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Vikings Mock Draft v3.26

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well, we now on day 11 of the official 2022 league year. The Vikings have been slowly and methodically putting together the 2022 roster. Here is what Kwesi said about the teams approach to free agency ...

“We’re all aligned on what our vision is and how we see the needs of our team this year, next year and overall our whole time horizon,” Adofo-Mensah said on Wednesday. “I think when people look at teams they sometimes do it in a very binary way. And they ask, ‘Are you either all-in or tearing down and rebuilding?’ And I don’t really look at the world that way. The way we look at it is we’re trying to navigate both worlds, we’re trying to live in today and tomorrow, or the competitive rebuild, however you want to phrase it or market it, and so I think that’s kind of how we’ve approached this offseason and our time horizons going forward.”

“You try to be solutions-oriented with everything you have,” Adofo-Mensah said. “You have challenges from all sides. Players have needs, we have needs, just trying to do the best you can for all parties involved. Sometimes that involves doing nothing, staying in the same place, coming back and [saying] ‘Let’s be great together’ and we’ll figure out things after that. It’s just being really smart and empirical and probabilistic about what the outcome will be, what will the needs be and when will it come. This exercise, it’s not perfect. It’s part art and part science. But we’re just intentional about what we do and we’re open to the fact that things we do are uncertain.”

“That’s a great question,” he said. “One of the people I’ve become close with over the years is [former 76ers GM] Sam Hinkie, obviously when he inherited that 76ers team, people kind of thought that they were that way, that 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, kind of mired in a place of mediocrity. Football is a little different deal, it’s more of a team sport. You don’t need that one transcendent player to become great. But, to your point, it’s just about adding great players, great pieces around the core that we have. And there’s ways to do that, there’s ways to do that in free agency or the draft or the trade market or player development. ... There’s no fear of a problem as long as you understand the depths of the problem and, really, how to solve it.”

So, to boil it all down, we are in a competitive rebuild and are going to live in today and tomorrow. Cool.

I have no clue what that means but is sounds pretty good. Like when you are in a marketing meeting and they start blathering talking about a whole lot of nothing.

Let’s boil down to the facts.

Cousins extended one more year. Not a fan but the trade offers were not good enough. Why do I not have a surprised feeling.

Restructure all of Hunter’s roster bonus. I am surprised by this because they eat 18M in dead money if they move him next year which is 5M more than his 2023 13M cap number.

Restructure Thielen. The details of this deal still has not been provided which is a little strange and has my conspiracy theory senses tingling.

Cut Michael Pierce.

Sign Harrison Phillips. A push.

Sign Jordan Hicks. OK but does not do much with Barr gone.

Sign Za’Darius Smith. OK but the contract structure reveals the hesitation and uncertainty the Vikings feel. Could be really good. Fingers crossed.

Sign Chandon Sullivan. I like this signing the best which is sure to be the kiss of death.

Sign Johnny Mundt. Meh.

Sign Austin Schlottmann. Meh.

Sign Mannion. Barf.

Cap wise, we are at $11.5M according to overthecap but that does not include the Thielen details (still strange it is taking this long).

I think it is safe to assume they saved 5M with the Thielen redo giving them $16.5M in cap space.

The cap space also does not include the Sullivan one year deal. What do you think that will be?

Anthony Averett signed a one year 4M deal. He played 808 & 354 snaps the last two years.

Eli Apple signed a one year 3.75M deal. He played 979 & 28 snaps the last two years.

M.J. Stewart signed a one year 2.25M deal. He played 327 & 229 snaps the last two years.

Isaiah Oliver signed a one year 2.385M deal. He played 161 & 830 snaps the last two years.

Sullivan has played 827 & 729 snaps the last two years.

I think he comes in close to 4M for one year but it would not surprise me if Brezinski was able to add void years like he did with Tomlinson and Richardson last year. Let’s say they gave him a one year 4.08M deal with two void years and a 3M signing bonus. His cap hit would be 2.08M.

This should leave about 15.3M because you do not have to subtract the entire 2.08M since the player at position 51 in the cap calculations is removed (870K or so).

They’ll need 4.3M to sign the rookies leaving 11M to sign another cornerback and a GORD.

I think at the top of most Vikings fans wish list is JC Tretter. I am hoping they will show interest which I cannot find anything about them reaching out to him. Sadly, I think the new regime feels it can get more out of Bradbury. I have to lower my sights and hopes.

If the team is not going to get Tretter or not even interested, then I like Nick Martin. He only played 7 snaps last year but over 970 snaps each of the previous 4 years. He lowest pass blocking grade was 68.5 which indicates he has always been an above average pass blocker. He is run blocking grades had been below 60.4 every year and in 2020 it was his lowest at 47.7. He normally is around 57 to 60 so that is average. He is abotu to turn 29 in April but still would be a solid backup and potential starter.

