‘This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend, the end.’ —Jim Morrison
Yes, my friends, welcome to the end of my 2019 Mock Draft series. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve shaken our heads in disbelief. If you’d like to look back on the memories we’ve created like you’re flipping through pictures on your phone, click here for the most recent mock, and then you can navigate to the rest of them. Enjoy as we laugh and high five at the good fake picks, and pour one out for the bad ones.
Damn...that’s a lot of pourin’ out amirite?
However, if these memories would trigger Mock Draft PTSD, please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t click on the link. I assume most of you have a life and won’t be clicking, and for that I say ‘well done’. Before we knock out this last...ridiculous...thing...a few 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:
Minnesota’s biggest need is still the offensive line, even with free agency essentially done...but I don’t think it’s a mandatory, gotta pick in the first round kind of need anymore. I still believe it’s the primary area of concern, so with that in mind this is what I feel are the Vikings needs as we head into Thursday:
Tight End/Wide Receiver
In the past, I said I would try to mimic GM Rick Spielman, and I’m still going to try and do that, but for this one I’m going to do a couple things. In the early rounds, I’m going to try and mimic what I think the Vikings would do and who they will pick based on rumors and intel I’ve heard through the grapevine. Am I 100% certain on this info? No, I’m not, but I’ve heard the same thing from more than one unofficial source. Granted, it could all be a smokescreen to hide true intentions, as a lot of this information is, and people could be flat out lying to me, so grain of salt and all that.
Secondly, in formulating my later round picks I’m going to try and use NFL Combine data the Vikings look for in players that our old friend Arif Hasan from The Athletic has given us here and here, and use those numbers and data as a guideline and tiebreaker if I have to.
In setting up the draft variables, I’m using the Fanspeak super duper ultimate mock draft site that allows for trades. CBS Sports aggregate is my big board, the computer has multiple big boards, and Fan Speak was selected for team needs.
These are the picks the Vikings have heading into round one:
There are no trade offers at the beginning of the round, but when I come on the clock I have two offers:
I believe the Vikings want to trade down, but not that far, and not out of the first round. So I decline these trades. When I look at the big board, this is what I see:
Based on what I’ve read, what I’ve seen, and what I’ve heard, the Vikings want to target either Dalton Risner or Chris Lindstrom as their top OL pick, and would like to trade down to do it. But, with no trade partners, and a big board like this, I also believe they are ready to stay at 18 and take a top defensive player if he fell to them here, and will work to get back into the end of the first round to address the offensive line.
Selection, pick 24 (1/24): Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi St
Rationale: And in this scenario that’s exactly what they did. Picking either Risner or Lindstrom here is too early, and I don’t think they’re going to take a tackle. If you believe that Sweat’s heart issue is ‘a thing’, then Rashan Gary or Christian WIlkins are a solid options here. But if the draft board looks similar to this on Thursday night, the Vikings are taking a defensive lineman.
Now, let’s get back into the first round and get an offensive lineman. I let the picks play out until the Rams come on the clock at 31, and I start working a trade:
The Rams accept, but a caveat on this: I think if the Vikings move back into the first round, they’ll trade a player and maybe an early round pick to get there, and it won’t cost the Vikings a future first round pick. So this trade probably isn’t exactly what a real trade would look like but the end result is the same: at the end of round one, where I think the Vikings will be if they take a defensive player at 18. Here’s the big board for pick 31:
Yeah, this has worked out just the way I see it happening Thursday.
Selection, pick 31 (1/31): Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
Rationale: For those of you that think the Vikings need to take a tackle, and start swapping guys around, like Brian O’Neill to LT, Riley Reiff to LG, and so on, I have news for you: The Vikings realize that tackle—either right or left—isn’t an issue right now, and are going to address the need with a player that fits the need, and not move anyone around. It’s kind of Occam’s Razor, which means the right answer to your problem probably the easiest, most plausible one, basically, and taking a guard here is the simple, easy fix without causing upheaval up and down the line. Lindstrom is a natural G who would probably flip to the left side after playing on the right side in college, but he is a guy that you can project as a 10 year starter in this league, and brings a nasty attitude with him that the Vikings offensive line needs.
