I got this idea from people on twitter, who were using The Draft Network’s mock draft tool to solely draft one position. The purpose is to show which players would be available targets in each round at their team’s specific draft slots. The results look like this:
A few things to note on how these drafts played out:
- I stayed true to one position and selected the best player on the board according to The Draft Network’s Rankings
- Getting value in these drafts is diffcult. By drafting only one position it dries out the market at that position, and obviously less players are available as the draft continues.
- Some players that I had to select when doing the exercise were available in later rounds in other mocks. For example, Jace Sternberger was the best available tight end in the second round when I did the tight ends mock; however, he was available in the third round when I was doing other mock drafts.
- We’re drafting with hindsight. Rather than gamble on a top offensive lineman falling to the 2nd round, we can take the best value in each slot based on how we know the board is going to fall.
After mocking each position (outside of special teams), here’s what we’re left with for each of the Vikings draft slots:
Here’s my take:
- Round 1, Pick 18: OL Jonah Williams, Alabama- If available, I think Williams is the ideal pick for the Vikings in the first round. A top offensive lineman with the capability to play both guard and tackle, Williams would be a plug-and-play Day 1 starter to shore up the line.
- Honorable Mention: EDGE Brian Burns, who is probably the best player available outside of Williams here. I wouldn’t be upset to see him in Purple, even if it’s not addressing an immediate need.
- Round 2, Pick 50: DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson – Another best player available at a position of need. Lawrence has no business falling to 50, but if he does, the Vikings will have no problem swooping him up. Lawrence adds another big body to the DT rotation and would be the eventual successor to Linval Joseph.
- Honorable Mention: WR Deebo Samuel, who is one of my favorite WRs, drawing comparisions to Stefon Diggs. We pass on due to the WRs available in later rounds.
- Round 3, Pick 81: CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston – A cornerback! Isaiah Johnson is generating second round buzz, so being able to secure him in round three is another value we’re unable to pass up. Johnson fits the mold of a tall, long cornerback that Zimmer covets and provides security for 2020 and beyond, as Alexander and Waynes are set to be free agents.
- Honorable Mention: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, another WR value that would compliment Diggs and Thielen nicely, but again, because of how the WR board fell, we know we can afford to wait.
- Round 4, Pick 120: WR Miles Boykin, Notre Dame – Boykin is one of my faovrite WRs in the draft. While his production wasn’t all that impressive in South Bend, he has a mouth-watering athletic profile that is comparable to the likes of Calvin Johnson. In the fourth round, his potential is through the roof, making him impossible to pass up. As a 6’4′ receiver, Boykin would give the Vikings a big bodied pass catcher that they lack.
- Honorable Mention: OL Bobby Evans – Never a bad idea for the Vikings to take an offensive lineman. Evans could learn for a year and play in year 2 for Minnesota.
- Round 6, Pick 190: TE Caleb Wilson, UCLA – After we miss on the top tight ends, Wilson is sitting there for Minnesota at 190. Wilson ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine, and while he didn’t test well in other categories, has enough potential to merit a selection in the late rounds.
- Honorable Mention: CB Savion Smith – The corner from Alabama is also tall and long, but being as we took Isaiah Johnson earlier, we don’t need him.
- Round 6, Pick 209: RB James Williams, Washington State – An unbelievable receiver out of the backfield, Williams caught 83 passes last year for Washington State. He can immediatley step-in and be a 3rd down option for the Vikings. Plus, he can do this.
- Honorable Mention: WR Jazz Ferguson – Ferguson is another big bodied WR with untapped potential. He tore it up at Northwestern State after he transferred from LSU.
- Round 7, Pick 247: LB Khalil Hodge , Buffalo- Taking a linebacker because the Vikings always take a linebacker in the seventh round. A Khalil from Buffalo will do.
- Honorable Metnion: QB Easton Stick – Why not, can’t hurt to add another QB to the mix.
- Round 7, Pick 250: OT Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls- Alas, we get our second offensive lineman in Pipkins, who seems to be a late-round target for Minnesota.
- Honorable Mention: Anybody will do this late in the draft.
Choose your own adventure, and comment your eight selections below!