Hi, kids. Welcome to the longest part of the off-season for me. Once the Super Bowl ends, there’s a couple days of season recaps and whatnot, and we even had a new professional football league start up!
But the curiosity of the AAF is pretty much gone for me; there’s a reason why these guys aren’t in the NFL, you know what I mean? The NFL Combine is coming up, but watching guys run and jump in t-shirts and shorts isn’t my thing, and we’re still three weeks out from free agency.
So, what the hell, let’s do another mock draft. This is my third one, if the title of the piece didn’t obviously give it away. My first two are here, if you’re interested in this lunacy:
From there, you can link back to past years, if you have time to kill and you need a chuckle. And let’s face it; it’s Friday afternoon and the last thing you want to do at work is work, amirite?
If you’re just tuning in to this...ridiculous...exercise, a fair word of warning. Consider these the ground rules:
I’m not a professional scout, coach, or GM. I am, however, an idiot.
If you EVER get to the point where you think ‘man this guy is pretty sharp about drafting and stuff’ go back and read the previous sentence. Then talk to any member of my family, immediate or extended, and they’ll set you straight.
My methodology is fairly straightforward. I’m using Fanspeak’s On The Clock deluxe, high falutin’ draft simulator, that allows me to make and receive trade offers.
In formulating and/or accepting trades, I’m using the 2019 Drafttek Trade Value Chart. I know most teams don’t follow it to the number, and other trades include players, like the Percy Harvin trade a few years back. Trading players in this simulation isn’t an option, and you have to have some kind of baseline, so this is mine:
To determine my needs besides offensive line, for now I’m going to go with the assumption that between Anthony Barr, Sheldon Richardson, and Everson Griffen, two of these players will be elsewhere come draft day. Today, I want to do something a bit different. I am going to say that Barr is gone, but the Vikings re-signed Richardson and re-structured Everson Griffen. With those parameters, I feel my needs are:
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 into draft weekend, and if he doesn’t have them he’ll make trades get to that magic number, if possible. However, my ultimate goal is to get the best players I can assemble, not assemble 10 players.
In setting up the draft variables, I chose to use Bleacher Report for my big board, the computer is using multiple boards, as it would be in the actual draft, and the difficulty level is set to classic. Team needs are set to Fanspeak.
Heading into round one, the picks available for the Vikings are:
With that in mind, let’s do this.
When the round opened, I didn’t get any trade offers. I got no offers to trade down once I came on the clock, either. The one offensive lineman I wanted here, Cody Ford, was gone at 16, which kind of bummed me out. I thought about trying to make a trade down into the mid 20’s, but let’s look at the big board:
With the variable that Anthony Barr is gone, there is a player still available that would be a great pick here, so I’ll stand pat and make a pick.
Selection: Devin White, LB, LSU
Rationale: He’s pretty much the consensus top linebacker in the draft, and the defense has a gaping hole with Barr’s departure. White fills it, and he answers the ‘who will replace Anthony Barr’ question. Emphatically, in my opinion. If I had changed the parameters and kept Barr and lost Richardson and/or Griffen, my pick here is Rashan Gary.
As the second round begins, once again I get no trade offers to open the round. When I come on the clock, though, I have two offers in front of me:
Although the Dolphins offer me a higher third round pick, and the amount of picks are the same, I get two third round picks from the Browns, and only one from Miami. I decide to accept Cleveland’s offer, since Dalton Risner, the offensive lineman I was hoping would slip to me in the second round, is long gone. My picks now look like this:
I sit out the second round, and make no pick.
In the third round I get no trade offers before the round begins, but as I come on the clock, once again I receive two offers:
With the compensatory picks beginning in round three, I really don’t want to give up one of my third round picks, even if it’s the top pick in the fourth round. I still need to address the offensive line, and if I keep trading down, players I really like won’t be around. So I decline both offers.
With back to back picks, here’s my big board:
I’m solving my offensive line problem. Right here, and right now:
Selection, pick 80 (3/16): Chris Lindstrom, G, BAHHHHHSTAHN FAHHHKIN’ CAWLEDGE
Rationale: Lindstrom seems to be a name on the rise, and The Draft Network has him listed as the top interior lineman in the draft. That might be because a lot of the other interior linemen, like Ford and Risner, project out to tackle in the NFL but this is still a great choice here, I think. Lindstrom has played in a run heavy offense that has a lot of bootlegs and play-action, and he seems like a perfect fit for what the Vikings offense wants to do.
