With the 2019 NFL Draft two weeks away, the Minnesota Vikings will have their best chance of the offseason to add the right pieces to vault them back to the head the NFC North division. After largely sitting out free agency, the Vikings will need to make sure to maximize each of their draft picks. In addition to that, they will almost certainly need to use this time to create some cap space via trade, as they’re likely to lose a number of players after 2019 as they currently stand.
This week’s mock draft used the Fanspeak.com draft simulator and includes trades. One of the trades scenarios will include the Vikings dealing cornerback Trae Waynes as his name has been among those rumored most frequently.
Round 1, Pick #18: OT Andre Dillard, Washington
Passed On: DT Jerry Tillery, OG Cody Ford
With the Vikings signing guard Josh Kline in free agency, this gave them some flexibility with their opening selection. Tillery would’ve made a good pairing inside with Linval Joseph, but it’s difficult to find quality left tackles and when one comes along, you have to get them.
Dillard is arguably the best pass protecting tackle in the class. With the pass protection issues the Vikings have had two of the past three seasons, he could give them a stable blindside protector for years to come, possibly forcing Riley Reiff inside from the start if he can make the transition to the pros quickly enough.
Round 2, Pick #2 (acquired in trade for CB Trae Waynes): CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
Passed On: CB Rock Ya-Sin, WR N’Keal Harry, WR A.J. Brown
Even though fixing the offense is the top priority, the Vikings need to address a potential depth issue in the secondary with Holton Hill recently receiving a four-game suspension. Enter Trayvon Mullen.
Mullen has the talent and tools needed to succeed in Mike Zimmer‘s scheme. His technique will need a little refinement and his instincts can be a little sketchy, but make no mistake about it. He’s a Zimmer-type of prospect, measurables (6’1, 199lbs) and all.
Round 2, Pick #18: DT Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State
Passed On: S Juan Thornhill, WR Riley Ridley
This was the easiest selection to make. Jones would immediately compete with Shamar Stephen for the starting job opposite Joseph, while also providing more depth on the defensive line.
Jones finally broke out in 2018, showing he is a disruptive force against both the run and the pass. He could be a potential upgrade over the departed Sheldon Richardson in the long-term.
Round 3, Pick #26 (trade with Dallas Cowboys): WR Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
Passed On: DL Zach Allen, DE Charles Omenihu
As tempting as it is to want to add another pass rusher, Isabella is a talent that helps the Vikings in multiple ways.
What he lacks in size (5’9, 188 lbs), he more than makes up for with solid route running, quickness and deep speed that can take the top off a defense. He can settle in behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs as a quality third receiver while also being a candidate to return kicks.
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Round 4, Pick #18: C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
Passed On: WR Preston Williams, QB Will Grier
With the Vikings not having many top-tier talents on the offensive line, they can’t afford to bypass a potential one if one happens to fall down the board. In this scenario, that’s exactly what happens to Erik McCoy.
He’s a lineman who can hold his own against a variety of different pass rushers. His skillset would be a good fit in Gary Kubiak and Kevin Stefanski’s scheme as they try to rebuild the Vikings rushing attack.
Round 4, Pick #26 (from Dallas Cowboys): TE Josh Oliver, San Jose State
Passed On: S Jaquon Johnson, RB Justice Hill
Even with addressing the offensive line with a free agent pickup and two draft picks to this point, the offense could still use another weapon for Kirk Cousins. Josh Oliver could be a great find at this spot.
His athleticism and speed would be an upgrade at the position, enough to where he could become an immediate contributor in some two-TE packages in 2019 before possibly taking over the starting job from longtime starter, Kyle Rudolph.
Round 5, Pick #26 (from the Indianapolis Colts): RB Devin Ozigbo, Nebraska
Passed On: S Sheldrick Redwine, WR Greg Dortch
If Minnesota is determined to fix their ground game, they are going to need to add a back that brings a skillset missing from the group currently on the roster. Ozigbo is one such back that does exactly that.
He has some power-back features but can be inconsistent. He’ll need to improve in setting up his blocks if he’s going to make it at the next level. If he can do that, he could become a great complement to Dalvin Cook.
Round 6, Pick #36: DT Rennel Wren, Arizona State
Passed On: S Lukas Denis, QB Ryan Finley
With the Vikings recently making free agent additions at both quarterback and safety, making a pick for the future made sense here. Rennel Wren’s draft projection has been all over the map, so getting him late may come as a surprise.
He has experience playing both 3-tech and nose tackle. He may be a better fit at the latter, but could develop into a respectable nose tackle with the right coaching, something that the Vikings organization has.
Round 7, Pick #33: Defensive End Byron Cowart, Maryland
Throughout Zimmer’s tenure, the Vikings have spent draft picks on developmental prospects, particularly pass rushers. That trend continues here.
He wasn’t very productive at the collegiate level, but he does have a few tools that line coach Andre Patterson can work with. Will likely need time on the practice squad.
Round 7, Pick #36: Linebacker Dashaun Davis, Auburn
With both of the three-down roles filled, the Vikings could look for competition for third starter, Ben Gedeon.
Davis feels more like a prospect that will need to show he can contribute on special teams to have a shot to make the roster. His has limited range and can he get lost in the crowd when plays flow sideline to sideline.