Alright, ladies and gentlemen, since Ted has officially gotten things going with his first Mock Draft of the 2019 offseason, it’s only right that yours truly follows suit. We’re going to do what we did last year with these, where Ted and I will do a mock draft each week, and sort of walk you through the thought process that we’re using to make our picks. In order to do this, we’ll be using the FanSpeak On The Clock draft simulator, as we did last year.
For the initial mock, I’ll be using Matt Miller’s Big Board, and I’ve got the simulator set to “Classic” difficulty. The Big Board will probably change most weeks, but we’ll start with this one.
Before the festivities can even get underway, I’ve got two trade offers sitting in front of me.
Honestly, I really have no interest in trading up, and I have even less interest in using my second round pick to move up. So, neither of these deals are happening. Let’s start the draft.
To review, these are the picks at my disposal. The FanSpeak folks have projected compensatory picks, it would appear, as the Vikings have eight selections (they currently only have five).
Pick #18 comes up and no other trade offers have come in, so here’s what the Big Board looks like at the present time.
Now, I know that nobody has been screaming louder than I have for offensive line help. To this point, just two offensive linemen have gone off the board. . .Alabama tackle Jonah Williams went to Jacksonville at #7, while Washington State tackle Andre Dillard went to Carolina at #16. The sweet spot for offensive linemen appears to be in Round 2, though, and if this offseason plays out like I think it’s going to, there’s a guy that this team will be able to use right away.
Round 1, Pick #18 - Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
As things stand right now, I am firmly of the belief that Anthony Barr has played his last down as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. I think this team would prioritize Sheldon Richardson over Barr, and I think Barr wants to be able to rush the passer more than he has thus far with Minnesota. If Barr does leave, I think Mike Zimmer is going to want to replace him immediately, and Bush is the guy to do that. He might not have elite height, but he does have outstanding speed and quickness, and is very good both in coverage and rushing the passer, whichever he’s called on to do. He would step in and start immediately next to Eric Kendricks.
Now, we start Round 2 and hope that the run on offensive linemen doesn’t sneak up on us like it did last year.
No trades come in for us before our second selection comes up, so let’s see who’s available on the board for us, shall we?
The top two players on the board are both offensive linemen, and both very good ones at that. Since the need on the Vikings’ offensive line would appear to be more for interior players, let’s just take the top guy on the board again, shall we?
Round 2, Pick #50 - Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State
Jenkins would certainly appear to be a player that the Vikings could plug in pretty much immediately. I’m not entirely sure how well he projects to guard, but if you’re choosing between Jenkins or Jawaan Taylor like I am here, somebody is probably going to have to move. If you take Taylor, it’s probably Riley Reiff, with Brian O’Neill shifting to left tackle and Taylor playing the right side. If we take Jenkins, it might end up being Pat Elflein. Of course, Elflein was a great guard in college before he moved to center, so between that and being able to take part in the offseason program this year, it might be for the best.
To start Round 3, we’ve got two trade offers on the table, both from AFC playoff teams.
Gotta be honest. . .I’m not sure which direction I want to go in this round yet, but I’ll take an extra pick. I’ll accept the Colts’ offer and drop back eight spots.
No other action comes before our selection, so let’s take a look at the Round 3 board:
One of the disadvantages to dropping back is that you could, potentially lose a player you had your eye on. That happened here, as the Lions took Wisconsin guard Michael Dieter just before this selection. While my primary motivation for drafting Dieter would be for Sprockets references, he would have made a pretty nice addition, too. But, with him off the board, let’s take a swing at potentially resolving the Vikings WR3 quandary.
Round 3, Pick #89 - J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
The Vikings need another wide receiver to take the heat off of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and the Vikings have enough players (including those two) that can work out of the slot. At 6’3” and about 225 pounds, Arcega-Whiteside is pretty much an outside receiver, and he can go up and get 50/50 passes as well as anyone. With the Laquon Treadwell era appearing to be nearing its conclusion. . .if it isn’t there already. . .the Vikings go with a player that they hope will give them what they wanted from Treadwell.
On to Day 3 of the mock!
No trade offers come in at the start of Round 4, so here’s what the board looks like as we prepare to make the first of two picks in this round.
Not an ideal board at this point, but I’m going to take a guy that, at least based on the big board rankings, might appear to be a bit of a reach at first glance.
Round 4, Pick 120 - Ross Pierschbacher, OL, Alabama
So, with the first four picks in this draft, it would appear the Vikings have gotten two offensive linemen that could, potentially, step in and start right away or at least provide quality depth. I think that Pierschbacher would have a better shot at transitioning to guard right away than Jenkins might, and if the team does part ways with Mike Remmers this offseason, that will become a spot of need, too. This team needs to simply improve the talent level across the offensive line, and Pierschbacher would do that.
There isn’t a whole lot of change to the board when we get to our next pick, so let’s find ourselves a replacement for Latavius Murray, shall we?
Round 4, Pick 128 (from Indianapolis) - Benny Snell, RB, Kentucky
While the Vikings have backs that are quick and athletic, Snell could potentially be more of the “hammer” that Murray has been in short-yardage situations for this offense. If Murray moves on, the Vikings are going to need that sort of complement to Dalvin Cook, and Snell was one of the better runners in college football last season.
I didn’t accept a trade anywhere that would have given me a pick in the fifth round, so it was quite a wait to get to Round 6. By the time we come back up again, here’s what things look like:
Man, lots of running backs and wide receivers at this point. Looking over in the virtual corner, it would appear that virtual Mike Zimmer has gotten a little itchy that we haven’t drafted a cornerback yet, so let’s fix that here.
Round 6, Pick 192 - Hamp Cheevers, CB, Boston College
Cheevers is likely a slot corner at the next level because of his size, but given that Mackensie Alexander is going into the final year of his contract, it might not hurt to have insurance for him around. Cheevers had seven interceptions for BC last season.
We’re back on the board at pick #210, so here’s what’s changed:
At this point we’re just looking for potential, and there’s a guy that appears to have a lot of it and could be a nice project for the Vikings.
Round 6, Pick 210 - Donald Parham, TE, Stetson
A small-school athlete, Parham is a big tight end. . .well, a tall tight end, at least, measuring in at 6’8”. At that height, he could stand to add a bit more weight to his frame, but if the Vikings could develop him could end up paying off big time.
On to our two picks in the final round, folks! And since we’re almost at the end of Round 7 by the time we do show up, the board has changed quite a bit. Here it is:
The simulator says that the Vikings haven’t addressed their need at safety, so let’s do that.
Round 7, Pick 249 - Zedrick Woods, S, Mississippi
Hey, his name is Zedrick. Like Bobcat Goldthwait in Police Academy 4. That’s good enough for me.
And our final pick, which is #254 overall, can go to a quarterback with a bit of a Vikings connection.
Round 7, Pick 254 - Kyle Shurmur, QB, Vanderbilt
Toss out all your “coach’s son” cliches here, as Kyle Shurmur is the son of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. If the Vikings want to move Kyle Sloter up to the #2 quarterback slot, they’re going to need a #3 guy, and Shurmur has some potential in that role.
So, that’s the first of who knows how many mock drafts from yours truly this draft season. What do you think of how things went? What would you have done differently?
(I’d put the recap of my picks and the link to the full mock here like Ted did, but. . .well. . .I dorked out and closed my browser tab before I remembered to do that. Next time, though, it will be on here.)
What grade would you give Chris’ first mock draft of 2019?
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