Hi kids, how goes your Monday so far? The big news between today and my last mock draft is that the Vikings signed an offensive lineman. No, really, I’m super cereal! Warren did a really nice breakdown of what Kline brings to the Vikes and the Kubiak offense; check it out if you haven’t already. But on the flip side, the Vikings were unable to retain Nick Easton or Tom Compton, who both signed elsewhere.
But enough about other teams and what they did, let’s talk Vikings. If you’re interested in the previous mocks I’ve done this year, or you’re going to be waiting in a doctor’s office for the next two hours, you can check out the previous iterations of the absurd here:
And if you want to skip those (and honestly who could blame you), and 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, a Professional 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. Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen will be back and Kline signed, putting the OL in a better spot. I still believe it’s the primary area of concern, though, so 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 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, or selecting a player in a round.
In setting up the draft variables, I chose to use Bleacher Report, as that seems to be the one that has been most consistent in their rankings. The computer is using multiple, as will be the case in real life, the setting is classic, and team needs are based of Fanspeak.
As we head to round one, these are the Vikings picks:
Giddyup. Let’s go.
As the first round opened, I had no trade offers. When I came on the clock, I had no offers, either. When I look at the big board, this is what I see:
Part of me wants to trade down, but I think there’s too much talent to pass by. I’m going to go the obvious route, not overthink it, and make my pick.
Selection: Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida
Rationale: When the best offensive lineman is on the board, and your biggest need is offensive line, you take him. If I trade down, even a few spots, he’s probably gone. Come draft night, I don’t think Taylor will still be here, but yeah, weird things happen in the first couple rounds, every year. This feels like an absolute steal.
In the second round, once again I receive no trade offers. When I come on the clock, here’s my big board:
I really think Rick Spielman will try and trade down and then back up again, but I can’t find any dance partners, so I’ll stand pat. There are a couple different directions I could go here, and there are players on both sides of the ball I like. But again, I’m going to not overthink this and make my pick, and shore up my last remaining big need:
Selection: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
Rationale: I still don’t believe that moving Riley Reiff inside to guard is something the Vikings are going to do, and with the Bradbury pick, they don’t have to. Bradbury can compete for the LG starting position, or for you Philistines that think moving Elflein to G is a good option, you can slide him over to LG and make Bradbury the center. Reiff will either play LT or lose his job to Taylor, but either way the Vikings have solved their starting o-line issues, and their depth issues...which have been legion in recent years...with these first two picks.
Once again, I get no trade offers, either at the beginning of the round or when I go on the clock. I’d like to recoup that fifth round pick the Vikings traded for the now departed Trevor Siemian, so I call up Houston and offer this:
They accept, woo hoo! I now have my fifth round pick back, and these are my remaining picks left:
When I come on the clock, this is my big board:
I can’t see the Vikings going offense here. Since 2014, the year Mike Zimmer was hired as head coach, the Vikings have not used their first three picks on offense. In comparison, they have used their first three picks on just defensive players only once, in 2015. WR Parris Campbell would be a steal here, but I’m going in a different direction and address a defensive need.
Selection: Ben Banogu, EDGE, TCU
Rationale: Even though Everson Griffen was re-signed and Shamar Stephen was brought back into the fold, the Vikings still lost Sheldon Richardson, and depth will be an issue within the next couple years. Banogu is a guy that can step into the defensive rotation rotation right away, he fits the Vikings combine profile, and he can compete for a starting job in a season or two.
My primary needs have been addressed, I think, but I still could use another running back, WR, TE, and maybe a S or LB. So now I’m going to try and find some value while addressing these secondary needs. Again, no trade offers, so when I come on the clock here’s my big board:
Got a guy that fits both the need and the Vikings combine profile. Easy choice:
Selection: Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma St
Rationale: Hill reminds me a bit of Jerick McKinnon. Kind of a smaller, quicker back than either Dalvin Cook or Latavius Murray. I think he’ll be a good fit in the offense as a primary backup and a good option as a third down back.
Again, no trade offers. I’m kind of frustrated with the lack of activity, but I’m not unhappy with how the draft has unfolded so far. So, let’s just stay put and see what we have on the big board:
Again, there’s a guy on the board that is a position of need and fits the Vikings draft profile.
Selection: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson
Rationale: the Vikings need a legitimate third WR, and Renfrow’s ability to catch the ball will make him an inviting option here. He reminds me of a poor man’s Adam Thielen in the way he uses his body and hands to catch the ball, and I really think he’d be a great fit in Minnesota.
I have two picks in this round, and apparently I haven’t paid my phone bill, because I’m getting no calls to trade. Fine, be that way, 31 other GM’s. Big board for 190/17:
Selection, pick 190 (6/17): Jordan Miller, CB, Washington
Rationale: He’s the top rated CB left on the board, and with the departure of Marcus Sherels...
/bows head for a moment of silence
...the Vikings need a developmental guy in the secondary.
When I get to pick 36, here’s the revised big board:
I’m done joshing around on tight ends.
Selection, pick 209 (6/36): Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State
Rationale: The Vikes are going to need a tight end in a year or so. Stash Oliver on the practice squad, give him a year to develop, and see what happens in 2020.
Do you care about big boards at this point? You do? You’re lying, but I will placate you:
Selection, pick 247 (7/33): John Battle, S, LSU
Rationale: With Andrew Sendejo off to injure a brand new set of teammates, safety depth is a concern, and Battle fits the Vikings Combine profile. He also has a cool name that will make puns easy, and not the...Battle...they can sometimes become. BOOYA!
Selection, pick 250 (7/36): Easton Stick, QB, NDSU
So let’s take a look at 6.0. Here is the final draft class:
I made the following trade:
I’m actually fairly pleased with this one. Although I only had the one trade, I addressed all the team’s remaining needs, and I really beefed up the o-line. If this draft class ends up as the bookend to the players the Vikings have currently signed in free agency, the Vikes will have more than enough talent to compete for the NFC North title and then into the playoffs.
Grade Tedisode 6.0
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