Daniel Jeremiah Sends a Different CB to the Vikings in Latest Mock Draft

Trent McDuffie (Photo: Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports)

The Minnesota Vikings have been connected to the cornerback position throughout most of this draft process. Most mocks to this point have been sending them Ahmad Gardner, but this time around, Daniel Jeremiah mixes things up. Jeremiah keeps the trend of the cornerback position, but his latest mock draft sends the Vikings Trent McDuffie

His reasoning behind the pick is “McDuffie is one of the cleanest evaluations in the draft, and he plays a position of need for the Vikings”. Both these things are true. McDuffie is a very sound prospect in many different aspects of his game. He is athletic with fluid hip movements as well as some strong coverage instincts. He could come into the organization and likely be the CB3 on the team, assuming Patrick Peterson returns.

My favorite thing about McDuffie and watching him play is his bulldog mentality. He doesn’t quite have the length or frame of some other corners in this draft like Gardner or Stingley, but he makes up for it with effort and fearlessness. He is hard-hitting player that doesn’t take any snaps off. The versatility is a major factor as well. McDuffie can thrive in either man or zone coverage, and he is an excellent run-stopper because of his efficient tackling. Finally, he can be an asset to special teams as either a return man or in coverage. Minnesota doesn’t have a desperate need for a returner with both Kene Nwangwu and Ihmir Smith-Marsette, but they could always use more help on the cover team.

This could end up being a very nice pick for the Vikings. I had McDuffie as my eighth choice for the Vikings first rounder, so I would definitely take other players above him. However, he’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility if Minnesota really wants to grab a corner. That said, I found a couple things very interesting about Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock.

The thing that stands out the most is that Minnesota passed up on Derek Stingley Jr. in favor of McDuffie. I ranked Stingley as CB2, but his stock has continuously freefallen in the wake of his very underwhelming 2021 season. It’s a similar situation as Kayvon Thibodeaux’s fall from grace, but at least Thibodeaux has consistently had his positive moments.

A final note to take away from this mock draft is the fact that no quarterbacks came off the board until the Saints took Kenny Pickett at No. 18. This doesn’t directly impact the Vikings as they likely will not be taking a QB with their pick, but it could mean more of the top defensive players come off the board early on. One such instance in this draft is Gardner being taken by the Jets at No. 10. Overall, though, the trend continues for the Vikings. It seems apparent that they have an emphasis on improving their secondary in 2022.

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