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Minnesota Vikings Pre Free Agency Mock Draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 USC at Utah Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I am using the Consensus Big Board from NFL Mock Draft Database. It compiles all of the “Big Boards” out there and gives everyone a rating from 1 to 300. I am setting a general rule of having to pick someone realistic on the board within our pick. I like this better than some mock draft simulators because the simulators are random. I.E. if Zach Wilson is available at 14 I am picking him, but then everyone will say it is unrealistic and I would have to agree.

Round 1 Pick 14 (14) Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC - IOL) #19 on the board 6’4” 315 lbs- Alijah is the plug and play LG we need right now. We are paying a high price for an OG, but he is worth it. I like Alijah and think he can be good for a long time. I am hoping this would solidify at least one side of our OL.

Round 3 Pick 14 (78) Jaylen Twyman (Pitt - DT) #79 on the board 6’2” 291 lbs - Jalen is the 3T we’ve need since Richardson left. He is an interior pass rush threat. Explosive off the line with great athleticism. I really hope he is there to be taken and we don’t pass him up.

Round 3 Pick 26 (90) Hamsah Nasirildeen (FSU - S) #89 on the board 6’3” 213 lbs - From Baltimore for the Ngakoue trade. Hamsah will replace Ant Harris as I assume he is leaving in free agency. He tore his ACL at the end of the 2019 season and made it back to play in November 2020. Otherwise he would be gone by now. Great with run support with solid tackling and positioning.

Round 4 Pick 14 (119) Dayo Odeyingbo (Vanderbilt - DE) #114 on the board 6’6” 276 lbs - Dayo would be top half of the 2nd round pick if not for a knee injury a few months back. He might not contribute right away, but he is good if he returns. This sounds like a good spot for a gamble. He has played inside at the 3T and outside at DE. Nice size at 6’6” and 275 lbs. He would be perfect to pair up with Danielle Hunter for years to come.

Round 4 Pick 20 (125) James Hudson (Cincinnati - OT) #124 on the board 6’5” 302 lbs - A depth play and also a play if we can’t get Reiff to restructure. He is a zone rushing OT that has the size to be really good. He started college as a DE and ended up an OT. He has the size and athleticism. Ideally he would sit behind Reiff for a year and possibly take over in year 2.

Round 4 Pick 29 (134) Jamie Newman (UGA/Wake Forest - QB) #132 on the board 6’4” 229 lbs - Pick from Buffalo in the Stephon Diggs trade. Jamie is a QB with a lot of talent. He decided to opt out of the 2020 season after opting out of the 2019 draft to transfer to UGA. He is down here because he is unknown. If he had played he could’ve been a 1st rounder. Unknown, but worth a shot at a good QB. Also, I don’t think anyone has confidence in our backup QBs.

Round 4 Pick 38 (143) Keith Taylor (Washington - CB) #144 on the board 6’2” 191 lbs - Tall and strong corner, but not a burner. If he was faster he would be a high pick. He could take the Jayron Kearse role. Hybrid safety/corner/LB, whatever you want to call them. He’s listed at 6’3” 196 lbs, but I think he’ll add some weight fairly easily.

Round 5 Pick 13 (158) Tre’ McKitty (UGA - TE) #154 on the board 6’5” 245 lbs - We need another TE now that Kyle Rudolph is gone. I don’t want to spend a high pick on a TE, but Tre can get it done. He had decent numbers with FSU, but UGA did not use him much in the passing game in 2020.

Round 5 Pick 27 (172) Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina - DE) #173 on the board 6’3” 260 lbs - From Baltimore He has nice hands and nice size. He is another DE that can play DT in passing scenarios. Reminds me a lot of Brian Robison. He isn’t going to be the best DE on the team, but he is going to work and be productive. A great compliment to the high end player around him.

Round 6 Pick 15 (201) Sadarius Hutcherson (South Carolina - IOL/OT) #196 on the board 6’4” 320 lbs - Sadarius played OT in college, but projects as a OG. He is one of those utility OL that can be a valuable backup. Most likely he will be needed as it is rare for all 5 OL to make it through all 17 games. He could compete for a starting spot at RG, but that is a tough switch from LT to RG immediately.

Round 6 Pick 36 (222) Pooka Williams Jr. (Kansas - RB) #232 on the board 5’10” 170 lbs - Compensatory pick Pooka is 5’10” and 170 lbs. He is small and fast. He had back to back 1,000 yard seasons before opting out midway through 2020. Something didn’t look the same in 2020, but this late in the draft no one is without flaws. He would be a 3rd down back with Abdullah leaving in free agency.

I don’t have the effort to put in a full offseason plan, but a few of the major items I would think about.

Top 51 Cap Space Remaining $-4,039,846 (according to spotrac)

Riley Reiff has to be #1 on everyone’s offseason plan. His cap is $17.45M this year. We cannot pay that for him. He is our best OL and we can’t afford him. He is due a $5M roster bonus on 3/19/21. We have less than two weeks to work out a deal or cut him. Can we extend him on a 2 year $20M deal with $5M signing bonus? Give him some nice guarantees to make it happen. $5.24M cap freed for 2021

2021: $6M base salary ($12.2M cap hit) $2.5M new signing bonus + $3.7M leftover from prior deal

2022: $9M base ($11.5M cap hit)

Anthony Barr currently a $15.1M cap hit and $7.8M of dead money. He has guarantees of $7.1M added on 3/19/21 so we have to work quickly with him as well. He is due no guarantees after this year. We can either eat the dead money or rework it. 3 years for $30M makes sense to me. $9M signing bonus. If he doesn’t take that, cut hit ass. $2.8M cap freed in 2021.

2021: $2.5M base ($13.3M cap hit) $3M new signing bonus + $7.8M leftover

2022: $8.5M base ($11.5M cap)

2023: $10M base ($13M cap)

Adam Thielen Rick did him a favor when he reupped Adam early (twice). He has 4 years and ~$52.6M left on his deal. $5.4M dead cap if we cut him. Nothing is left guaranteed on his deal. $13.5M cap hit this year with $5.4M in dead money. Don’t kill him with the restructure, just redo it. 4 year $50M deal with $10M signing bonus. $2.5M cap freed in 2021. This is actually a deal where he gets more cash now, but little guaranteed after this year.

2021 $3M base ($10.9M cap) $2.5M singing bonus + $5.4M leftover signing bonus

2022 $9M base ($11.5M cap)

2023 $13M base ($15.5M cap)

2024 $15M base ($17.5M cap)

Dan Bailey - cut him. His salary guarantees on 3/19/21. He is due another $3M if not cut. Take the $1M dead cap and save $3M. We signed K Greg Joseph for a reason and Greg worked with Britton Colquitt in Cleveland with Britton holding his kicks. We don’t need an expensive kicker that isn’t that good to begin with. He blew out chance to beat TB last year.

That gets us ~$9.5M in cap space. There are probably some other moves we can make, but they are basic roster management. I didn’t find it prudent to go through potential free agents that aren’t likely to sign here anyways. If we can’t get Barr to restructure we can use some of that money to grab a LB. I personally would cut Kirk now, but I don’t think that is realistic either. We can extend him if we want, but would prefer to let his deal expire next year. I also don’t like the idea of extending Danielle Hunter without seeing him play again. Is this a real injury we should be worried about? If so, we need to see him play.