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Mel Kiper, Todd McShay address Vikings’ offensive line in dueling mock drafts

But then their paths diverged a bit

2007 NFL Draft
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Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

While we have our own specific Mock Draft Database for the Minnesota Vikings. . .which is awesome if you haven’t already checked it out. . .there are a couple of different mock drafts that we like to pay a little more attention to than others. Today, we got new mocks from a couple of the leading draftniks out there, so we wanted to highlight them a bit.

Over behind the great E$PN paywall, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay did dueling mock drafts for the first two rounds of this year’s selection meeting. When it comes to the Vikings, they both hit the team’s most immediate and pressing need in the first round, but then things went in different directions.

We’ll start with Kiper, who has the Vikings taking Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams with the 18th overall pick. This would be a bit of a dream scenario for the Vikings, as Williams is widely regarded as the top offensive lineman in this year’s class. Here’s what Kiper had to say about the pick:

It doesn’t matter if Williams ends up at guard or tackle -- he’d help Minnesota at either spot.

Kiper had just one other offensive lineman off the board when the Vikings selected at 18, as he had Jawaan Taylor of Florida going to Jacksonville at #7 overall.

In the second round, Kiper shifted the Vikings’ focus to the defensive line, as he tabbed Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery at #50.

After undergoing shoulder surgery last month to fix a torn labrum that bothered him in 2018, Tillery could drop to the end of Round 2. He’d be a solid fit in a loaded Minnesota front seven.

As for McShay, he also had the Vikings going with an offensive lineman in the first round, but his choice was Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom, a name that seems to be gaining some momentum as we get closer to draft day.

I would have liked a defensive tackle here to replace Sheldon Richardson, but Ed Oliver and Christian Wilkins are off the board. The Vikes added Josh Kline but still need help protecting the quarterback.

For comparison’s sake, McShay had two offensive linemen off the board when the Vikings picked in his scenario. Like Kiper, he had Taylor to the Jaguars at #7, and he then had Williams going to the Carolina Panthers at pick #16.

When it came time for his second round selection, McShay channeled his inner Mike Zimmer and selected a defensive back for the purple. He selected Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen with pick #50 overall.

Mike Zimmer loves to mold his defensive backs into impact players. And with Xavier Rhodes entering his age-29 season, Trae Waynes hitting free agency in 2020 and the uncertainty of how Mike Hughes will return from a torn ACL, cornerback is a bigger need than immediately meets the eye.

I mean, I guess I can’t argue with him too much, and I can’t imagine that Vikings fans would be too angry over the team using a second round pick on a corner. On the other hand, if they use their first round pick on a corner, Vikings Twitter may burn itself to the ground.

(I won’t declare if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll leave it entirely up to your judgement.)

We’re just three weeks away from the draft and things could definitely change between now and then. But, of these two scenarios, which one do you prefer?


In ESPN’s "dueling mock drafts," which scenario do you prefer for the Vikings?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Mel Kiper (Alabama OL Jonah Williams and Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery)
    (2502 votes)
  • 9%
    Todd McShay (Boston College OL Chris Lindstrom and Clemson CB Trayvon Mullen)
    (251 votes)
2753 votes total Vote Now