This is it, the fifth and final mock draft before the actual event. And with this one, I decided to try and put myself in the shoes of Rick Spielman and drafted based on what I think the Vikings will do, not what I would do in their situation.
Check out our last four mocks here:
And now, the results:
For the first time, the focus is split between skill positions and the front line. Just about every other mock had the Vikings going interior with the first round pick and stocking up from there. But this go around, the focus was filling needs and establishing depth all over the field.
Round 1 (30): CB Mike Hughes, UCF
This was the first time doing a mock draft that I left Will Hernandez on the board. I did that for two reasons: One, I do not think he will be available at 30. Two, the Vikings have made no indication that they are looking at Hernandez. In fact, a good chunk of their meetings with first round prospects have been with defensive backs. Hence, Mike Hughes.
Truth be told, I expect the Vikings to trade back with this pick and draft Billy Price or Frank Ragnow in the second. But if they stay and draft Hughes, they get a versatile corner who can play nickel and return kicks as a rookie and bump outside down the road. He has little experience under his belt, but Hughes was a major cog in a fantastic UCF defense in 2017. His athleticism and cover skills are elite. Read more about him here.
Round 2 (62): C/G Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Ragnow has been on all but one of these and usually with this pick. By all indications, the Vikings are high on the Minnesota native, to the point that some think they value him as highly as Billy Price. Some have speculated they take Ragnow with their first round pick. Regardless of where it happens, Ragnow to the Vikings seems likely, at least as likely as a second round prediction can be. He would figure to start day one at guard and bring position versatility in case of injury along the line. Read more about him here.
Round 3 (94): DT B.J. Hill, N.C. State
In order to select Ragnow, I had to leave Tim Settle on the board, a guy who I believe has All-Pro upside. As a result, I settled for a defensive tackle in Hill who I like but do not love in round three. He reminds a little of Jaleel Johnson in that he is a supreme athlete on the interior with great playmaking potential, but his play strength and ability to take on blocks are lacking. As such, at least early on, he would be reserved for three-technique on passing downs. The hope is that Johnson takes a step in year two to allow Hill to come along more slowly. He has a lot of the physical gifts, he simply needs to play to his size.
Round 5 (167): G Skyler Phillips, Idaho State
This is Phillips’ third appearance on our mocks and the highest he has been selected. In mock drafts 1.0 and 2.0, he went in the sixth. The big question with Phillips is whether or not he can adapt to the NFL where he will not necessarily win battles just by throwing a hard first hit. He has as strong of a get-off as any day three lineman, but he struggles to sustain. As a pass blocker, his experience as a tackle shines through as he has a good set and decent hands, though his short arms may limit his potential here, as well. All in all, Phillips could have a future as a starter in the league if he figures out how to stay on his blocks. He is thick through his arms and legs and is a good athlete, but he has to put it all together if he ever wants to be a regular. Read more about Phillips here.
Round 6 (204): Edge Joe Ostman, Central Michigan
Ostman’s future in the league may exclusively be as a 3-4 rush linebacker. But he did play a lot of snaps with his hand on the ground in college and his overall potential was too much to pass on in round six. He is a little undersized for a 4-3 end, but his drive and strong punch should allow him to make noise in spots. He is quick off the ball, a diligent hand fighter and has a variety of moves in his arsenal. Ostman may not ever be a full-time starter in the league, but as a situational guy who can defend the run and pass, he has value on day three.
Round 6 (213) RB Chase Edmonds, Fordham
The lofty goal with this pick is to find the replacement for Jerick McKinnon. Edmonds was not quite the combine warrior McKinnon was, but they share a lot of the same traits. Both are short, stocky scat backs from small schools who love to bounce it outside and can be dangerous as receivers. Edmonds may like to bounce outside a little too much, causing him to lack chutzpah as he approaches the line. But with the ball in his hands, Edmonds makes things happen. Had he played at a school other than Fordham, he may very well be looked as a third or fourth rounder, rather than a fifth or sixth.
Round 6 (218): WR Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State
This is the second straight appearance for Wieneke. The Vikings now have a little more in the receiver room, as they signed Kendall Wright and Tavarres King since the last mock draft. However, they are still hurting for depth, especially if Wright does not re-sign and Laquon Treadwell fails to take further steps in year three. Wieneke is not a great athlete or an explosive leaper. But he runs clean routes and makes a lot of plays in the red zone. Plus, he was a Minnesota high school football star.
Round 7 (225): WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
The reasons for drafting receiver here are the same as drafting Wieneke: Past 2017, the Vikings are thin at the position. The thought with drafting two big receivers back-to-back to finish their draft is essentially to let them and Stacy Coley battle for two receiver spots. St. Brown is bigger, faster and stronger while Wieneke runs smoother routes. They both have good hands and can high point so they could both fill the same big slot role.
I would honestly be surprised if St. Brown makes it past round five. He has too much potential, given his size and speed. But in this instance, he was available in round seven so he was the selection.
Let us know what you think of all of our Mock Drafts.
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Full Press Coverage NFC North. Like and Follow @samc_smith
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