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Ted Mock 4.0: Live Free Or Mock Hard

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Where we try to regain your trust and confidence

NFL: International Series-NFL UK Live
This is quickly becoming my favorite Spielman picture, as I feel this is how he looks after reading literally every mock draft out there.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you care to review the previous iterations of my 2018 Mock Hard series, you can find them here:

Mock 1.0—Mock Hard

Mock 2.0—Mock Harder

Mock 3.0—Mock Hard With A Vengeance

Last week, I made a bunch of fake trades to get in prime position for a bunch of real players who won’t be picked anywhere near the order they were picked in last week’s fake draft, and then I made another fake trade that generated a bunch of fake outrage.

And much like the actual Die Hard series, the third one has probably been the worst of the bunch (although as a former pilot LOL on the Die Harder storyline about changing the glideslope on the approach to Dulles to get planes to crash or whatever the ridiculous plot line was).

So this week, I try to fake it some more to get back in to your good graces, you fine commentariat folk of The Daily Norseman I shall never meet, critiquing me over fake drafts and fake trades that will never come to fruition.

Because I care, damn it.*

*I don’t care. But you folks like mock drafts, and I can’t think of anything else to write about right now, so here we are.

I’m still using Fanspeak’s Premium on the Clock Mock Draft Simulator, and I am paying the exorbitant rate of almost 10 dollars to do so.* I not be able to buy groceries this month because of it, so when I knock on your door I better get AT LEAST a friggin’ bowl of porridge, man.**

*It’s not exorbitant

**I really don’t want porridge. But I may show up if you’re offering a free meal, is all I’m sayin’

I’m using the most up to date big board, which they have listed as Inside The Pylon. 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. I had WR on here originally, but with the Kendall Wright and Tavarres King signings, I’m removing that position from my board. Unless someone literally drops in my lap, I don’t see myself taking a WR early:

Offensive Line

Defensive Line depth

Running Back depth

Cornerback 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 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 Kardashians make bad relationships. But my ultimate goal is to get the best players I can assemble, not assemble 10 players.

So, let’s get to it. I’m using I used the most up to date big board Fanspeak offered, I chose ‘multiple’ for big boards used by the computer, as there are probably 31 other big boards that are going to be used in real life, difficulty level was classic, and finally, I used Fanspeak for the team needs. For any trade proposals I either make or receive, I will use the Drafttek draft trade value chart for 2018 as a way to try and even out the trade as much as possible:

First Round

Like I mentioned last week, I really think Rick Spielman will try and trade down out of the first round if he can accumulate a couple of picks, especially in the fourth round, to get to his magic 10. But it wouldn’t be much of a slide, and he’d have to feel fairly certain a guy they really want would still be available. As the draft opens, I get two offers:

I’m not really a fan of the Panthers offer. That’s way off the scale in favor of Carolina in value, and I don’t think moving up six spots that far back in round one nets me a player that’s worth my second round pick.

But look at that Denver offer. Although I lose a first round pick, I stay in the top 10 of round two, and I get an extra third round pick. This feels like something Rick Spielman would do. And if there’s a guy I REALLY like that slips through the first round, I have enough ammo to get to the top of the second round to get him. I accept the offer.

Here’s my new set of picks:

I receiver no more offers, nor do I make any. I end up with no selection in the first round.

Second Round

So here’s what the big board looks like to open the second round. I have the eigth pick:

I have two second round picks and two third round picks, plus AT LEAST two third round picks next year, as the Vikes will get a compensatory third rounder based on how this year’s free agency finishes. Billy Price slipped through the first round, but I doubt he makes it to me at pick 40. Let’s see if Cleveland will make a deal:

They accepted it. My updated set of picks are now as follows:

I still only have eight picks total, but I net two high picks in the second round, and I improve my position in the third round. Downside is no first round pick this year and I lose a third round pick next year, but I will still have a third rounder in the 2019 draft. I’ll take it. Let’s pick:

Selection: Billy Price, C, THE Ohio State University

Rationale: Price is the best interior lineman on the board, and the best overall player. He played guard at OSU before he played center, and yeah, an interior of Elflein and Price, two OSU guys, WARMS MY SOULLESS HEART WOOOOOOO! On a serious note, many mock drafts and big boards have Price either going in the first round, or graded as a first round talent, so like last year, when Dalvin Cook fell, this doesn’t feel like I lost a first round pick talent wise.