Another lineman I like is Will Hernandez. He had a new system and OL coach after his second year and last year they moved him to right guard. His first year was really good and his first two seasons he had pass blocking grades of 73.1 & 72.5. It fell way off in this third year with the new scheme and OL coach. Switching sides is not easy and it showed last year. Still, he has played over 1000 snaps every year but 2020 when he only played 525 (he got Covid and when he returned he remained on the bench). He is only 26 and has plenty of starts.

I doubt they go for him since they got Schlottmann. I also doubt they go for the two I listed as they really do not make the living conditions today much better and they may not be around tomorrow.

At corner, I like Janoris Jenkins, Patrick Peterson (a little), AJ Bouye, and Stephon Gilmore.

A dream scenario would be ...

Give Stephon Gilmore a 3 yr 42M deal with 2 void years added.

12.5M signing bonus.
Salaries of 1.12M, 8.38M, 10M
Cap hits of 3.62M, 10.88M, 12.5M, 2.5M, 2.5M
He gets 3M per game bonus in 2022 & 2023 plus 4M in 2025.

Give JC Tretter a 3 yr 39M deal with 2 void years added.

12.5M signing bonus.
Salaries of 1.12M, 12.88M, 10M
Cap hits of 3.62M, 15.38M, 15M, 2.5M, 2.5M

These two moved would subtract 7.24M from the 11M remaining except that we have to add back in the two players making 825K at the bottom of the top 51.

So, after these two moves the team still ha 5.4M remaining plus the rookie pool amount of 4.3M.

Any remaining free agents signed would be for the minimum or close to it and the cap hit would be offset by someone at the bottom of the top 51 being removed.

I’d like to sign safety DeShon Elliot or safety Ronnie Harrison to a modest deal to provide depth behind Smith and Bynum.

Give DeShon Elliot a 1 yr 2M deal

500K signing bonus
1.5M salary
Cap hit of 2M

This would leave 4.2M remaining.

I do not think any of this happens so I’ll just say they will sign one more veteran corner for 5M to 8M and one more guard/center for very little.

Heading to the draft, they could go in any direction. The Za’Darius Smith contract is basically a one year deal because they could release next year and save 10.8M making him a very strong cut candidate. He will have to really earn it. Thus, edge rusher could be in play at 12.

I am not sure how much trading around Kwesi will do but I expect a couple of moves either way.


Trade Partner: Philadelphia Eagles

Sent: Round 1 Pick 12

Received: Round 1 Pick 19, Round 2 Pick 19

Trade Partner: Las Vegas Raiders

Sent: Round 5 Pick 13, Round 6 Pick 13

Received: Round 4 Pick 21

Trade Partner: Indianapolis Colts

Sent: Round 3 Pick 13

Received: Round 3 Pick 18, Round 5 Pick 36

19: R1 P19 OT Trevor Penning - Northern Iowa

Northern Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

46: R2 P14 EDGE Boye Mafe - Minnesota

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Minnesota at Indiana Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

51: R2 P19 DL Travis Jones - Connecticut

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

82: R3 P18 WR George Pickens - Georgia

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Cincinnati v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

126: R4 P21 LB Darrian Beavers - Cincinnati

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Temple at Cincinnati Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

179: R5 P36 S JT Woods - Baylor

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor v Ole Miss Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

184: R6 P5 CB Damarri Mathis - Pittsburgh

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 North Carolina at Pitt Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

191: R6 P12 G Luke Fortner - Kentucky

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 LSU at Kentucky Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

250: R7 P29 TE Daniel Bellinger - San Diego State

Boise State v San Diego State Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Penning probably is not a popular pick but I envision him playing right guard. He did play some guard in college and they had him practice there at the Senior Bowl. I like him at right guard next to O’Neill. This also gives the team so insurance in case on injury because Penning could kick out to tackle.

The structure of Za’Darius Smith’s contract gives good reason to look for an edge that can be developed.

We will need another big body because Tomlinson is a free agent in 2023 although they likely extend him since he already had void years in his deal.

Receiver makes sense when you see Thielen’s deal and age.

Linebacker makes sense when you see Kendricks’ deal and age.

An alternate mock


Trade Partner: Philadelphia Eagles

Sent: Round 1 Pick 12

Received: Round 1 Pick 19, Round 2 Pick 19

19: R1 P19 EDGE Jermaine Johnson II - Florida State

46: R2 P14 DL Travis Jones - UConn

51: R2 P19 CB Martin Emerson - Mississippi State

77: R3 P13 LB Darrian Beavers - Cincinnati

156: R5 P13 C Cameron Jurgens - Nebraska

184: R6 P5 OT Zach Tom - Wake Forest

191: R6 P12 WR Tyquan Thornton - Baylor

192: R6 P13 TE Daniel Bellinger - San Diego State

250: R7 P29 CB Zyon McCollum - Sam Houston State

Well, have at it.