With the 2018 NFL Draft now just three days away, teams will soon assemble their new rookie class; the young players that many hope will be either the building blocks or the final pieces of a championship-contending team.
The Minnesota Vikings are in the ladder. After coming within a game of the Super Bowl this past season, they have spent the offseason addressing the few roster holes they had in 2017. With upgrades at quarterback, defensive tackle and additions at receiver, the team will now look to address their remaining needs in the draft. How and when in the draft process they target each need is up for debate.
The Full Press Coverage Vikings staff discusses how the Vikings could attack this weekend’s draft and how they could go about it.
Clayton: Offensive Line is the primary need; at least one starter and further depth. They need depth along the defensive line and cornerback as well.
Sam: Vikings need a starter for the offensive line and depth at corner, defensive tackle and defensive end. They could also use some insurance at linebacker and receiver in case guys leave next year in free agency.
Anthony: Come Thursday, the biggest needs for the Vikings remain offensive linemen and cornerback. Other needs such as tight end and running back are also needs of the Vikings that they may wish to address later in the draft.
1st Round Mock Selection
Clayton: I like taking UTEP guard, Will Hernandez, if he’s available at number 30 and the Vikings are still holding the pick. The team could definitely use someone with his aggression inside, and there’s a nastiness to his game that screams “Zimmer guy.”
Sam: If the Vikings stay at the 30th pick, I think it will be because someone unexpected fell to them. Hernandez would be a good candidate, but just to go a little off board, I will say they take guard/tackle Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia.
Anthony: At pick 30, I have the Vikings selecting Billy Price out of Ohio State. I believe there will be an early run on offensive linemen and both Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez will be off the board come pick 30. With Price, the Vikings are getting one of the toughest players in this draft and a player that already has instant chemistry with Pat Elflein.
Clayton: If offensive linemen start falling down the draft board, I see the Vikings trading out of the first round. It would be a first since Spielman’s ascent to Vikings’ general manager, but if they can trade down and still get a lineman they covet while also picking up an additional pick or two, his track record over the past several drafts says that’s exactly what he’ll do.
I also believe that tight end is a higher priority than has been mentioned by most analysts. A tight end with speed to threaten the seams is an integral part of John DeFilippo’s offense. If someone like Dallas Goedert or Hayden Hurst is still sitting at the back end of the second round, don’t be surprised if one of them is wearing a Vikings draft cap by the end of the round.
Sam: I am relatively confident the Vikings trade back. The team I am looking at is the Colts, who have two picks back-to-back early in the second and could look to move up a few spots with one of them. At that position, the Vikings would still be able to get one of the two guys they have been targeting, Billy Price or Frank Ragnow. Plus, in the process, they could add a pick in the all-important fourth round, of which they currently have none.
After that, I would expect them to go defensive line and defensive back with the next two picks and filling out day three with another lineman or two, a couple of pass catchers and a running back. Tight end could also be in play in rounds two and three, especially if one of the three top guys fall.
Anthony: Still at pick 30, the Vikings are able to take the best player available. If a corner slides due to a run of quarterbacks and linemen, that could be the pick. A surprise selection could be them going tight end at 30. They even have the ability to trade out of 30 and gain another second round pick if they feel the value is right.
The Vikings should come out of this draft with two or three linemen, a tight end, running back, a corner, and a defensive tackle. They have close to a complete roster, now it is time to just fill in the last remaining areas.
– Sam Smith is an Editing Manager for Full Press Coverage and covers the Minnesota Vikings. Follow @samc_smith and FPC_Vikings.
– Anthony Talanca writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow @atalanca and follow @FPC_Vikings
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