from Laquon Treadwell. Brown is a pretty good player with literally the coolest name in the draft.
Sweet, I get to pick three guys in this round. And by ‘sweet’ I mean my rationale for picking guys is now going to best player available and ‘guys who have a name that will make a great nickname and/or good joke when I write about him in a post’, in addition to ‘guys with cool names’ and ‘guys who are from Ohio State’. The big board:
Selection: Kameron Kelly, S, San Diego St
Rationale: The Vikings need safety depth. He was there. Might not be when camp breaks.
Selection: Trevon Young, EDGE, Louisville
Rationale: Passed up on a decent EDGE guy earlier. I get one now. Hit me with the ‘he’s gonna replace Griff in two years’ hot takes in the comments.
Selection: Damon Webb, S, Ohio State
Rationale: Damon is a cool name. He went to Ohio State. Hits all the late round marks for me.
Selection: Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
Rationale: On my deathbed, some 40 years from now (I hope) I’m going to be wondering three things:
Will I be going to Heaven or Hell?
What I could have done differently to reel in the 50 inch muskie up in Canada I had hooked AND DAMN NEAR AT THE BOAT back in 2010? WHY LORD WHY?
Iowa 55, Ohio State 24, 2017 season. If Wadley plays as well against NFL competition as he did that day against OSU, he’s going to the Hall of Fame. Also, there’s a ton of Batman and Arkham CIty puns there.
Also, did you notice I WON’T be wondering why the Vikings didn’t win at least one Super Bowl? It’s because they will.
Selection: J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
Rationale: I love J.T. Barrett and when he goes in to Canton as a Viking you guys will find this mock draft in the Internet archives and you’ll see this as my eternal message to all you Barrett haters out there:
So, to recap Mock 5.0: A Good Day To Mock Hard Class:
I’m really happy with this class overall. I addressed all the team needs, and I think I got quality and value in every round. You can review the entire draft here:
What is your grade for this draft?
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