For the Record: Draft Predictions for our Vikings

It’s Draft Day Eve. Somehow, that phrase seems less charming than Christmas Eve, but perhaps someday it’ll evoke similar feelings of giddiness. In any case, the broader point remains: the draft is almost here, so fans ought to be excited. One thing I’ve been planning on doing for the past couple weeks is a Vikings draft predictions article. Well, it’s now or never. Below, you’ll find my five predictions for how things are going to shake out over draft weekend.

Prediction #1: Minnesota goes o-line in Round 1.

I get that we’ve flirted with the idea of actually picking a corner, and it’s entirely possible that the best option is actually a defensive lineman. There is certainly some degree of need at both positions. That being said, the greatest need remains along the offensive line. The elite receivers and QB prospects virtually guarantee that at least one rock-solid OL prospect is available at 14. I fully expect Minnesota to take OL in the opening round, especially if Rashawn Slater miraculously falls.

Prediction #2: Minnesota gets their 2021 backup QB in the draft.

The chances of them choosing one of the top-5 QBs is next to none; Kirk Cousins is going to be making oodles and oodles of money over these next couple seasons, and Minnesota doesn’t seem at all interested in challenging his status as the starter. Instead, Minnesota seems more interested in addressing backup QB in the draft. My assumption is that there’s a reason why they haven’t done anything yet to solidify the backup position. The reason, I’m thinking, is because the Vikings have some interest in the mid-round QB options.

Prediction #3: Spielman snags a second-round pick.

We all know that Minnesota lost their second-round pick due to the misguided Yannick Ngakoue trade. We also know from his recent press conference that Spielman feels like he has the draft ammo to move back up into the second round if he wants to: “Let’s say we go whatever direction we go and I see most of the guys we are going to be targeting are going to be gone by the end of the second round then we are probably going to have to be aggressive to move up in the second. I think we have enough draft capital to do that.” Minnesota’s recent history of drafting in the second round is very, very impressive. Let’s hope they can get into the second round, either by trading up or down.

Prediction #4: Minnesota chooses two linebackers.

Head over to Pro Football Reference and take a peak at Minnesota’s draft history. It’s been a long, long time since they haven’t spent at least one pick on a linebacker. They’re reasoning makes some sense. Depth linebackers are often relied on for special teams, so even if they don’t work out on defense they still make a difference. The Anthony Barr restructure is positive for this season in that it opens up valuable cap space and gives Minnesota flexibility in the future. The downside, of course, is that Minnesota may lose one of their key contributors at linebacker. Expect Minnesota to bring in competition at LB.

Prediction #5: Minnesota drafts a kicker.

Look, I’m not saying that this is the best thing to do. I’d much rather spend some of that available cap space on a solid veteran. The whole Daniel Carlson and Blair Walsh picks really didn’t work out, and one wonders how much of that failure really rests with the players themselves. The impression I have is that it’s difficult being a kicker on a Mike Zimmer football team. Personally, I’d feel a little sheepish going back to the sidelines after missing a kick. For this reason, I tend to lean toward veterans, players who are in a better position to deal with a crusty coach. Spielman, though, doesn’t ever call to ask for my advice. To my mind, the lack of attention on kicker in free agency means Minnesota is going to make a move in the draft. The special teams are a concern, and perhaps the plan is to bring in a kicker in the draft.

Well, there it is, folks. The draft, as we’ve said numerous times, is very unpredictable. The real intrigue often rests in the various ways teams surprise us. TVG‘s 5 Vikings draft predictions are, at best, an educated guess. We’ll know in a few days how we did. Skol.

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