With not much going on until the Minnesota Vikings report to Training Camp. . .the rookies get to Eagan in two weeks, folks. . .what better than to take a look at a draft re-do to give us something to talk about?
Over at USA Today’s Draftwire, Luke Easterling has done a re-draft of the 2014 class. Given that one of those players, Anthony Barr, plays a prominent role in the future of the Minnesota Vikings. . .whether he stays in Minnesota or ends up signing elsewhere. . .would the Vikings still take him if a re-draft were to happen?
According to Easterling, no. . .no, they would not.
Easterling has Barr falling all the way to #22 in the first round, where he makes his way to the Cleveland Browns. That would probably be a decent trade-off for the Browns, given that the guy that they took at #22 in the first place. . .some Johnny Football something or other. . .really didn’t work out for them.
Instead, Easterling has the Vikings selecting offensive tackle Taylor Lewan at #9 overall. Lewan actually went to the Tennessee Titans with 11th overall pick. Here’s what Easterling says about his pick of Lewan here.
Barr has shown flashes of brilliance so far, but his consistency and overall impact hasn’t screamed top-10 pick. What the Vikings have lacked is a franchise left tackle, something Lewan has proven to be for the Titans since locking down the starting job. He’s a nasty, physical player who wears down opposing rushers, making a pair of Pro Bowls over his first four NFL seasons and making the NFL Network’s “NFL Top 100” in each of the past three years.
Given the Vikings’ offensive line woes over the course of recent years, Lewan wouldn’t be a terrible pick. I don’t know if he’d be worth passing over Barr for, but I can at least see the logic.
Easterling also doesn’t have the Vikings drafting Teddy Bridgewater at #32. . .because he doesn’t have him available at that spot. Instead, he has Bridgewater going to the New England Patriots at #29. I think it’s safe to say that if Bridgewater hadn’t been there at #32, the Vikings wouldn’t have traded back into Round 1. Easterling still has them making that selection, however, tabbing cornerback Jason Verrett at that spot.
One of the more frustrating players from this class, Verrett’s physical playing style betrays his undersized frame, but he seems to be paying for it with his inability to stay healthy. Still, he’s worth a gamble for a team with two first-round picks in this do-over, and his style of play would be a perfect fit in Mike Zimmer’s defense.
Verrett went to the San Diego Chargers with the 25th overall pick in the original 2014 Draft, but falls to the Vikings in this scenario.
All things being equal, I think I’d take the players that the Vikings wound up getting in the original draft to the ones they wound up with in Easterling’s do-over. Obviously, without Bridgewater’s knee injury, I think it’s a no-brainer. However, as always, your mileage may vary on these sorts of things.