Selection, pick 81 (3/17): Michael Deiter, C/G, Wisconsin
Rationale: Deiter gives me a matching guard to go along with Lindstrom, and he’s also played center and tackle while he was at Wisconsin. Say what you want about the Badgers, but they know how to run the football, and Deiter is a guy that also fits well into what the Vikings offense is wanting to do. With these two picks, I now have an offensive line of Reiff-Lindstrom-Elflein-Deiter-O’Neill. I’d still keep Remmers and make him my top backup OT, and I have to say, I’m feeling really, really good about this offensive line right now.
And hey, Deiter can even swing by Dinky Town and take a look at the Axe if he’d like to.
When I get to pick 31 in this round, this is how my big board looks:
Told you I was taking care of the offensive line once and for all, and I meant it:
Selection, pick 95, (3/31): Michael Jordan, G, Ohio State
Rationale: If you think Nick Easton can make it back from his herniated disc injury, then taking a third offensive lineman here is admittedly stupid. But when you consider the recent Vikings history in bringing back injured o-linemen, the lack of development in Danny Isidora, Aviante Collins also returning from injury, and the thought of Tom Compton starting 16 games again, this pick makes a lot of sense to me...the Ohio State homer. With these three picks, I’ve pretty much solved all the issues with the offensive line. I now have multiple starting options if Easton and Collins come back, both of which I’m considering as a bonus and not counting on. And even if they don’t, I can move Mike Remmers back outside where he belongs, and make him and Rashod Hill my primary backups there, while still having great starting and depth options on the inside.
When the fourth round starts, I get two trade offers:
Meh, not interested. I turn them down. Once again I have back to back picks, and with the offensive line taken care of, I can focus on a couple other needs. My big board:
Selection, pick 119 (4/17): Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn
Rationale: He was a legit deep threat at Auburn with speed to burn, and has the ability to become a solid intermediate slot type guy in the NFL, even if he doesn’t have a ton of experience doing it. His speed also makes him a candidate for another Harvin/Cordarrelle Patterson type player, and the Vikings desperately need one, at least in my opinion.
Selection, pick 120 (4/18): Saivion Smith, CB, Alabama
Rationale: Look, it’s Mike Zimmer we’re talking about here. I’ll be surprised if he waits this long to take a cornerback, if we’re being honest with each other.
The fifth round gives me no trade offers, either as the round begins or as I come on the clock. The big board sets up thusly:
Selection: Darnell Savage, Jr., S, Maryland
Rationale: Savage is a fantastic name, one I can make tons of jokes and puns with. ‘That hit was Savage’, for example. On a serious note, though, Andrew Sendejo is probably gone, and the Vikings will need some depth at safety. Darnell would be a Savage coming off the bench and DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN FOLKS?
As the round starts, I don’t get any offers, but there’s one guy at a position of need I spy, and he keeps creeping up the draft board. I let 13 picks in the round pass, and I don’t think he’s going to last. So when the Panthers are on the clock, I call them and make this offer:
I’m now on the clock, and this is my big board:
Selection, pick 189 (6/14): Sutton Smith, EDGE, Northern Illinois
Rationale: I really need to address defensive line, and specifically the EDGE spot here. Yes, in our scenario Everson Griffen is coming back, but he’s north of 30 now, and the Vikings need to start thinking about depth once he leaves, and Smith is a guy they can groom long term to step into the rotation.
Forgot to do a big board for my second pick in this round, but yeah it’s late so no worries.
Selection, pick 210 (6/35): Drew Sample, TE, Washington
Rationale: I think Kyle Rudolph is back, but the Vikings are going to need some depth at the position in a season or two, and Sample is the top rated player left on my board.
The trade with the Panthers in the last round only leaves me with one pick left, and this is my developmental QB pick...AND THE FREAKIN’ GIANTS TOOK EASTON STICK, YOU MISERABLE, NO GOOD BASTARDS! Fine, ruin my fake draft, why don’t you? I’m still taking a QB. Big board doesn’t matter.
Selection: Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State
Rationale: McSorley is a gamer, man. He’s a dude that made the most of his talent, and never gave up on a play. I like his gritty attitude.
Let’s put a bow on 3.0. Here is the draft class:
To end up here, I made these trades:
I ended up with 10 players, and even though I traded away my second round pick, I ended up with three third rounders, two fourth rounders, and recouped the fifth round pick the Vikings lost in last year’s Trevor Siemian sweepstakes. The offensive line is now healthy, talented, and deep from tackle to tackle, Darius Slayton has a chance to be a solid WR3 option, and I used the back end of the draft to fill depth and take some guys that might be able to contribute in a year or two. If you want to see how the entire draft shook out, go here: https://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/premium/draft.php?d=deykvc
Thoughts? Comment below!
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