Welcome back to my Mock Draft series for 2020. I hope you’re all doing well and staying in the game, as it were, mentally and physically. It feels like maybe we’re getting to an inflection point with this thing in the next week or so, but we’ll see. As Winston Churchill once said after the British beat back the Germans at El Alamein in WWII, “Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Or, more simply put by my Dad when he could tell I had hit a rough spot. “Son, if you’re walking through Hell, don’t turn around. Keep going. You’ll come out on the other side soon enough.”
Hang in there, we’re going to make it through this.
Oh, the Coronavirus? No, no no...I was talking about my mock draft series.
Last week’s mock went off the rails early, and although some of you liked the two first round trade downs, many more of you were not happy. If you’d like to check it out, here you go. Please, go re-live your rage or elation as you see fit:
But, it’s on to a new mock. The Vikings have made no moves in free agency since right after we did the first mock of this series, so their needs are still pretty much, you know, everything. However, a couple folks have asked me about not taking a QB. I’m going to try and approach this how I think...THINK...the Vikings will. With the Kirk Cousins extension, I don’t feel that the Vikings are looking to draft a QB early, if at all. Had there been no extension done, I believe they would be looking hard at QB, but the extension put that off at least one year, if not two.
I’m also coming around to the idea that with Dom Capers on the defensive staff, Minnesota might throw in some 3-4 looks this year. I don’t see it being their base defense, but I think...THINK...they’ll add in a few 3-4 looks. So I believe they’ll be looking at linebacker as well, maybe earlier than we think.
As always, I am using the Fanspeak’s On The Clock Ultimate Draft site, where I can offer and accept trades. Before we get at it, my weekly disclaimer:
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. THEN go check out last week’s mock, just so there’s no confusion.
In formulating and/or accepting trades, I’m using the new 2020 Drafttek Trade Value Chart that was developed by Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit, and one closer to the draft trade chart that teams are now reportedly using, as opposed to the Jimmie Johnson trade chart I’ve used in years past. I know most teams don’t follow it to the number, and other trades include players. Trading players in this simulation isn’t an option, and you have to have some kind of baseline, so this is mine. The Vikings selections as the draft begins are highlighted:
I’m going to try and pick players based on need and the athletic profile they fit for the Vikings. To do that, our old friend Arif Hasan over at The Athletic has produced invaluable metrics based on NFL Combine results, broken down by offense and defense.
I also have players I like, just because. I am a fan, after all.
So, in setting up the simulator, I used the most updated big board that Fanspeak has, which is courtesy of Draftplex for today. The computer is using a random board, difficulty level is classic, and team needs are based on Fanspeak’s data.
As a reminder, here are the Vikings picks heading into round one:
Okay, let’s do this.
When the round begins, I get two trade offers, both from division rivals:
I am 100% not going to trade down with the team that won the division last year, and give them better position in the first round. Detroit’s offer is really, really tempting, but then I remember that in 2010, Minnesota traded out of the first round with Detroit and ended up with CB Chris ‘I have as many career interceptions as you’ Cook. It’s only nine spots, but last week, I missed out on some guys I was targeting because of my trades. So, for right now, anyway, I’m staying put. When I go on the clock, I get no offers, and this is my big board:
I would imagine quarantined Rick Spielman is rubbing the Cheetos stains from his fingers on to his Affliction t-shirt to make his pick.
Selection, round 1 (22 overall): Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Rationale: My thinking is exactly what Chris thought when he did his most recent mock earlier this week and Kinlaw fell into his lap: When a top 10 talent at a position of need drops like this, you take him. Kinlaw solves the three-technique position, and although you can rightly argue CB and WR are bigger needs, the three-technique DT runs neck and neck with those positions. When you consider the free agent signing of Michael Pierce, there’s now over 650 pounds of moving pissed off on the Vikings interior line. That makes me tingly.
At 25, I am up again, and the two players taken are WR Tee Higgins and S Grant Delpit. Once again, there’s a top 15 talent that’s slipped through.
Selection, round 1 (25 overall): C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Rationale: Another top defensive talent slips through, and Henderson is considered by many the best CB in this draft next to Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah. For a defense that needs some serious talent infusion, these two picks are a heck of a great start.
In the second round, I get two more trade offers when the round begins:
I don’t want to trade up, so the Dallas offer is out. The Lions offer really favors me in terms of the trade chart. Pick 58 is worth 93 points, and the two third round picks (67 and 95 overall, respectively) total 125 points. Although I lose a second round pick, I would now have four third round picks. Not knowing how the board will fall, I now have plenty of ammunition to move back into the second round if I feel I need to. I accept the offer.
Here are my new set of picks following the trade:
I let the first 20 picks in round two go by, and I decide I want to get back into the round. Philadelphia is on the clock, and their pick is worth 106 points. So, I offer my first and last picks in round 3, 67 and 105 overall, for a total of 104 points:
They accept the trade, and I am now on the clock. Here are my new picks in rounds two and three:
So when the dust clears with these two trades, I move up five spots in round two, and instead of picks 89 and 105 in round three, I end up with picks 81 and 85. Instead of having five of the first 105 picks, I have five of the first 90. I gotta say, I’m pretty happy with the way these two trades worked out. Anyway, I am now on the clock, and this is the big board:
Defense will continue to be the theme.
