The Vikings may be done in free agency but there are some players that I think they might still be able to sign on minimum level deals. I would like to sign another starting level cornerback but the starting spots are set with Dantzler, Peterson, and Sullivan having those locked down.
I mean, how can anyone NOT want Dantzler to start. He has played over 600 snaps his first two years and last year he did not play 3 games for some reason. Dantzler was inactive week 1, didn’t play week 3 and week 5, and had a calf injury in week 17 last year. Why Zimmer did not play him early on is a mystery. Patrick Peterson missed 3 games last year due to a hamstring and was inactive in the second Lions game but otherwise has been very dependable. Chandon Sullivan has been rock solid starting the last two and a half years. Although, it is not a necessity, drafting a rookie corner early is not a bad idea because Peterson and Sullivan are on one year deals. It is not a necessity though.
I like Kevin King and Isaiah Oliver as players that might be willing to take a near minimum level deal for one year. Both have starting experience and would provide valuable experienced depth.
I still would like to see them sign a veteran safety with upside or experience. Players I like are DeShon Elliot, Ronnie Harrison, Terrell Edmunds, and Landon Collins. Which players would accept a minimum level deal though?
I think the team has positioned itself quite nicely to be able to do whatever they want in the first round besides taking a center. As good as Tyler Linderbaum is, the comparisons with Bradbury would be difficult to overcome. The expectations would probably be very unfair too.
Obviously, for those of you who consider yourselves comedians (you’re not), they wont take a dude that puts his foot on the ball early and hopefully not at all but even I have to admit I am intrigued by Matt Araiza from San Diego State. It would hurt really bad but if they managed to trade down and pick up a couple of extra picks then maybe. But I think this dude goes by the end of the 4th if not before. His leg is so strong that if you get pinned down inside your own 15 or so, he can boom it all the way to the other 20. But with our fantastic QB and offense we should not face too many of those situations. amirite?
So, with all this in mind, I made these picks for the latest Drafttek mock. We are going fast and furious now.
R1 12 Jordan Davis Georgia DL1T
Hand: 10 3/4”
Wingspan: 81 1/8”
R2 46 Nakobe Dean Georgia ILB
Arm: 31 7/8”
Hand: 9 1/8”
Wingspan: 76 1/8”
R3 77 Tyler Smith Tulsa OG
Hand: 10 3/4”
Wingspan: 83 1/8”
R5 156 Damone Clark LSU OLB
Hand: 9 3/4”
Wingspan: 78 1/2”
R6 184 J.T. Woods Baylor S
Arm: 32 3/8”
Hand: 8 1/2”
Wingspan: 77 3/8”
R6 191 Alontae Taylor Tennessee CB
Arm: 32 1/4”
Hand: 9 1/8”
Wingspan: 74 3/4”
R6 192 Tyreke Smith Ohio State EDGE
Arm: 33 1/4”
Hand: 10 1/4”
Wingspan: 80 1/2”
R7 250 Kalon Barnes Baylor CB
Arm: 31 3/4”
Hand: 9 7/8”
Wingspan: 76 3/4”
I know Davis wont be popular with everyone and some are vehemently opposed but I think he would be an excellent pick. He does not have the production from a pass rushing perspective and did not play a lot of snaps which was due to Georgia purposely rotating. But even when he did rush the passer he did not get much out of it. So, that is a huge concern if you are drafting a defensive tackle to get you sacks. I think his combine may have blinded people like me into believing he could be a real difference maker.
He is just different athletically than any other huge big man coming into the NFL. The closest comp for me would be Dontari Poe. You just cannot find any players with his height, weight, and speed. The Vikings were 26th in run defense in 2021 and while they did bring in Harrison Phillips to replace Michael Pierce, the other two tackles, Dalvin Tomlinson and Armon Watts are free agents in 2023.
I am not sure why Nakobe Dean fell to the second round in the drafttek mock but there was no way I could pass especially with Kendricks being a potential cut candidate in 2023. I just could not pass up the Butkus award winner. Other options were Jalen Pitre, Jaquan Brisker, Martin Emerson, Tariq Woolen, Perrion Winfrey, and Sam Howell.
When Tyler Smith was still available I had to grab him due to his traits. He just turned 21 and started 24 games at left tackle for Tulsa. Many scouts envision him as a guard in the NFL. I like the tackle experience because it is extra insurance. He is raw but has a nastiness to his game that I would love to see on the offensive line.
In the 5th round, Damone Clark was still available so I took the chance even though he will miss the season due to spinal fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk which sounds scary. He is expected to make a full recovery and is super talented. He was expected to go by the third round. He was the #2 tackler in college football last year. Ideally, I would have liked to trade down and pickup an extra pick to snag this dude. Dean and Clark in the middle for years sounds good to me.
Woods and Taylor are really good athletes who might be able to provide depth and hopefully contribute on special teams.
Smith and Barnes both bring that P word (potential).
I wanted to try this out to see what people think just for debate purposes.
I think the team could be OK at corner this year provided they add one more veteran.