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Mel Kiper, Todd McShay release first mock drafts of 2020

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Let’s see what they’ve got for the Vikings, shall we?

Houston v Rice Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

It’s not time for us to fire up the 2020 Mock Draft Database for the Minnesota Vikings yet. . .we’ll get to that just before this year’s Scouting Combine. . .but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a bit of a look around and see what some of the experts have the Vikings doing when the 2020 NFL Draft comes around here in a few months.

Behind the great E$PN paywall, both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have released their first mock drafts of the offseason, and

We’ll start with Kiper, who has the Vikings spending a second straight first-round pick on an offensive lineman with the selection of University of Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones.

A four-year starter for the Cougars, Jones has had a great week at the Senior Bowl, and I feel good about making him the fifth offensive tackle of this first round. Minnesota got a solid season out of Brian O’Neill at right tackle, but left tackle Riley Reiff isn’t the long-term answer. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Jones could be. You also could keep an eye on a cornerback here, as there could be some upheaval with Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander hitting free agency and Xavier Rhodes, who struggled in 2019, a possible cap casualty. And we already know Mike Zimmer loves coaching up talented cornerbacks.

For the record, the four offensive tackles that Kiper has going ahead of Jones are

  • Andrew Thomas, Georgia (to Arizona at #8)
  • Mekhi Becton, Louisville (to Cleveland at #10)
  • Jedrick Wills, Alabama (to the Jets at #11)
  • Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (to Tampa Bay at #14)

The Vikings taking a tackle at #25 would likely necessitate a move inside to left guard for Riley Reiff. . .if he remains on the roster. It would probably also require a restructure for Reiff, since there’s no way they’re paying a guard the kind of money that Reiff is set to make in 2020.

McShay, on the other hand, looks to the secondary for the Vikings, as he tabs them to take Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall with the 25th overall pick.

Hall’s season was cut short by an ankle injury, but he has speed and length and is particularly strong in zone looks. Xavier Rhodes has struggled in coverage this season, and both Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander will be free agents in the spring. And coach Mike Zimmer loves his corners: Minnesota has drafted four in the first or second round since 2013.

I’m sure there are people rolling their eyes at the prospect of another highly-drafted cornerback, but seriously. . .if Rhodes, Waynes, Alexander, and Jayron Kearse are all on the way out, the secondary all of a sudden looks really sketchy. If the Vikings can’t work something out with Anthony Harris, it would make the need on the back end even more pressing.

Like I said, once we get closer to the Combine we’ll start putting together this year’s Mock Draft Database. For now, though, we’ve got an early look at what two of the leading experts have in mind for the Vikings before any major offseason moves take place.

Poll

Which ESPN draft expert’s pick do you prefer for the Minnesota Vikings at this point of the offseason?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Mel Kiper (Houston OT Josh Jones)
    (2179 votes)
  • 24%
    Todd McShay (Virginia CB Bryce Hall)
    (716 votes)
2895 votes total Vote Now