Minnesota Vikings – Media Vault YouTube Channel
The Minnesota Vikings do not have a first round draft pick in the 2017 after sending it to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford last September. Given general manager Rick Spielman’s history, that does not mean they won’t make a selection in the first 32 picks.
Tuesday, Spielman spoke to the media about the upcoming draft. He said it is unlikely that they will be able to move up 16 spots or more. The Vikings have two third round picks as well as two in the fourth. They could use some of those picks to entice a team selecting in the latter stages of the opening round to move back.
However, the Vikings could get more out of having five picks between Picks 48 and 128 than giving up two of them for a first round pick. This draft is deep enough that there shouldn’t be a prospect available late in the first round worth moving up to get.
The Vikings have the opportunity to fill several holes with their first five selections. The most talked about hole is on the offensive line. Spielman hopes he already has improved the tackle problem through free agency, but issues on the interior remain. They have to get a starting guard as well as a future center.
Along with the offensive line, they need to add a defensive tackle. That need gained importance with the reports that starter Sharrif Floyd may not play again.
The other big needs are at wide receiver and cornerback. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are the proven top two, but beyond that there are question marks. Jarius Wright is a quality slot receiver along with Diggs. The issue is on the outside. As it stands right now, they are banking way too much on huge improvements from Laquon Treadwell, Mortiz Boehringer, Isaac Fruechte and the other practice squad players. Getting an outside receiver that stretch the defense on a consistent basis will open things up for the entire offense.
As for cornerback, they need someone to play in the slot. It is emerging as a position of its own. Last season, Captain Munnerlyn proved to be one of the best. He is gone. Backup Mackensie Alexander needs to show significant improvement in order to earn playing time anywhere in the secondary.
My Ideal Draft For The Vikings:
Round 2, Pick 48 – TE Evan Engram, Mississippi. Tremendous speed and athleticism. He can stretch the middle of the field as well as work the underneath routes.
Round 3, Pick 79 – OL Pat Elflein, Ohio State. Smart, tough interior lineman that start immediately at guard or center.
Round 3, Pick 86 (from Miami) – OL Ethan Pocic, LSU. Smart, tall and athletic. He that can play all five offensive line positions and could potentially start at any of them.
Round 4, Pick 120 – DT Jaleel Johnson, Iowa. Quick three-technique tackle with a high-motor and disruptive rush skills. He can step in for Sharrif Floyd or play a role in certain packages.
Round 4, Pick 128 (from Miami) – CB Jalen Myrick, Minnesota. Extremely fast and thickly built cornerback. He has the speed and athleticism to stay with slot receivers after playing exclusively on the outside in college.
Round 5, Pick 160 – WR Josh Malone, Tennessee. He is a big, fast playmaker. He can stretch the defense, but is still raw with all the learnable skills of a wide receiver.
Round 6, Pick 199 – OL Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M. Athletic and quick enough to stay on the outside, but may not have the size. Could make an immediate impact as a swing tackle.
Round 7, Pick 232 – S David Jones, Richmond. Big and fast with good ball skills. He can be a sideline-to-sideline free safety that takes away deep passing attacks.
*This is using the composite big board ranking on Fanspeak.com