I know that I generally do these on Mondays, but man. . .I was just not feelin’ it the other day. So, like Ted did with his mock, you’re getting gifted with it on Wednesday (almost Thursday in the Central time zone) instead. I also don’t have catchy titles like Ted has on his, because frankly I would have been at a loss after Mock Draft 2: Electric Boogaloo.
With that, let’s go ahead and see what kind of damage I can do to the future of the Minnesota Vikings in this week’s Mock Draft. This week, I’m actually going to log into the premium account that I paid for from the folks at Fanspeak for their On The Clock Draft Simulator. Apparently I failed to do that the first couple of times, which would be an explanation for the complete lack of trades.
This time, I’m going to use the Big Board from the folks at NDT Scouting, as it’s been updated fairly recently and I’m not totally familiar with it, so I’m curious as to how it looks. With that, off we go!
Round 1, Pick #30
We start rolling through the first round and we get to the pick at #30. Here’s a look at the. . .what!? Trade offers!? Holy hell!
Yes, two trade offers have come in, so let’s take a look at who’s offering what.
I can’t justify accepting the Broncos’ trade offer here, because that would make my first potential pick #62 overall, which is basically the end of the second round. If I want to address the offensive line, which is my primary focus here, that’s just way too far to drop, even if I am getting three extra picks in return.
The Dolphins’ offer, on the other hand. . .that’s a tough one. I’m dropping to the 42nd overall pick, and I’d then have two picks in Round 2 and two picks in Round 3. You know, just because I haven’t accepted a trade offer yet. . .and because I have a sneaking suspicion that this is what Rick Spielman would like to do. . .I’m going to go ahead and accept Miami’s trade offer to drop out of Round 1.
Round 2, Pick #10 (Pick #42 overall, from Miami)
No offers come in for this pick, so we’re on the clock. Let’s take a look at what’s out there.
Well, well, well. . .sometimes stuff just works out.
Will Hernandez, G, Texas-El Paso
Hernandez is going to be a monster. We can talk about scheme fits and what have you, but he’s someone that I would have targeted if I had stayed at #30. Now, I got him at #42, and I managed to snag another third round pick in the process. It’s hard to argue with that.
Round 2, Pick #30 (Pick #62 overall)
Again, no trades for this one. . .and yes, I know that trades actually work this time. . .so we’re on the clock again. Here’s how the board has changed.
Man, another easy one. I don’t know why he’s there, but he’s there, and we’re taking him.
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
Ideally, I’d like to do something about the defensive line first, but Hughes is way too good a value to pass up here. He’s got as much upside as any corner in this class, and would excel in the sort of man coverage scheme that Mike Zimmer wants his corners to play. Ideally, he’d be able to work his way into the lineup slowly, but if any sort of injury were to happen, he should be able to step in and at least hold his own.
On to Round 3!
Before the round starts, we get a couple of offers for our original third round pick at #94 overall.
I don’t think I would be too willing to deal with a division rival. Besides, the Bengals offer is better because I would drop down fewer slots and get a higher fourth-round selection as a result. So, since I already have the extra third rounder from the earlier deal with the Dolphins, let’s swing a deal with Mike Zimmer’s old team.
Round 3, Pick #9 (Pick #73 overall, from Miami)
So, here’s what the board looks like at the top of the third round.
The board is loaded with corners at this point, but the Hughes selection at the end of Round 2 means that we can ignore them. There are a lot of tempting names on the board, but you know what? Let’s go for a guy that, despite some of the flak he’s taken this draft season, probably has no business being here at this point.
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Yeah, yeah, his Combine workout was terrible. I get that. But man, there’s enough film of this guy absolutely destroying opposing defenders to tell you that there’s something there. He played left tackle in college, but he’s more than likely a right tackle in the NFL, and if the team is serious about moving Mike Remmers to guard full-time, then they could certainly do worse than a guy like Brown here. If they can get the guy motivated, nobody’s going to remember what he looked like at the Scouting Combine.
Round 3, Pick #36 (Pick #100 overall, from Cincinnati)
Since enough selections have passed, let’s have a look at what the board looks like now.
