As we mentioned the other day, the SB Nation NFL blogs are in the midst of a do-over of the 2017 NFL Draft. We talked briefly about how Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook went much earlier in the redraft than he did on draft weekend in 2017, but that was about all we could talk about since the Vikings did not have a pick in the first round that year.
The redraft has moved on to a second round, giving us an opportunity to make a selection. You can take a look at how the first round went right here, and this is how the picks in the second round went leading up to the Vikings’ selection:
- 33) Cleveland Browns - John Johnson, S, Boston College
- 34) San Francisco 49ers - Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
- 35) Jacksonville Jaguars - Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
- 36) Chicago Bears - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
- 37) Los Angeles Rams - Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
- 38) Los Angeles Chargers - Larry Ogunjobi, DT, Charlotte
- 39) New York Jets - Marcus Maye, S, Florida
- 40) Carolina Panthers - Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
- 41) Cincinnati Bengals - Jayon Brown, LB, UCLA
- 42) New Orleans Saints - Taysom Hill, QB, LOL
- 43) Philadelphia Eagles - Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T
- 44) Buffalo Bills - Matt Milano, LB, Boston College
- 45) Arizona Cardinals - Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
- 46) Indianapolis Colts - Anthony Walker, LB, Northwestern
- 47) Baltimore Ravens - Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston
That brought up the Vikings at #48, and with Cook off the board and no longer an option, I decided to stick with the same position, but bring in a guy that has a pretty unique skill set.
With the 48th pick in the 2017 SB Nation NFL Redraft, the Minnesota Vikings have selected. . .Austin Ekeler, running back, Western State.
Ekeler went undrafted in 2017, so this is a pretty big jump up the board for him. He’s earned it, though, as he’s had his share of success on the ground with the Los Angeles Chargers in the three years he’s been in the NFL, but he’s really made his mark as a receiving threat. This past season with the Chargers, he caught 92 passes, good for second on the team in that category, and came up just seven yards short of 1,000 receiving yards. For a running back, that’s pretty darn impressive. I’m guessing that his rushing numbers will go up for the Chargers in 2020 with Melvin Gordon having moved on to the Chargers’ division rivals in Denver.
Ekeler would have, in my opinion, been a solid part of the three-headed monster in the Vikings’ backfield. With Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray still in the fold for the Vikings that season, Ekeler could have been eased in and still been effective as a pass catcher and a change of pace out of the backfield.
So, that’s the direction that yours truly went in for the Vikings in our SB Nation 2017 NFL Redraft. Do you like the pick? If you want to review the draft class from that year and potentially suggest someone else that was still on the board, you can review that year’s draft right here.