This year I decided to name my mock drafts based off the wildly successful Die Hard series, for a few reasons.
For one, no matter how bad they get, mock drafts get more and more popular with each passing version, even though the product generally gets worse. This is no exception. Secondly, mock drafts are as unrealistic as the Die Hard series, but people people flock to them, in droves. It’s also one of only a few set of sequel movies that had unique names in their own right I could play off of.
Finally, just like the Die Hard series, you don’t have to start at the first one if you don’t want to. Some series you kind of have to watch from the beginning or you’re lost. NOT SO FOR THIS ONE MY FRIENDS, JUST JUMP RIGHT IN WITH BOTH FEET!
But, if you’re interested, you can find the other mocks here:
In determining my picks, I’m going by what I feel are the biggest needs for the Vikings, now that free agency has (mostly) ended, Kendall Wright signing aside:
Defensive Line depth
Running Back or Wide Receiver depth
With that in mind, let’s look at the Vikings draft picks:
My draft strategy is to try and mimic GM Rick Spielman as much as possible—controlled aggression to get 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 moonshiners make bad whiskey to get to ten picks on draft weekend. But my ultimate goal is to get the best players I can assemble, not assemble 10 players. So, let’s get to it.
With eight total picks in this draft, I firmly believe Spielman will be looking to trade down and acquire picks, but I’m not sure he would in the first round unless it’s only a few spots, and he’s pretty certain the guy they have pegged will stay on the board.
When the draft started, I got hit with two big trade offers:
The Titans offer is out. I don’t think a five spot move is worth losing a second round pick over. But that Colts offer, though. If this was real life, I make that deal in a heartbeat. That gives me two second round picks this year plus a first round pick next year. I kind of expect the Colts to not be all that great, so the chances are that’s a top 10-15 pick, easy. When you add that in to the projected picks the Vikings will have in next year’s draft...I can use that pick as ammunition in this year’s TOTALLY FAKE draft I’m about to embark on.
I make the deal. Now, here is an updated set of picks for this year:
AND in 2019 I have this, if the projections are right, based off of this trade:
2 first round picks
1 second round pick
2 third round picks (one compensatory)
1 fourth round pick
0 fifth round picks (Say hi to Trevor Siemian)
2 sixth round picks (one compensatory)
2 seventh round picks (one compensatory)
That’s ten picks for next year, to include two first rounders.
But I’ve decided I still want to draft in the first round this year, because who cares about future draft picks in a 2018 mock draft, amirite?
And I want a fairly high pick, too, inside the top 15. So I start working the phones. I want Buffalo’s 12th overall, so I offer one of my first rounders next year staright up. No dice. I throw in my 30th pick in the second round, and they bite. BOOM! So, I have gone from pick 30 and pick 62 in this years draft, and with two trades I now have these picks:
And my picks for next year are unchanged, minus the loss of a first round pick I acquired in the Colts trade, which I used to flip to 12 overall this year. I’m thinking that depending on how the board plays out, I could get a King’s ransom for pick 12, and still stay in the first round. I start the draft, and when I get to pick 12, this is my big board:
Holy crap I’m in the catbird seat here, but no one offers a trade. I’m thinking that in real life, SPielman could get himself a haul here for someone who wants Josh Rosen. I’m not in the market for a QB or a RB, so I’m thinking I want to trade down, but not too far. I could lose out on both top guards, but Will Hernandez will almost assuredly be there, depending on how far I drop down. Vita Vea will probably be gone, but Maurice Hurst could make it. So I call Dallas, and see if they’re willing to make a deal, and they are:
So I lose one of my two third round picks next year and drop seven spots, but I get Dallas’ second round pick in this draft. I still have picks in each of the early rounds next year, and my updated picks for this draft are now:
I passed up taking Quenton Nelson (and Isaiah Wynn), but I’m still going to be in play for a really good interior lineman, and I now have two picks in the second round, 49 and 50 overall. When we get to pick 19, this is my big board:
Okay, I’m done trading. Pick is in.
Selection: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Rationale: With two picks at 49 and 50, I think I can still grab a good interior lineman for the offensive line, but Hurst will be long gone. If it looks like there might be a run on that position, I have enough ammo to move up if I feel I need to, so I’m not worried about addressing that position just yet. So I picked Hurst. Depending on what rankings you believe, Hurst is either the first or second ranked defensive lineman in this draft, switching off with Vita Vea. Hurst, Sheldon Richardson, and Linval Joseph makes for a ridiculous defensive interior line rotation, and when you add in Jaleel Johnson, whew, I like how things are shaping up here.