While wide receiver is still a need, I’m going to grab a guy that I’ve taken in at least one other mock draft that I think is still a solid steal, despite his ranking on the NDT Scouting Big Board.
Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
As we’ve mentioned before, Settle is a monster at 330 pounds. While the Vikings obviously hope that Jaleel Johnson can serve as an understudy to Sheldon Richardson, Settle could do well to learn from fellow very large human Linval Joseph. Settle is too good to be available here, but he is, so we’ll take him.
On to Round 4. . .where we now actually have a selection!
Round 4, Pick #12 (Pick #112 overall, from Cincinnati)
Let’s see what we’ve got here on the Big Board.
Let’s add to our running back depth. . .not to mention make it easy on ourselves and take the top player left on the board.
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
Latavius Murray is in the last year of his contract now that he’s restructured, so the Vikings might be looking at this position again next year, too. Penny, who led the NCAA in rushing last season with over 2,000 yards, could potentially be the “thunder” to Dalvin Cook’s “lightning” in the Minnesota backfield. He’s more of a downhill runner, but is very good out of the backfield.
We’ve got a wait to our next pick at the bottom of the fifth round.
Round 5, Pick #30 (Pick #167 overall)
Here’s a look at the board.
Yeah. . .you already know.
Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida
We know that Shaquem Griffin is one of the better “feel good” stories that has come down the pike in a long time. It turns out that he’s a hell of a football player, too. He’d almost certainly be a special teams coverage monster right away, and would likely work his way into the defense at some point. He could even end up as one of those hybrid safety/linebackers that the NFL seems to like so much today. Again, I don’t think there’s any chance he makes it to Round 5 in the real draft, but this isn’t the real draft and he’s here.
On to the Rick Spielman Round. . .Round 6. . .where we have three selections coming.
Round 6, Pick #30 (Pick #204 overall)
Let’s see who’s remaining on the board here.
Haven’t take a wide receiver yet, so let’s do that here.
Ka’Raun White, WR, West Virginia
He’s the younger brother of Kevin White, who the Bears drafted in the top ten a couple of years ago and can’t stay healthy for five consecutive minutes. White actually stopped his football career for a while, and as a result is one of the older players in this year’s draft. But, at this point in the draft, that’s fine.
Round 6, Pick #39 (Pick #213 overall)
We’re back just nine picks later, and the board hasn’t changed much, so let’s just move it along.
Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State
Izzo may have some limitations as a receiver, but he’s a very good blocker and has the flexibility to line up at H-back when the Vikings go from under center. He could also be helpful in goal line situations with his size, but isn’t someone that’s going to threaten the seam regularly.
Round 6, Pick #44 (Pick #218 overall)
I was really hoping to grab Quessenberry with this pick, but the Ravens snagged him at #215 overall. So, let’s go a different direction instead.
Hercules Mata’afa, DL, Washington State
Hercules! Hercules! Hercules! Mata’afa is a bit of a different prospect, as he weighs around 250 pounds, yet did most of his damage in college by lining up on the inside at defensive tackle. Is he going to be able to pull that off at the next level, or is he going to be more of an edge guy? Either way, he’s the kind of prospect you take a late-round flier on, so we’ll grab him here.
One more pick left!
Round 7, Pick #7 (Pick #225 overall, from Denver)
One last look at the board.
The simulator is listing safety as one of our needs. Let’s handle that.
Van Smith, S, Clemson
Now the simulator no longer says we need a safety. Hooray.
All in all, I think I did a pretty solid job this time around. I managed to get the ten picks that Rick Spielman seems to like, I got some pretty solid value at all of my early selections (granted, mainly from guys that dropped to places they had no business being, but still), and I think I hit all of the Vikings’ main points of need.
If you want to see how the entire draft wound up going, you can check out the whole thing at this link here.
One thing I will steal from Ted here is actually giving folks the ability to grade the draft here. Have at it, ladies and gentlemen!
Grade v3.0 of Chris’ Mock Draft for the Vikings
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