Now that the college football regular season is over, we can look forward to the playoffs and some of the bowl games. The latest Drafttek Mock was posted November 30th.
Before we get into that mock, a look at the current season and what the Vikings can do in the playoffs is worthwhile. The season is going great. No two ways about it. The team is finding ways to win games. Period. That is really all that matters at the end of the day. But looking at it just a little deeper is reasonable and may give a little caution to the enthusiasm.
Vegas is not very high on the Vikings and actually have them as slight underdogs this week vs the Lions. The team is getting 2.5 points on the road vs the 5-7 Lions, a team they beat this year already. The home team usually is favored by about 2.8 points due to home field advantage so the Vikings could be considered very small favorites, no?
So why are the Vikings still not getting a ton of respect? This article goes into some of the nerd stats ...
The Vikings somehow have a point differential of only +10 despite a 10-2 record. They’ve been blown out in both losses, to the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Those losses might indicate that the Vikings aren’t going to have a long run in the NFC playoffs. However, the Vikings did beat the Buffalo Bills, though they caught plenty of breaks to do so.
Most other analytical measures don’t like the Vikings. Football Outsiders’ DVOA is particularly unforgiving to the Vikings. Before Week 13, FO said the Vikings were the first 9-2 team with a negative DVOA. They’ll be the first 10-2 with a negative DVOA too, when those numbers come out after the Vikings’ close 27-22 win over the Jets. Minnesota ranked 22nd in the NFL in DVOA before Week 13.
Another fact is that of the Vikings’ 10 wins this season, only their opening-week victory over the Packers was by more than a touchdown (23-7).
We can be slightly worried but still very excited especially after not making the playoffs the last two years. We can hope that the team will start to play EVEN better once they reach the playoffs. That is a reasonable hope and stranger things have happened. The biggest worry for me is injuries and attrition. It is a long season.
I fully expect to see the team get a home game in the playoffs and to win that home game. I am hoping they can get to the NFC Championship game but do not want to get too far ahead of myself. I think they are a threat to any team due to the offensive firepower.
But, as a USC fan, this kind of feels like USC to me. The Trojans were not expected to do as well yet managed to make it all the way to the PAC12 Championship game and if they won that they would have made it to the playoffs. If you google NFL Preseason Playoff Predictions, the Vikings were about 50/50 to make the playoffs as a wildcard. You already know who most predictors thought would win the division. Sweet!
No matter what happens, it has been a fun ride.
Every two weeks or so we do an update at Drafttek and the site only has the team with 4 picks. The site may include projected compensatory picks which would give the Vikings an additional two sixth round picks.
Considering the successful season and the likelihood of drafting in the late first round (hopefully 31st as there is no 32nd pick because the Dolphins forfeited a pick), the team could trade down out of the first round to pick up an extra 3rd or 4th or some combination of picks. The talent that will be available at the end of the 1st wont be the best at the position unless it is center perhaps. But there should be some nice looking players.
I have been looking at Cornerbacks mainly because Peterson and Sullivan will be free agents next year. The team is 5M over the projected 225M cap already. It is going to take some real gymnastics to get some money to spend. I have faith in Brez though. Still, Dantzler gets dinged up every year, Booth is going to make us nervous until he is able to play most of a season, and Evans already has had a couple of concussions which is very unfortunate for the young man because he looked really good for a 4th round rookie. Now he is on IR. My expectation is they’ll try to keep Peterson.
So, after all that it is time for the mock ...
R1 28 Brian Branch Alabama CB Height: 5’11” Weight: 190
R3 92 Rashee Rice SMU WR Height: 6’2” Weight: 206
R4 106 Olusegun Oluwatimi Michigan OC Height: 6’3” Weight: 310
R5 156 Will McDonald IV Iowa State EDGE Height: 6’4” Weight: 245
Since this mock does not include the compensatory picks and does not allow trades, I’ll throw another one in just because you deserve it!
Trade Partner: Cleveland Browns
Sent: Round 1 Pick 29
Received: Round 2 Pick 13, Round 3 Pick 36
44: R2 P13 CB Brian Branch - Alabama
93: R3 P30 WR Rashee Rice - SMU
99: R3 P36 C Olusegun Oluwatimi - Michigan
117: R4 P15 EDGE Will McDonald IV - Iowa State
165: R5 P30 DL Keondre Coburn - Texas
212: R6 P37 TE Tucker Kraft - South Dakota State
214: R6 P39 QB Aidan O’Connell - Purdue
Just a little something something ...