Selection, round 2, pick 21 (53 overall): Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
Rationale: Igbinoghene has been mocked in the first round by more than one site, and although he’s kind of a raw prospect, he’s the best remaining CB in this draft, as the talent level drops off fairly significantly after him. I feel he’s a great value pick here, and had I not made any trades I would have had to take him either way too early, or miss out on a talent like this completely. I’m pretty satisfied with the Vikes secondary. The CB’s will be very inexperienced, but there is a ton of talent back there now.
I get no trade offers, nor do I try to swing any deals. When I come up to my pick, this is the big board:
There are a couple directions I could go, but I know who I want.
Selection, round 3 pick 21 (85 overall): Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
Rationale: Unless CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy somehow fall to the Vikings at 22, I am not a proponent of getting a WR in the first round. I thought picking Troy Williamson to ‘replace’ Randy Moss in 2005 was a dumb pick, and I think taking someone to ‘replace’ Stefon Diggs in the first round would be almost as stupid. I’m not saying that Diggs equals Moss, but I am saying picking someone to replace a really good player is dumb, because there will be unrealistic expectations placed on whoever that pick is, and the chances of him equalling or surpassing that production is remote. Duvernay is a great pick here; he ran a 4.39 40 and can take the top off of defenses, but needs work on his route running. Letting him work with perfectionists Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen will be a huge benefit for him.
I’m up again four picks later, and there isn’t a huge change to the big board.
Selection, round 3, pick 25 (89 overall): Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State
Rationale: Jackson is arguably the best left guard in this draft, and if we go on the assumption the Vikings are ready to give Dru Samia a shot on the right side after the release of Josh Kline, they still need help at LG. You could argue Tyler Biadasz is the better overall prospect, and I wouldn’t put up too much of a fight, but Biadasz is a center, not a guard, and would have to learn a new position. Personally, I’m kind of done with taking guys on the offensive line and making them learn a new position, or play on the other side of the line. Keep it simple, let Jackson compete with Pat Elflein, and let’s go.
So, as the 4th round starts, there’s a guy that has slipped, and I think I want him. Well, I know I want him. The Bengals are on the clock, and so I’m going to make an offer.
They accept the trade. It seems like a lot for a fourth round pick, but here’s the big board:
I manage to keep this year’s fourth round pick, but give up a 4 and a 6 for next year, and one of my sixth round picks this year. I don’t care, because I love the pick and the value here:
Selection, round 4, pick 1 (107 overall): Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Rationale: Is the fourth round early? I don’t care, but if you can get a talent like Hurts here, I think you try to make it happen. Cousins is Cousins, and I like him. He’s going to start, but the Vikings have to think about the future of the position, and I don’t think I gave up a lot in terms of a trade to find a potential replacement this far down in the draft. Also, Cousins has three years left on his deal, and Hurts will sign a four year contract. the Vikes now have the flexibility to either give Cousins one more extension, or part ways and go with Hurts when the Cousins contract is up. And I don’t care what anyone says, Hurts would be a way better backup than Sean Mannion.
I don’t make any moves, and as we get to my second pick in this round, this is what the big board looks like:
This second pick feels like a no-brainer to me.
Selection, round 4, pick 26 (132 overall): Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
Rationale: Biadasz is a center that can also project to guard in the NFL, and the fact he’s still here is stunning. He gives the Vikings depth and position flexibility along the o-line, and maybe, just maybe, the o-line issues might be a thing of the past.
No trades, no trade offers. Big board:
Going off menu here.
Selection, round 5, pick 9 (155 overall): Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Rationale: I’m still surprised Johnson is rated so low by almost every big board I come across. I think he’s going to be a really, really good NFL player, and is a great value pick here.
Okay, we’re in the home stretch. Remember, late round rules now in effect: Cool-ass name, Ohio State guy, or position of need. Big board:
Remember, I only have one pick in this round due to the Bengals trade that netted me Hurts.
Selection: Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
Rationale: As much as I’d like to draft the Superfreak’s son, I need one more WR to be happy with my depth at that position heading into training camp, as I am not sold on Bisi Johnson or Chad Beebe, who just pulled a quad walking out to the mailbox, and will be week to week.
As the round winds towards it’s conclusion, though, Moss is still on the board. What the hell, let’s see if we can’t swing a trade:
They accept. Big board:
Selection, round 6, pick 31 (210 overall): Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU
Rationale: The Superfreak is coming home! Well, sort of. With David Morgan cut, and Kyle Rudolph probably gone after the 2020 season, the Vikings will need TE depth behind Irv Smith, Jr., and Moss brings that.
With all the trades I’ve done, I’m down to one pick in this round. Normally I take a QB here, but since I got Jalen Hurts earlier, I’m going with BPA at position of need. Big board:
Selection, round 7, pick 5 (219 overall): Bryce Huff, EDGE, Memphis
Rationale: With Everson Griffen and Stephen Weatherly gone, I still need an EDGE to fill out the position group.
I proudly introduce Ted Mock Draft Class 3.0:
To end up with these 11 players, I made the following trades:
Looking back, I probably could have gone with an EDGE rusher with my second fourth round pick (Badaisz), but the value of Badaisz felt too good to pass up. I didn’t take a safety, so if the Vikings don’t keep Anthony Harris, that position would be especially vulnerable, too. Overall, though, this is one of the few mocks that I’ve done that I really like, from top to bottom. But, you guys are the final judge. Give it a grade and rip me in the comments haha. Stay safe, everyone, and Skol Vikings.
What grade to you give Ted Mock 3.0?
This poll is closed
LOL, just stop. This is becoming uncomfortable for me, and embarrassing for you.