After a disappointing season in 2018, the Minnesota Vikings have some work to do this spring if they want to get back into Super Bowl contention in 2019. With the offseason about to kick off with the NFL Combine at the end of the month, we will start to get a better look at the college talent who will be entering the spring draft, who’s stock will rise and who’s will fall.
The mock draft you are about to see was simulated on Fanspeak.com’s On the Clock Draft simulator. For this version, I drafted on the premise of the team retaining Sheldon Richardson while letting Anthony Barr and Latavius Murray walk.
With that said, here is my Vikings 7-Round 2019 Mock Draft, version 1.0.
Round 1, Pick #24 (Trade with Oakland Raiders)
Offensive Lineman Dalton Risner, Kansas State
With Oakland wanting to move up and a number of desirable prospects on the board, I elect to move down six spots while picking up the third selection in the next round. With that lower pick, I select Risner. His ability to play all over the line makes him a good fit for this team. They can plug Risner in at one of the guard openings immediately as both need upgrades. Plus, he could potentially move to tackle if the team decides to shuffle players around later down the line.
The Vikings have two building blocks in Pat Elflein and Brian O’Neill. Risner, with his versatility, could be the guy who finally brings stability and consistency to this group.
Round 2, Pick #3 (From Oakland Raiders)
Tight End Noah Fant, Iowa
Now armed with a second selection in round two, I have the ability to make a luxury pick here. Even though linebacker is a must with Barr leaving, I’m staring at two of the top tight ends at the top of the draft board in TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant. I elect to take Fant.
He has the speed to get up the seam and wreak havok down the field. Adding him to the group of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook in the passing game would be absolutely scary. He could also be the eventual replacement for Rudolph in the near future.
Round 2, Pick #24 (Trade with New England Patriots)
Linebacker Tre Lamar, Clemson
For the second time, I’m offered a trade that I can’t pass up. I exchange second round picks with the Patriots and pick up the ninth pick in round three in the deal.
With linebackers Mack Wilson and Germaine Pratt off the board, enter Tre Lamar. He’s got great closing speed on the ball, he’ll cause problems in an offense’s backfield and his instincts in the run game should help the Vikings. The only concern I have would be his ability to cover in the passing game. I haven’t seen enough of it, but I trust in Mike Zimmer’s ability to coach and develop defensive players to maximize their abilities.
Round 3, Pick #9 (From New England Patriots)
Offensive Lineman Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
With Brett Jones, Danny Isidora, and Nick Easton as the likely candidates to man the other guard spot, adding another lineman seemed like a good idea here.
Deiter is another lineman who can play multiple spots on the line. Based on his play style, he seems like a strong fit in the Vikings’ zone-heavy scheme. With him and Risner surrounding Elflein, this group has the potential to form one of the better young interior tandems for years to come.
Round 3, Pick #17
Wide Receiver David Sills V, West Virginia
A big receiver with some speed, Sills could be the the answer to the Vikings’ question at the third receiver spot. He’s a guy who will go up and get it. Sills is not as physical as some of the prospects I’ve watched so far, but his ability to gain separation makes up for that. Paired with his size (6’4′ 210 lbs.), he’d provide the Vikings with a major red zone threat on the outside. He can provide the Vikings with what they thought they were getting when they drafted Laquon Treadwell, but with better speed and ability to separate.
Round 4, Pick #35 (Trade with New York Giants)
Running Back Benny Snell, Kentucky
With Latavius Murray gone in this scenario, Minnesota needs a big back to complement the abilities of Dalvin Cook. Snell provides said complement. He won’t be brought down by arm tackles, he uses his big body to bounce off defenders and can deal out punishment; that will be perfect for short yardage and goaline situations. He has some athleticism to him as well. While not extremely fast, Snell has good burst and enough speed that he can eat up yardage.
Round 5, Pick #35
Safety Lukas Denis, Boston College
With Andrew Sendejo a likely cap casualty, the team could look to add another body here for depth. Denis coming off a down year, but has the kind of potential that could interest Mike Zimmer.
Round 6, Pick #17
Defensive Lineman Renell Wren, Arizona State
Wren has power to his game; can be disruptive both against the run and the pass. He is very inconsistent though. Overall, Has some tools that line coach Andre Patterson can work with.
Round 6, Pick #35
Quarterback Ryan Finley, NC State
Finley has good size for the position. Has good arm strength and decent mobility. Could be someone they can develop into an asset (capble backup or trade piece) down the line.
Round 7, Pick #28 (Trade up with LA Chargers)
Safety Marquise Blair, Utah
Blair make a few plays, but was caught out of position quite a bit from the film I saw. He does have measurables that Mike Zimmer likes in his defensive backs. However, he is more likely a practice squad pick.
So, what do you all think of this potential 2019 draft class?