A Day Two 2022 Vikings Mock Draft
The speculation continues to revolve around where the Minnesota Vikings will spend their first-round pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Will they go corner with one of Ahmad Gardner or Derek Stingley Jr.? Could they take center Tyler Linderbaum? Do they trade up or down? The options are pretty much endless at No. 12. However, it seems to be overlooked that this is just one of just eight picks that Minnesota holds within that draft. Particularly, Day Two could be a very intriguing group of selections with how deep this draft is at some positions of need.
R2 P46: OLB Christian Harris (Alabama)
Christian Harris has been a consistent anchor for the Alabama Crimson Tide for the past three years. He was a rare true freshman starter in 2019, and after living up to the hype that year, Harris has blossomed into a terrific defender. He has the prototypical NFL frame, and his athleticism is obvious every time you watch him play.
The Vikings are in a position where they may need some help at the linebacker position going into 2022. Eric Kendricks will obviously hold things down in the middle, but Anthony Barr and Nick Vigil have uncertain futures with the team. Harris would step in as an immediate solution with outstanding pass defense instincts and the ever-growing chops of a run defender.
At least to start, Harris seems to fit best as a WLB starter in his rookie season. This is important because even if the Vikings manage to retain Anthony Barr on the other side, Harris still could play an immediate role for the Vikings. This would make for an incredibly intriguing trio across the LB position in Minnesota.
R3 P77: EDGE Sam Williams (Ole Miss)
The Minnesota Vikings pass rush group was definitely a group effort in 2021. Especially after Danielle Hunter’s injury and Everson Griffen’s incident at his home, the group didn’t really have a star to rely on for sacks. Even still, they managed to end up with the second-most sacks in the entire NFL. They do retain much of that group this year, but both Griffen and Sheldon Richardson are set to enter free agency this offseason, and it remains unclear whether or not Danielle Hunter will be traded, cut, or once again, restructured.
No matter what, it can’t hurt to bring another player into the mix. The Vikings had a history of finding stars in the third round under Rick Spielman, most notably Hunter, and they could continue the trend with Sam Williams. The pass rusher out of Ole Miss is an athletic freak; reportedly running a 4.4 40-yard dash while recording 40-inch vertical a couple years back. Since then, he’s packed on a bit more weight, but that speed and some new strength remains evident on tape. In recent years, we’ve seen the growth that athletic-but-raw pass rushers have made in recent years. The Vikings could get another one of these types this April.