We are now, officially, less than a week from the start of the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas, and teams are making all of their final preparations and getting their boards in order for this year’s selection meeting. We’ve seen a bunch of mock drafts that show who people think the Minnesota Vikings will take early on, but we know that teams are mostly built in the mid-to-late rounds.
I believe I ask this question every year of our readers, and it seems like a good time to ask it again. I’m wondering who your “draft crush” is for this year. . .the one player that you would absolutely love to see the Vikings come out of this year’s class with.
For me, I’m staying along the offensive line and hoping that the Vikings can find a way to add Cole Strange out of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Strange went to UT-C as a defensive end, but was moved to the offensive line and hasn’t looked back since. He wound up being a five-year starter for the Moccasins, as he utilized the extra year of eligibility granted to those that played through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. That means he’s a bit older than most prospects. . .he’ll turn 24 right around the time that Training Camp starts. . .but I don’t think that really means a whole heck of a lot.
At the Scouting Combine, Strange tested off the charts in athletic drills and would at least compete for a starting spot with the Vikings in his first year. I know that the Vikings have made some moves at guard this offseason, but Strange could eventually be the person that unseats Garrett Bradbury from the center spot. As things stand right now, new head coach Kevin O’Connell has declared that only the right guard spot is open for competition, but Strange could probably get him to change his mind on that front.
The offensive line isn’t as glaring a need this year for the purple as it has been over the past couple, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be addressed. Cole Strange is likely going to be available when the Vikings select in the third round given where their current picks are, and he would be an outstanding addition at that spot in my opinion.
Who is your “draft crush” for this year, folks? Let us know!