After trading down last night and selecting OL Christian Darrisaw, Rick Spielman will have four 3rd round picks for Day Two of the NFL Draft, beginning this evening at 6pm CT.
I would be willing to bet that Spielman will trade up with one or two of those 3rd round picks into the 2nd round, perhaps moving up with Seattle at #56, as the Seahawks have only 3 picks and want to move down to acquire more. The Vikings’ #78 and #90 would be a match in terms of Jimmy Johnson value chart compensation.
The Vikings could also package more picks to move up further, if a player they covet is there earlier in the round. One possible trade partner could be Detroit at #41. While a division rival who may nix the idea of trading with the Vikings for that reason, Rick’s brother Chris is in Detroit and so maybe that brotherly love would be enough to induce a trade if need be. The Lions want to trade down to acquire more picks, and somewhat surprisingly did not do so last night. The Vikings could part ways with their two top 3rd round picks and a late 4th round pick to make a move up to #41 for the right prospect.
Who Might the Vikings Target on Day Two?
Initially I though the Vikings may look for a defensive end, and that could still be a possibility, but I suspect they may look to the late 3rd round or even Day 3 to address that position.
Instead, I wouldn’t be surprised with picks in the following position groups: safety, offensive line (guard), wide receiver, cornerback, and quarterback - not necessarily in that order.
One interesting comment last night from both Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer was that they were looking to not only fill vacancies on the offensive line, but to get bigger there as well- Zimmer added especially on the interior. That could provide a clue into a the type of guard they’re looking for, should they go in that direction tonight.
Two candidates that would be big guards that also could be scheme fits for the Vikings at guard I profiled a month or so ago- Quinn Meinerz and Ben Cleveland. Meinerz goes about 320 pounds, while Cleveland tips the scales at around 340 pounds. Both have top athletic scores as well. Meinerz could go potentially in the late 2nd round, and Cleveland more likely in the 3rd round.
While the Vikings could target safety later in the draft, one prospect with a 2nd round grade the Vikings could target is Jevon Holland out of Oregon. He’s a versatile safety, and with Harrison Smith not getting any younger, and Xavier Woods on a one-year deal, adding a safety makes some sense. Another target could be Jamar Johnson out of Indiana.
One intriguing hybrid S/LB prospect that can also play slot corner the Vikings could target is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah from Notre Dame. He’s got a first-round grade on many big boards, but may not be a fit for every defense. He’s a play-maker. If he continues to fall into the mid-2nd round, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vikings make an effort to get this guy.
This would likely be a 3rd round pick, but former Minnesota Gopher Benjamin St. Juste could be a candidate here. One reason to add a cornerback is the possibility a guy like Harrison Hand could be moved to safety, along with Jeff Gladney’s off-field issue clouding his future, and uncertainty about Mike Hughes’ future with the Vikings as well. Patrick Peterson and MacKensie Alexander are on one-year deals as well, so adding another cornerback makes some sense.
When asked about having quarterbacks on the board in round one, Spielman said he was focused on what they wanted to accomplish in the first round, but said “we’ll see what happens tomorrow”, suggesting they may target a quarterback tonight.
I would not expect a quarterback to be the Vikings’ first target tonight, but if one of the 2nd tier group of Kellen Mond, Kyle Trask, and Davis Mills is available with one of the Vikings’ later 3rd round picks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them draft one of them. With the Patriots and Bears both taking quarterbacks last night, it may be more likely that one or more is available in the late 3rd round, but could also wait until Day 3.
Wide Receiver or Tight End
Another possibility for the Vikings tonight is a wide receiver or tight end. TE candidates include Hunter Long or Tommy Tremble, and several wide receivers could be targeted tonight as well, or in the 4th round.
What position should the Vikings address first tonight?
This poll is closed