The latest Vikings mock draft from Drafttek is published.
The consensus amongst Vikings fans is that cornerback is the TOP need for the team. People are going to great lengths to justify the few other candidates that the team could select with the first pick. If it is a cornerback not named Ahmad Gardner or Derek Stingley Jr then it will be a reach. The prime candidate bandied about is Trent McDuffie. He is an excellent prospect and will likely be a first round pick. If he ends up being a top corner then what does it matter when he was drafted right? I don’t know. I am not sold on the young man because the Huskies did not face any NFL caliber receiver the last two years.
After cornerback, the team could really go in any direction except for center. I sure hope and pray they have not got their hands on a Rick Spielman “How to GM” book left when he was given Das Boot. Taking a center is definitely NOT high on the analytics good first round positions. Although, receiver is not necessarily a need, the strength of this draft early on lends itself to taking one at 12. It could prove to be quite savvy too. I have a hard time seeing them leave Thielen’s 19,967M cap hit alone next year.
A linebacker would be interesting and Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean could be good picks at 12. But since they signed Jordan Hicks it does not seem like it is a necessity either. An edge rusher would be a good pick and there will probably be one or two available.
An interior offensive lineman like Zion Johnson or Kenyon Green do not seem like good options because the value of taking a guard (not name Quenton Nelson) is just not good. An offensive tackle would be good value but the team does not need one. I speculated before about taking Trevor Penning and moving him to guard but after the free agent signings, I do not see that as an option round one either.
Quarterback is an option if they felt one was good enough to take at 12. I do not know if they do but if they took Pickett or Ridder at 12, it would not make me mad.
That kind of leaves it to CB, WR, or EDGE (IMHO).
In this version, the team was fortunate to see a top CB available at 12.
R1.12 CB Derek Stingley Jr. LSU
Arm: 30 5/8”
Hand: 9 5/8”
Wing: 74 1/8”
VJ: 38 1/2”
The Vikings have done a respectable job adding Cornerbacks in free agency this far. They signed Patrick Peterson to start on the outside and Chandon Sullivan to start in the slot. Both were given one year deals. Nate Hairston and Tye Smith were signed for depth and were given one year deals as well. Cameron Dantzler is the other starter on the outside. Kris Boyd, Harrison Hand, and Parry Nickerson rounded out the Cornerback group. Only Dantzler and Hand are under contract for 2023. From a talent and salary cap perspective, Cornerback is a position that should receive serious attention in this draft.
The Vikings found themselves in a very fortuitous position in this mock and found an excellent player to add to the team. Derek Stingley Jr. is one of the top two Cornerbacks in this draft. In his first year Derek recorded 38 tackles, 21 passes defended, and 6 interceptions. In 2019, he was named Consensus All-America but unfortunately suffered injuries causing him to play in just 10 games the last two years.
He showed at his pro day that he was in top condition and good health. The Vikings would be very fortunate to add a player of Stingley’s caliber to the team.
R2.46 S Jaquan Brisker Penn State
Arm: 32 1/8”
Hand: 9 7/8”
VJ: 38 1/2”
The Vikings lost Xavier Woods in free agency and have not signed any other veteran safety. Camryn Bynum was solid in two starts last year but he has yet to play a full 16 game season. The team does have Miles Dorn and Josh Metellus as the backups. Harrison Smith is 33 years old with cap hits over $19M in 2023, 2024, & 2025. Safety is not thought of as a need but it should be.
Jaquan Brisker has the size, speed, high football IQ, leadership skills and is a good solid tackler. He has played in 34 games with 151 tackles, 14 passes defended, and 5 interceptions. He ran a 4.43 forty and has a good size. He was a team captain for Penn State, in junior college, and in high school as well. The Vikings need more young talent at the safety position.
R3.77 OC/OG Cole Strange UT-Chattanooga
Hand: 10 1/8”
Wing: 80 7/8”
The Vikings have added some Offensive Linemen in free agency but only on one year deals. Garrett Bradbury has not ascended to the heights the team was expecting. Wyatt Davis could not get many snaps last year and may not beat out the free agents. The team should not hesitate to bring in a successor to Bradbury.
Cole Strange played at Chattanooga starting 44 games. I have played left tackle and both guard spots for the Mocs. Strange practiced at center at the Senior Bowl. He has visited with the Vikings twice already. I have tested great athletically and had a 9.94 RAS score. He should fit perfectly in the Vikings new look offense.
R5,156 LB Mike Rose Iowa State
Arm: 33 1/4”
Hand: 10 1/4”
Wing: 79 3/8”
Rose tested well and while many consider him just a two down run thumper, he has started 49 out of 49 games which is excellent production. At the very least, he could be a valuable backup and an excellent special teamer.
R6.184 P Matt Araiza San Diego State
A STINKIN POINTER? WTF? Who drugged me? He likely wont go this late but if he does they just might do it. He can really boom the punts and considering this offense was one of the best at going 3 and out, he could flip the field position quite often.
R6.191 DL5T Esezi Otomewo
Arm: 34 7/8”
Hand: 9 3/8”
Wing: 812 1/2”
Otomewo has all the traits you are looking for in a 5 technique defensive end.
R6 192 EDGE Alex Wright UAB
Arm: 35 1/2”
Hand: 9 1/2”
Wing: 82 7/8”
Long limbed developmental edge rusher.
R7.250 CB Kalon Barnes Baylor
Arm: 32 3/4”
Hand: 9 7/8”
Wing: 77 1/4”
Speed demon whose best bet is to snag a special teams position while he continues to develop at corner.
Well, we are down to the last two mocks at drafttek. I still have not mixed in a QB at #12. Probably won’t do it.