Day one of free agency is over and it’s left many Vikings fans with a feeling of incompletion, the Vikings failed to sign all but one of their targets and lost Matt Kalil in the process. This leaves the offensive line in, well let’s say it like it is, a horrible situation. The left tackle spot is still a complete question mark with no guy to take over, we’re still missing a guard and our centre is getting up there in age. It’s safe to say there’s some work to be done. According to Matt Miller the Vikings will look to the draft to address these issues, so how might the Vikings go about doing that, below is my effort that the Vikings might try to mimic come draft day.
Round 2, pick 48: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana.
The Vikings have a sizeable need at right guard and Dan Feeney would be able to step in day 1 and solve any problems that may ever have been at the position. Feeney has been overshadowed in the draft process by the likes of Forest Lamp and Pat Elflein, but Feeney is a guy that teams shouldn’t sleep on. Feeney is a tough guy who is willing to move people. He slides well and has quick feet to slide in pass protection, his high football IQ allows him to quickly pick up any trickery like spins or crossovers. Feeney has great patience that allows him to meet defenders correctly and allows him to keep leverage. He manoeuvres well allowing him to pull and get to the second level easily. Feeney would be a day 1 starter on the Vikings offensive line and would be an immediate upgrade.
Round 3, pick 79: Taylor Moton, T, Western Michigan.
Taylor Moton is currently in the process of shooting up draft boards and for good reason, the four year starter for the Broncos earning numerous all-American honours in his senior season. Moton has a big build with a thick base making him a natural fit at the tackle position, he has long arms and big hands allowing him to guide rushers away from his QB. He has a nasty attitude and always looks to finish plays with the defender on the ground. He’d be able to compete for a starting spot at tackle from day 1.
Round 3, pick 86: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma.
A human bowling ball who has no intention of stopping for nobody, an absolute bully with the ball in his hands – that’s just a few sentences to describe Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine. Perine has excellent size for the position and would be able to complement Jerick McKinnon well. If called upon Perine would be able to handle a heavy workload. Perine could be a special player if all works out for him, he has an amazing work ethic and a team first mentality and if he was there at this pick the Vikings should sprint in the pick.
Round 4, pick 121: Tyler Orlovsky, C, West Virginia.
Joe Berger is getting up in age and the Vikings have not made it entirely clear wether they believe Berger’s successor is on the roster, if not, Orlovsky would be an immensely valuable pickup in the 4th round. The West Virginia team captain is a three year starter who’s been overlooked and under discussed during the draft process. Orlovsky has a good body type for centre with a thick base and an immense strength as a result of is outstanding weight room work ethic. Can anchor well and have quick and strong hands to take control in pass protection. Orlovsky could if called upon be a day 1 starter.
Round 4, pick 129: Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech.
The Vikings are looking for some depth at wide receiver and Trent Taylor may be able to help with that. Taylor plays out of his mind and gives everything on every play allowing him to out play guys with more pure ability than himself. While Taylor may be limited to the slot his tenacious attitude, great hands and ability to find space could mean a successful NFL career.
Round 5, pick 160: Isaac Asiata, G, Utah.
One Asiata out, another in. Matt Asiata’s cousin Isaac is a massive aggressive and tough guard out of Utah. He has a hard working mentality and always looks to finish plays. His big body allows him to open up running lanes in the running play and hold his own against rushers in pass protection. Asiata could be an eventual starter for the Vikings.
Round 6, pick 199: Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State.
Zane Gonzalez is unquestionably the best kicker in this years draft and after last years problems at kicker it might be time for the Vikings to dress the position once in for all. Gonzalez holds the records for most fields goals in a career at 96 (previous record was 88). Gonzalez has a powerful leg allowing him to drive the ball easily a long distance.
Round 7, pick 232: Andreas Knappe, T, Connecticut.
It’s not a Vikings draft with out a European project, this year is no different as the Vikings could look at Andreas Knappe out of Connecticut. The massive tackle is a danish native and would thus bring some actual viking blood to the organisation. Knappe is absolutely massive but moves well for his massive size allowing him to slide well to pick up speed rushers and his sheer size makes it easy for him to pick up bull rushers and anchor. Knappe would be a developmental project as he’s still new to the sport but with a year or two under his belt he may become a viable starter, the only problem, Knappe will be 25 when the regular season begins.