Todd McShay Sends the Vikings a CB in His First Mock Draft

If there is one issue with the 2021 Minnesota Vikings that we can all agree on, it has been the secondary. It’s an area that the team tried to patch up last offseason, but between COVID, injuries, and regression it just hasn’t panned out as they hoped. Patrick Peterson has missed time, Bashaud Breeland can’t keep up with anyone, and Cameron Dantzler is a shell of his rookie self.

Once again, we find ourselves in a position where the Vikings may target the cornerback position early in the draft. ESPN‘s Todd McShay seems to agree. Tuesday morning, Todd McShay published his first 2022 NFL mock draft. In that mock, the Vikings sat with the No. 15 overall pick, and they selected Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner.

Gardner is a player that, here on PurplePTSD, we’ve had our eye on for awhile. In my latest 2022 NFL Draft big board, I ranked him as my ninth overall player in this draft class. At this juncture, I wouldn’t have even expected him to be available when the Vikings pick, assuming they do in fact land in the middle of the first round.

At 6’2 and 188 pounds, Gardner’s measurements should have NFL scouts salivating to take him in the draft, especially come combine season. He has an astute ability to change speed and is fluid in his movements. Everything he does is purposeful, and his instincts are incredible in coverage. It also helps that he’s got a bit of nasty in him when used as a blitzer.

Personally, I think a selection of Gardner would be fabulous for the Vikings, but like I said, I just never considered him much of a possibility if the Vikings remain towards the middle of the first round. I would expect teams ahead of the Vikings like the Jets, Giants, and Eagles to jump at the chance to take a defensive back.

If Gardner does fall though, he is the type of the player that the Vikings can build a defense around. I’ve been of the mindset that the Vikings should consider IOL Tyler Linderbaum with their first round selection. However, since the time I posted that article, the Vikings interior offensive line has stepped up in a massive way. If they continue to play this well, maybe that area becomes less of a concern for the Vikings.

We are still months away from the actual draft, so things can change, but in this first mock draft, Vikings fans should be excited about their potential selection.