As I get to pick 40, this is the big board now:

But, I get two trade offers:

Hmmm. I kind of like a guy at the top of the big board, and I’m pretty sure if I trade down he’ll be long gone. I decline both trades. Let’s pick:

Selection: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas by way of Chanahassen, MN

Rationale: Several sites have Ragnow as the top center in the draft, ahead of Price and James Daniels. Ratings are subjective and they are what they are, but Ragnow and Price are both guys you can pencil in to start right away. He’s played both G and C, like Price, and if you tell me the Vikings could possibly roll with Riley Reiff, Price, Elflelin, Ragnow, and Mike Remmers as their starting five, I’d tell you that’s one hell of a starting offensive line that sets the Vikes offense up to protect Kirk Cousins, blast open some holes for Dalvin Cook, and do a lot of damage in 2018.

Third Round

As we roll to my third round pick (71 overall), I get two more trade offers:

This kind of feels like a deal Spielman might do in real life. At the end of the day, I’m still picking higher in the third round than I was originally, and I get a fourth round pick. Since KC is offering me an additional sixth round pick, and Detroit is in the division, I accept Kansas City’s offer.

Here are my remaining picks after the trade:

And now, I am at 10 picks, with a fourth round pick to boot. As we roll to my pick, here’s the big board:

Selection: Arden Key, EDGE, LSU

Rationale: LSU defensive end that has a lot of natural talent, but has a reputation as an underachiever that didn’t generally put up a lot of eye popping stats. Danielle Hunter has turned out to be a really good player, and under the tutelage of Mike Zimmer and Andre Patterson, Key could turn out to be a really good player, and the potential replacement to Everson Griffen.

Fourth Round

I now have pick 122 overall, and when I go on the clock I get these two offers:

I did a fair amounf of wheeling and dealing to get a fourth round pick without sacrificing a lot of draft capital, and I’m not going to trade it away for either of these two offers. I decline. Let’s look at the big board:

There’s a good player at a position I need. Easy peasy pick:

Pick: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pitt

Rationale: With Terence Newman retiring someday, Maddox will step in to the mix for the nickel or dime spot.

Fifth Round

I get no trade offers nor do I make any for the fifth round. When I get to my selection, this is my big board:

Shaquem Griffin the the feel good story of this draft, and picking him would make sense. But there’s a guy at a position of need who I think has the potential to be a pretty decent role player.

Selection: Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State

Rationale: I’m honestly not sure why Jordan Chunn is the top rated RB left on the board here. Almost every site I looked at has him as a 7th round pick to an undrafted free agent. Ballage, though, has shown some pretty decent ability both as a runner and a receiver, having caught 44 passes in 2016. He can come in and compete for the second or (probably) third RB spot behind Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray.

Sixth Round

As we get to the sixth round, I monitor the board, and a late round guy I’ve grown to like stays on the board. I’m picking 22nd, but I’m pretty sure he’s gonna go before me, so I offer the Los Angeles Rams the following deal:

Seems like a typical late round deal Spielman does on Staurday, and it allows me to get the guy I want. The big board:

Selection: Da’Shawn Hand, DL, Alabama

Rationale: He’s raw, but like Arden Key he has some potential here. Hand fills a potential need on the DL, and nets me a pretty good value pick. And with no seventh round pick, I’m down to my final three picks in this draft. Let’s round them out

Selection: Dylan Cantrell, WR, Texas Tech

Rationale: I think Cantrell will have a hard time making the top four as a WR, but I can see him competing as either a kick or punt returner, and a possible practice squad candidate if he doesn’t make an impression in camp.

Selection: Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan

Rationale: The Vikings will need some depth at TE, and there’s a real opportunity for him to grab a roster spot behind Kyle Rudolph and David Morgan.


Grade the Live Free Or Mock Hard Draft

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (329 votes)
  • 42%
    (557 votes)
  • 17%
    (229 votes)
  • 4%
    (63 votes)
  • 2%
    (35 votes)
  • 7%
    Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!
    (99 votes)
1312 votes total Vote Now

Selection: J.T. Barrett, QB, THE Ohio State University

Rationale: Homer pick. It’s a fake draft. And I love JT Barrett.

Seventh Round

No selection. traded to the Rams to move up in the sixth round.

So, to recap. Here is the Draft Class for 4.0: Live Free Or Mock Hard:

If you like, you can review the enitre draft here:

So, what do you think?