I had no trade offers, nor did I make any. A couple offensive linemen I thought might sneak through, James Daniels and Billy Price, didn’t. I’m kinda bummed about it, but when I look at the board I’m not all that disappointed:
Selection 49: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.
Selection 50: Braden Smith, G, Auburn.
Rationale: Gesicki is the higher rated player here, but Goedert seems to fit the Vikings better in what they do with their tight ends in terms of asking them to block. I think the pass catching ability between the two is minimal, but the better blocking ability for Goedert gives him the edge.
Not sure why Braden Smith is ranked so low by Fanspeak (the big board I used as it was the most up to date); on other boards he’s rated higher than BIlly Price in terms of overall ranking. In the first two rounds I essentially improved my position in both rounds, got an additional second round pick, addressed my two biggest needs, and I also managed to get the best tight end available in the draft without losing much draft capital next year.
I’m pretty happy with things so far.
As the third round opened, I had these two offers:
If I take either one, I am now without a pick in either rounds four (hi Sam!) or five, in either scenario. I decline both offers. I think I’d rather have the extra player than one that is probably just marginally better at 22 or 24 than a guy I’d pick at 30.
I decline the trades. When I get on the clock, I get two more offers, from the Rams and the Packers. I reject the Packers trade out of hand, simply because I think it’s dumb to make a trade to a team in your division where they move up for a better player (Hi 2010 draft trade with the Lions). Both of those offers drop me out of the third round completely, so I stay put. When I get to pick 94, here’s my big board:
OH HAI TYQUAN LEWIS OHIO STATE EDGE RUSHER GUY HOW R U? Seeing Lewis here is a bit of a surprise, as I kind of thought he’d go early in the third. And with Everson Griffen hitting 30, the Vikings need to draft and groom his eventual replacement. But yeah, I got my eye on someone else, as much as the fan in me loves Lewis.
Selection: Chukwuma Okorafor, T, Western Michigan
Rationale: If the Vikings are serious about moving Mike Remmers to the inside, Okorafor can come in and compete with Rashod Hill on the right side, and at a minimum he immediately becomes the second string tackle. The dude is huge, and most sites have him projected to be gone long before this spot, so I’m considering this a bit of a steal.
Health plan. Oh.
At this point, I’m going to try to marry up what I feel are my biggest needs with the best player available. Or guys with cool sounding names...it’s a mock draft after all.
Anyway, the big board lays out like so for me:
Ooh, Lowell Lotuelei is a really cool name, as is Kylie Fitts. I meam the Dad jokes about Kylie giving offensive tackles fits coming off the edge would just write themselves, folks.
Selection: Christian Campbell, CB, Penn St.
Rationale: At some point, Terence Newman has to retire. Right? When that happens, Campbell can come in and compete for a nickel or dime role in the secondary.
So yeah, you guys know about as much as I do with the rest of the players left on the board. So I’m just going to pick the top rated guys left, and don’t even come at me with ‘man I so would’ve taken THIS dude instead here because xyz reasons’ because lol man it’s the sixth and seventh round of a mock draft. Big board:
Selection, pick 30 (204): Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa St
Rationale: He’s a wide receiver, and Laquon Treadwell is approaching bust territory, if he hasn’t laready crossed the border into it.
Selection, pick 39 (213): Javon Rolland-Jones, EDGE, Arkansas St
Rationale: Might be a project guy to pick to eventually replace Griffen.
Selection, pick 44 (218): Sione Teuhema, LB, SE Louisiana
Rationale: every year the Vikings pick a guy or two that has a name I have to look up every time I try to spell it. This is one of those guys. Also, linebacker depth.
Last pick of the draft, and I’m going to be 100% selfish here and pick a guy that might not be on your big board, but he’s on mine. So there’s no point in even doing a screen shot.
Selection: J.T. Barrett, QB, THE Ohio State University
Rationale: I love J.T. Barrett. Love. Him. I don’t care if you don’t, and anyway, it’s my mock draft. And to all you J.T. haters out there...
So, to recap mock 3.0. Our draft class:
So, there you go. Give me your thoughtsdown below, keeping in mind this was 100% fake and zero percent real.
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LOL WTF dude