In 11 days the NFL Draft will commence AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The fate of hundreds of young men will decided in a three day period. It is one of the most exciting events in all of sports in my opinion. For this piece I will doing a 7 round mock draft using Fanspeak’s premium mock draft simulator. I will be using Matt Miller’s big board.
Let’s run down what picks the Vikings currently have:
Round 1, Pick 30
Round 2, Pick 30
Round 3, Pick 30
Round 5, Pick 30
Round 6, Pick 30
Round 6, Pick 39
Round 6, Pick 44
Round 7, Pick 7
Eight picks in total which allows me to trade up if I see a player that I think highly of. Let’s get started.
I am planning on addressing the offensive line immediately with my first round pick as that is the weakest area on our team. Unfortunately, Billy Price the center/guard from Ohio State is taken the pick before me. Thankfully, James Daniels, another player who can play both at center and guard is still on the board. I select him with the 30th overall selection in this years draft.
As I begin the second round, I get a trade offer from the Miami Dolphins:
Round 3, Pick 9
Round 4, Pick 23
Round 6, Pick 35
Round 2, Pick 30
I would be moving back 11 spots but would also be picking up a 4th round pick which the Vikings do not own currently, as well as an additional 6th. I accept.
By the time my selection comes around, there aren’t too many players I think that highly of. The Vikings defensive line must be given added depth to keep them fresh for the entirety of the season. We saw our defensive line wear down greatly when playoffs came around. This fact leads me to selection Josh Sweat, the defensive end from Florida State. He has the physical tools to be a tremendous edge rusher in the NFL. Also, if anybody can coach him up to the next level, it is defensive line coach Andre Patterson.
With my second 3rd round pick, I want to address the offensive line again. Kirk Cousins needs protection and that is exactly what he is going to get. I select offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom from TCU. He struggled with consistency at the collegiate level but in this case, we are not asking him to come in and start right away. We have the likes of Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers at the tackle position so we can take him and develop him to get ready for the NFL level.
In the 4th round, I make a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals:
Round 4, Pick 12
Round 5, Pick 30
Round 6, Pick 30
Round 6, Pick 35 (Acquired from trade with Miami)
I had the assets to move up in the draft and that is exactly what I did. I select quarterback Kyle Lauletta from Richmond. I know we don’t have a glaring need at this position being that Kirk Cousins is here for at least three years. But if we take the time to develop Lauletta and allow him to learn under Cousins, much like Aaron Rodgers did with Favre and Jimmy Garapollo did with Tom Brady, then we could have a franchise quarterback in our hands when Cousins’ massive deal expires.
With my second pick in the 4th round I select Tarvarus McFadden, cornerback from Florida State. Mike Zimmer loves himself a defensive back and McFadden has the flexibility to play in the slot and outside. He had a slow 40 yard dash which is what allowed him to drop in most big boards but the ball skills are still there. If he can get his athleticism where it needs to be, then this is a major steal in the draft.
With my three picks remaining, I will be addressing depth concerns at important positions. I select Deadrin Senat from South Florida, a defensive lineman. This gives our defensive line more depth and with Sheldon Richardson potentially leaving after his deal expires next season, allows us flexibility going forward. With the other 6th round pick I have, I select linebacker, Mike McCray, from the University of Michigan.
Finishing out the draft, I always believe that you can find receivers with large amounts of potential and the ability to contribute at the NFL level. This is why I select Ray-Ray McCloud from Clemson University. He might not make the 53 man roster come this fall but he will at least have the opportunity to show his skills on an NFL roster this summer. Hopefully it all works out and he turns into a stud.
This is how things shook out.
Round 1, Pick 30 – James Daniels / Guard / Iowa
Round 3, Pick 9 – Josh Sweat / EDGE / Florida State
Round 3, Pick 30 – Joseph Noteboom / Offensive Tackle / TCU
Round 4, Pick 12 – Kyle Lauletta / Quarterback / Richmond
Round 4, Pick 23 – Tarvarus McFadden / Cornerback / Florida State
Round 6, Pick 39 – Deadrin Senat / Defensive Tackle / South Florida
Round 6, Pick 44 – Mike McCray / Linebacker / Michigan
Round 7, Pick 7 – Ray-Ray McCloud / Wide Receiver / Clemson
I am really pleased with how things fell in this draft. I addressed the offensive line, defensive line, and other key positions giving them depth in case one of our other guys falls to injury. Nonetheless, I would be shocked to see if the Vikings picked even one of these guys come draft weekend but it is a nice exercise to see where we stand.
photo credit – en.wikipedia.org