To the surprise of some, the Vikings stayed in the first round last night and selected Mike Hughes, a cornerback out of Central Florida. Despite an early run of offensive linemen going in the mid-first round, a lot of solid talent fell and was still left on the board. With the selection of Hughes, the Vikings get a player that is just scratching the surface in terms of his potential. Look for him to compete for the starting kick and punt return job as well as in rotation as a slot corner. While offensive line is still the more obvious need, getting Hughes at pick 30 was a good value pick. However, many still thought they should have grabbed an offensive linemen while they had the chance in round one.
What It Means
The Vikings hold two picks during Day 2 of the draft today (Round 2, Pick 62 and Round 3, Pick 94). With a need still for offensive linemen, Minnesota is in an interesting position. If they want a player like Connor Williams or Will Hernandez, they likely have to move up in the second. Without a fourth round pick, it may be tougher for the Vikings to trade up without offloading future picks.
Those future picks could certainly be in play, however, given the number of compensatory picks Minnesota is in line for in 2019. Rick Spielman has shown to be aggressive in targeting first round talent that spilled into the second round in past drafts. And this year, there seems to be more of that type of talent than usual.
Offensive line is the obvious one here. Whether or not the Vikings do decide to trade up tonight, they need to select at least one linemen. Williams and Hernandez seem to be targets if they decide to trade up, but Orlando Brown, James Daniels, Austin Corbett, Braden Smith and Scott Quessenberry could be options still available at picks 62 and 94 if the Vikings are to stand pat.
Another position Minnesota could look to upgrade is tight end. The Vikings are looking for an athletic matchup nightmare to pair up with Kyle Rudolph. With Hayden Hurst off the board, both Dallas Goedert and Mike Gesicki make sense.
The Vikings have Everson Griffin and Danielle Hunter at defensive end, but they still need to find some depth behind them. Defensive end may not seem like an obvious need, but teams can never have enough pass rushers. Harold Landry, Sam Hubbard and Arden Key are still available and have a ton of talent. All three have been projected as first rounders at one time or another and could fit that Spielman mold.
I think the Vikings will be forced to try to trade up in the second. The top-10 includes some offensive needy teams so Minnesota may be in a tricky spot. Moving up into the top half looks like it will cost the Vikings their third round pick as well, so Minnesota could only be making one pick come tonight. Look for either Williams or Hernandez to be the player the Vikings covet and make a move for.
– Anthony Talanca writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow him @atalanca and follow @FPC_Vikings.