Hi kids! How’s life treating you? Is it me, or does the acquisition of no interior offensive linemen so far feel like some kind of reality TV thing? Like, there’s some stooge currently sitting in his mancave, say in White Bear Lake, bitching and moaning about everything that’s gone on in Vikings free agency so far. And he writes on sites like this, other message boards, and social media, like hundreds of other folks. And at some point he’ll type ‘Hell Spielman, give ME a contract to play guard. I’ll take a million bucks to play for the Vikings.’
And boom, he’s the 1,00th guy that’s said that or whatever, making him the contest winner. Two hours later Zygi Wilf, Rick Spielman, and Mike Zimmer pull up to his house and ring the doorbell, congratulating him on being the ‘Next Vikings Offensive Lineman’, or something.
So let’s give a hearty congratulations to Sally Bjergquist, a fourth grader at Willow Lane Elementary, the new left guard for the Minnesota Vikings! She needs to work on her back kick and pulling to the perimeter, but she’ll be a good one.
That’s probably the dumbest reality TV show idea ever, but not as dumb as this mock draft. This is number five for me this year, in case the title of the post didn’t give it away. If you’ve hit rock bottom in your life and you want to go even farther, feel free to read the first four:
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:
Now that we’re into free agency, we have a better idea of what the Vikings needs are heading into this draft. Sheldon Richardson left, but Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen will be back. With no offensive linemen signed, and guys we thought would be back like Tom Compton and/or Nick Easton signing elsewhere, these are what I feel the Vikings 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.
Additionally, with the combine is over, I’m going to use a little guidance from a couple of posts by our old friend Arif Hasan, now with The Athletic. He looked at all the players the Vikings would probably be interested in on both offense and defense, based on past draft picks and how they performed at the NFL Combine. The Vikings looks for specific scores in certain drills, so I’m going to use this information when making selections. It’s not absolute, but it helps when deciding between two or more players at the same position.
In setting up the draft variables, I chose to use Deep Fried Draft for my big board, as it’s the most recent and up to date, for what that’s worth. 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, these are the picks the Vikings have:
As the first round opened, I received no trade offers. I didn’t get any offers when I came on the clock, either, and with the way free agency has unfolded so far, I’d like to trade down a couple spots and maybe pick up a second round pick. I put in a few offers, but had no takers. So, I’ll make my pick. Here’s what the big board looks like:
With the way free agency has unfolded so far, offensive line feels like it’s priority one. But there’s always a player that drops, for whatever reason, and there is a ton of offensive line talent in this draft. It’s a tough choice, but I’m taking my guy.
Selection: Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State
Rationale: But...if there’s a run on offensive linemen, the Vikings could very well find themselves in the same boat they were in last year. Although T.J. Hockenson and Clelin Ferrell are on the board, I’m going to resist the temptation and take care of the o-line. Bradbury has played guard and center, and I’m going to pencil him in as a starting guard.
I get no trade offers in the second round, either. So what the heck, let’s take a look at the board:
As much as fans would like it, I don’t see the Vikings going OL with the first two picks. I think they’ll address it in two of their first three, but not back to back to kick off the draft.
Selection: Blake Cashman, LB, THE University of Minnesota
Rationale: After a strong combine, Cashman has really been moving up draft boards. I think Deep Fried Draft has him a little high, but a lot of sites have him pegged as a mid second rounder to third rounder now. I think he would fit in well with the Vikings defense, even with Anthony Barr staying in Minnesota. And if the Vikes do experiment with Barr as more of a pass rusher, Cashman could be a guy that sees the field a lot in some base and nickel packages.
When the third round opens, I get two trade offers:
I’m not a fan of the Redskins offer. Yes, I get two fifth round picks, but as the talent starts to thin I feel that’s too much of a drop in the third round. Conversely, I like the Texans offer. It’s only a drop of five spots, and I recoup the fifth round pick the Vikes traded away to acquire the Trevor Siemian Experience. I accept the Texans offer. These are now my remaining picks:
When I come on the clock, this is my big board:
The guy I want isn’t on the big board, but I’m taking him anyway.
Selection: Michael Deiter, OL, WIsconsin
Rationale: Deep Fried Draft has Deiter ranked 112th overall, which is lower than other big boards I’ve seen. Deiter’s measurables at the Combine don’t all fall in line with what the Vikes look for, but I think if a player of his caliber is on the board here the Vikes pounce.
Once again, I get no trade offers, nor do I make any. Here’s the big board:
Pick: Drew Sample, TE, Washington
Rationale: Kyle Rudolph won’t be around forever, and the current list of tight ends on the roster behind Rudolph is lacking. Sample will be the heir apparent to Rudolph, and in a couple years he’ll be primed to take over.
Again, no trade offers. Big board:
Selection: Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami
Rationale: Harrison Smith is actually pushing 30, can you believe it? Johnson’s combine measurables are all in line with what the Vikings like, and there’s no way the Vikings pick four offensive players within their first five draft picks.
Again, no trades. Big board:
Selection, pick 190 (6/17): Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson
Rationale: The Vikings need a wide receiver, and Renfrow is a solid value pick here.
Big board for the second pick this round:
Selection, pick 209 (6/36): Austin Bryant, EDGE, Clemson
Rationale: Even though Everson Griffen’s contract was re-done and Shamar Stephen is back in the fold, the Vikes could stand to get themselves a guy that they can probably stash on the practice squad and have him compete for a roster spot in a year or so.
Oh hey look, you’re still here! Awesome. Big board:
Wait, what? How is this possible?
Selection, pick 247, (7/33): Michael Jordan, G, Ohio State
Rationale: I’m not sure what has caused Jordan’s stock to drop this much. I think he’s long, long gone by now, but if he’s around it would be stupid to not take him at this point.
Selection, pick 250 (7/36): Easton Stick, QB< North Dakota State
Rationale: Developmental QB.
So, let’s review Tedisode 5.0. I ended up with this draft class:
To get there, I made the following trade:
This was the first mock I’ve done without a couple of trades in the first two rounds, and it isn’t the sexiest or splashiest of drafts. With the way free agency has played out...or hasn’t played out depending on your perspective...this draft takes care of the most glaring needs the Vikings have.
What grade would you give this completely fake draft?
This poll is closed