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This morning, PFF’s draft twitter (@PFF_College) tweeted a full mock draft for the Minnesota Vikings. I thought it was extremely unlikely to play out like they predicted, and not just because it didn’t include any Spielman trade downs.

Th picks were as follows:

RD 1, Pick 22: A.J. Epenesa, DE Iowa

RD 1, Pick 25: Denel Mims, WR, Baylor

RD 2, Pick 58: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

RD 3, Pick 89: Terrell Burgess, S, Utah

RD 3, Pick 105: Jordan Elliot, DT, Missouri

RD 4, Pick 132: Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota

RD 5, Pick 155: David Taylor, LB, Colorado

RD 6, Pick 201: Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii

RD 6, Pick 205: Francis Bernard, LB, Utah

RD 7, Pick 219: Jalen Elliot, S, Notre Dame

RD 7, Pick 249: James Proche, WR, SMU

RD 7, Pick 253: Mike Danna, Edge, Michigan

Starting at the top with Epenesa. It’s interesting that so many mocks have Epenesa to Minnesota when defensive end is not even in their top five draft needs. Also, he doesn’t fit the mold the Vikings have been using for their defensive ends. 

Both Danielle Hunter, and the man that Epenesa would replace Everson Griffen, are physical freaks who are athletically gifted. Epenesa is not. He’s slow, and I question his ability to get off of blocks against NFL level competition.

 Perhaps the team could convert him to a three-technique tackle, but that seems unlikely. I’d rather see them target an offensive tackle, or anybody who has fallen to this point because somebody will.

The next six picks are actually ones that I’m okay with, and are all likely. Mims is a very gifted deep threat whose only true downside is that he’s raw running routes in a limited tree at Baylor. The Utah tandem at defensive back makes sense for need and chemistry. I don’t know what about these players, but they’re now on my list to scout.

Defensive tackle is a pretty obvious need and Elliot is a big boy who fits the Vikings needs. Tyler Johnson is a dream pick as a Gophers fan. The dude is tough, runs good routes, and makes some impressive catches in traffic. That said, he drops some easy ones and that can be frustrating. A linebacker in the middle rounds makes sense to replace Brothers/Wilson, assuming at least one will be gone.

After that, it gets confusing. McDonald, a good athlete with a weak arm is not what the Vikings have from any of their other quarterbacks. If they didn’t keep Sloter over Mannion, they’re not going to spend a draft pick on a guy like McDonald. 

Another linebacker isn’t the worst move next, but it is a bit of a head scratcher when the team has needs at offensive guard and tackle still. Although, I find it interesting to suggest they would nab a third Utah player.This would be a good time to snatch a depth guard. A second safety with the next pick gets the same treatment for me. Go guard or high upside tackle here. 

A third receiver in the seventh isn’t a bad choice, assuming you convert a couple of other picks to higher needs. The only switch I might make here, would be to maybe switch this to a running back for depth, and because I’m not sold on Mike Boone or Ameer Abdullah. The final pick of an edge rusher is fine. You can almost never have too much depth at defensive end and that’s a flyer pick anyway, but again, could go with running back or even another offensive guard.

My biggest issues are with the lack of offensive lineman, doubling up on positions with very little need (safety and linebacker), and not finding guys who fit the mold of this team. Of course if we are in the major rebuild that some are speculating, and Mike Zimmer/Rick Spielman are on their way out, fit might not matter as much as talent. For the time being though, assume that Zim and Rick will get their guys who fit their system.

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    • #56328
      KjoconKirby O’Connor
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      This morning, PFF’s draft twitter (@PFF_College) tweeted a full mock draft for the Minnesota Vikings. I thought it was extremely unlikely to play out
      [See the full post at: Assessing PFF’s Vikings Mock Draft]

    • #56332
      Purple Reign NewsReid Johnson, PurpleReignNews.com
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      Unpopular opinion, but I don’t think we should take a receiver in the first round.
      – Sadly, we have a history of drafting first round receiver busts
      – Deep draft for receivers, let’s test that depth in the mid to later rounds
      – We have ample pass catchers already in Thielen, Cook, Rudy, Bisi, Irv, and more
      – There are many other positions where a first-round talent would be better acquired (corner, DL, OL)
      – We have proven capable of drafting receivers in the later rounds

      • #56333
        KjoconKirby O’Connor
        Moderator
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        Rank: Newbie

        I’m actually of the same opinion. Somebody has to fall, and it’s probably going to be a receiver.

    • #56658
      VoiceOfReasonVoiceOfReason
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      At first I was all in on drafting a WR with 1 of the 1st round picks, but lately I’ve came to the conclusion that the depth of this years class plus other more pressing needs, OL-CB-DL, that what would normally be a late 1st round, early 2and round WR will be available in the 3rd.
      Unless 1 of the top 3 falls to 22 or 25.

    • #56712
      Ben_LysoBen Lyso
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      I am feeling exactly the same way. If we don’t trade up or down, and unless a big prospect falls, I want to go OL/CB in the first. This is the deepest wide receiver draft in recent memory and our organization has a better track record drafting cornerbacks than wide receivers in the first….

      • #56715
        KjoconKirby O’Connor
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        Rank: Newbie

        I feel like the drafting of WR in the first is so boom or bust, especially after the top 10. Obviously there are exceptions, but Treadwell and Patterson both immediately come to mind, and I would rather see them get a decent DB or serviceable OL then take a chance on a mediocre WR.

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