If you care to review the previous iterations of my 2018 Mock Hard series, you can find them here:
Yeah, so I ran out of Die Hard titles like I mentioned last week, because I am bad at the mathematics and stuff. In the comments last week, someone mentioned that there is, in fact, a Die Hard 6, and it has a title, but damn it we need to put our Mock Out For Harambe until justice is done or something. Okay, enough social consciousness. Also, don’t rock out with your mock out. You’ll get arrested, probably.
Methodology remains the same. To be able to afford the Fanspeak 5000 Deluxe Cruising Edition that does trades and stufff, I traded in my truck and two grown children, and they were NOT happy, let me tell you. As for big boards, I’m using Arif’s consensus big board, which isn’t the most up to date one Fanspeak offered, but it was within a day. I’m still having the computer use multiple big boards, because I think that’s the most realistic, and I’m going to use Fanspeak’s version of team needs. And as always, I’m using the Drafttek trade value chart as a gude when accepting or offering any deals:
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 Hamsterdam produced overdoses in The Wire. But my ultimate goal is to get the best players I can assemble, not assemble 10 players. If I can do both, great.
Now that free agency and extensions are done for now, I still view these as my biggest needs:
Defensive Line depth
Running Back depth
With that in mind, let’s look at the Vikings draft picks:
All right, let’s pull our mocks out, give Harambe a moment of silence, and get on with it:
Right off the bat I get two offers:
Eh, not really a fan. I don’t see a guy in the 20’s worth giving up a second round pick for, so I decline both deals. When I get to pick 30, this is my big board:
A lot of people are mocking Josh Jackson to the Vikings here, and guys, I just don’t see it. The Vikes are likely picking up the fifth year option for Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander is developing at a apce I think is acceptable. I’m not against getting a cornerback in the draft, I just don’t see the Vikings doing so in the first round. Will Hernandez is gone, but Billy Price, Frank Ragnow, and James Daniels are all still around, so I’m going to try and move down a few spots and see if I can’t get one of those guys. So I offer up this to Cleveland:
They accept. This feels like a classic Spielman deal, and now my picks set up like so:
Billy Price went to the Eagles at the end of round 1, and that legit pissed me off, but I have to put my OSU homerism aside and realize that I still have some great linemen to choose from. When I go on the clock, I get these offers:
Man, I like that Dolphins deal. I’m going to roll the dice and accept it. My picks now:
Still have another sixth and seventh round pick that didn’t make the screen. When I get on the board again, I get two MORE offers:
The Titans offer is a solid one, but I’m done trading. Here’s my big board:
Selection: Frank Ragnow, C. Arkansas
Rationale: Ragnow was one of the top 30 visits the Vikings had, and I think they’re targeting either him or Billy Price. Both guys are about even in terms of ability, but when Philly snatched Price at the end of round one, I thought I could gamble with one more deal and still pick up the Minnesota native. Ragnow steps right in to start at right guard, and with a line of Riley Reiff, Nick Easton, Pat Elflein, Ragnow, and Mike Remmers, the o-line looks good and ready to roll.
As pick 62 rolls around, more trade offers come in:
Eh, not really interested to give this pick up. My big board:
I can’t believe my luck. I rush to the podium:
Selection: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Rationale: I like Kyle Rudolph, and I think he’ll be the starter and put up big numbers in John DeFilippo’s offense. But I’m not too fired up about the guys behind him, and Gesicki is a guy that can gain chunks of yards in the middle of the field.
As the third round kicks kicks off, more trade offers:
I’m not really interested in moving up right now, so I decline the offers. When I get to pick 94, I have two more offers:
Again, nothing really gets me fired up here, so I decline the offers, and I don’t want to lose a third round pick. My big board:
I kind of like who’s on the board. Easy pick here:
Selection: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego St
Rationale: Penny put up huge numbers, and I love his pass catching potential. His receptions went up every season, and I think he is a perfect RB3 in this offense.
With three picks in this round, I’m really looking to upgrade some defensive depth here. I get no trade offers, so this is what my big board looks like:
Selection: Tyquan Lewis, EDGE, Ohio State
Rationale: The Vikings are going to need new blood at the EDGE spot, as Brian Robison is getting has maybe one more year left, Everson Griffin is approaching the dreaded 30, and Danielle Hunter has yet to be re-signed (but I feel he will). Lewis gives the Vikings another presence at DE, and he solves the depth issue.
At this point, there’s a LB on the board I really like that will probably be gone, so with the draft capital I’ve accumulated, I want to pick again right away. Chicago is picking next, so I make them an offer:
Selection: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
Rationale: The Vikes have met with Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy, and Jewell is in many respects the same guy, only a little better all along the board. With the suspension of Kentrell Brothers for four games, LB depth has to be addressed, and Jewell does just that.
At pick 123, I get two more offers, but they’re lame, and so I turn them down. My new big board:
Selection: Holton Hill, CB, Texas
Rationale: Hill was a top 30 visit, and is a guy that can come in and compete for the dime spot on defense.
Because of the trade up in the fourth round to get Jewell, I have no fifth round selection.
At this point, I want to get the best guy available while trying to marry up my remaining needs, which are defensive line and safety. With three picks in this round, I think I can do that. But as picks start coming off the board, a guy I like might not make it, so I offer the LA Chargers (man that still sounds weird) this deal:
And they accept. I’m on the clock.
Selection: Poona Ford, DT, Texas
Rationale: He’s a depth guy on the interior of the d-line and his name is Poona. Meets the late round trifecta of best player available, position of need, and cool name. Only thing missing is an OSU pedigree.
My last pick in the seventh round is the best player remaining at his position.
Selection: Damon Webb, S, Ohio State
Rationale: I’m really not going OSU homer here. I really thought long and hard about taking WR Jaleel Scott of New Mexico State, but with the signing of Tavarres King and Kendall Wright, secondary depth at safety is a bigger need here, and Webb is the best guy still around.
Yeah, you know who I’m getting.
Selection: J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
Rationale: Yes, this is a pure homer pick, but he was a top 30 visit. So when the Vikings either pick him in the seventh or sign him as an undrafted free agent, I’m not gonna rub it in anyone’s face or anything. Nope, not me.
So, to put a bow on our 2018 Mock Hard series, I present my final Mock Draft Class:
And I made the following trades:
If you want to see the entire draft, bang it here.
What grade do you give this mock draft?
This poll is closed
Thanks for reading and commenting on the Mock Hard Series for this year. But to be honest, I’m glad it’s over and the real one is upon us.