When the second round starts, I get these two offers:
I love this Steelers offer, and it feels exactly like something Rick Spielman would do: move down a couple spots, and grab another high round pick. I accept the deal. My new set of picks:
When I come on the clock, I receive two more offers:
I’m not too keen on moving out of the second round after already making a trade down, so I reject both offers. My big board:
I love how this has set up so far.
Selection, pick 74 (3/10): Eric McCoy, C, Texas A & M
Rationale: McCoy feels like the prototypical VIkings pick here: he fits their Combine score range, model citizen off the field, and is a guy that could play multiple positions in a zone blocking scheme. I am not in favor of moving Pat Elflein yet, but if he has another sub-par year McCoy could push Elflein next year, and backup multiple spots right away. I do believe that the Vikings will take two offensive linemen in the first three picks, and if they come away with Lindstrom and McCoy, I’m really going to like how the offensive line will be shaping up.
With two picks in this round, I really have a lot of options available, and with my biggest needs out of the way, I don’t feel like I’m shoe-horned into taking a guy just to fill a need. So when the round starts, I get this offer from Buffalo:
I kind of like the idea if staying in the top 10 of this round while getting an extra fourth round pick, so I take the offer. My remaining picks are now as follows:
When I come on the clock, this is what my big board looks like:
Selection: Travon Mullen, CB, Clemson
Rationale: Here’s my thinking: if the Vikings make a trade into the back half of the first round, and a player is involved, I think CB is a position of strength the Vikings can dip into. If that happens, Mike Zimmer will want a CB to backfill, Mullen is stronger in a man to man scheme like the Vikes run, and he has the character and Combine scores the Vikings look for. And I don’t think anyone in the Vikings draft room would walk out alive if the offense had four of the first five picks in the draft.
My big board for the second pick in this round:
Selection, pick 81 (3/17): David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Rationale: If Montgomery is available here, he might be the steal of the round. He would be a fantastic complement to Dalvin Cook, and a replacement for Latavius Murray. There’s a real need at RB for the Vikings, and when arguably the best RB in the draft is available, you take him.
Two picks in this round, and although I get trade offers for both of these picks, I turn them down, as both took me out of this round and into the fifth. My big board:
Selection, pick 112 (4/10): Foster Moreau, TE, LSU
Rationale: Moreau isn’t going to light up any highlight reels with circus catches, but this guy can block, and do it very well. And he’s an athletic guy that can develop into a pass catcher. His agility and speed drills from the Combine are right in the Vikings wheelhouse, and with the Vikings needing a guy that can both catch passes and help shore up the blocking, Moreau is a good pick here.
I’m on the clock eight picks later, so the board hasn’t changed all that much.
Selection, pick 120 (4/18): Marquise Blair, S, Utah
Rationale: With Andrew Sendejo gone, safety is kind of thin, although the front line starters are pretty solid. Blair is a versatile athlete who could also back up Anthony Harris in the Vikings ‘big nickel’ package, and provides solid depth.
No selection, thanks to the Trevor Siemian trade.
No trades, and I have two picks in this round. Here is the big board for the first selection here:
Selection, pick 190 (6/17): Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
Rationale: The Vikings are in need of a WR that can come in and compete for playing time, and Hurd fits that bill.
Selection, pick 209 (6/36): Khalil Hodge, LB, Buffalo.
Rationale: I like the long term potential of Hodge. Give him a year to marinate, and he might be able to come in and backup one of the primary guys in the next year or two. Or as a minimum, contribute on special teams.
No big boards; it’s all a crapshoot long before this. Gonna grab my last need and my project QB.
Selection, pick 247 (7/33): Jackson Barton, T, Utah
Selection, pick 250 (7/36): Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State
So here is my final mock draft class of the season:
To get this class, I made these trades:
It’s a class with a whopping 11 players, with seven in the top 120, and I got at least one player at every position of need. I fixed the o-line, found Everson Griffen’s replacement, got a good running back to replace Latavius Murray, and found some good value to fill remaining roster holes.
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