Potential Vikings Day 2 picks in 2019 NFL draft
The Minnesota Vikings selected center Garrett Bradbury in the first round of the NFL draft. This, of course, doesn’t preclude them from taking more offensive linemen as the draft continues. That’s good news as several highly rated O-linemen have fallen to Day 2.
There will be plenty of good players to choose from in positions of need (beyond OL) for Minnesota. The Vikings currently have the 18th pick in both the second and third rounds (Nos. 50 and 81 overall), but also have potential to move up by dealing later picks (Minnesota does have two picks in both the sixth and seventh rounds as well as one selection in the fourth and fifth).
Here are a number of players who are available and expected to be drafted in rounds 2-3 (listed in alphabetical order):
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford: At 6-foot-2, Arcega-Whiteside is great at going up and getting those 50-50 balls – which perhaps should be expected since both his parent played basketball professionally in Spain. Sounds like a good option for Kirk Cousins, who could use a receiver like that in the red zone. Arcega-Whiteside had 63 catches for 1,059 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2018.
Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia: Minnesota could use a tackle and Kirk Cousins could use some protection. Cajuste fits both roles as he’s known to be a strong pass blocker. He might be a bit of a longer-term project and could be still around in Round 3.
Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma: Ford was mocked in the first round to the Vikings often, but finds himself still on the board in Day 2. Ford can play tackle or guard, but might be better suited for the inside. Minnesota needs line help, but after taking Garrett Bradbury in Round 1 (and presumably moving Pat Elflein from center to guard), tackle might b e more of a need. But Ford would be a great value if still around.
Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State: Jenkins play all over the offensive line but is projected to be a center or guard. He played played left tackle, right tackle, center and left guard while at Ole Miss. Jenkins faced tough competition not only on his own team but also by playing in the SEC.
Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State: A bad combine caused Jones’ stock to plummet, but he’s a good pass rusher for defensive tackle and early on could be a good rotational guy to pair with Shamar Stephen. If he slips into the third round, he’d be great value there.
Greg Little, OT, Mississippi: One of a few true tackles who could be on the board in the second and/or third round, Little might be the top-rated one (without an injury red flag) remaining on the board. Having played in the SEC, he’s faced top competition and could compete for a starting job right away.
Eric McCoy, C, Texas A&M: After eschewing a center in the first round, Minnesota could go that way in the second, allowing Pat Elflein to move to guard (or, McCoy could step in at guard). McCoy should be a solid player in the NFL and – hint, hint – he excelled in the run game in college.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi: The darling of the combine was not the darling of the first round as two wide receivers went before him. At 6-3 with a 40 time of 4.33 he has potential star quality. However, there were some medical red flags and questions about his route running. But high, high upside here.
David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State: Yes, the Vikings have Dalvin Cook on the roster, but who is the backup? Minnesota needs to find someone beyond Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone. Montgomery should be a decent pro. He rushed for 1,216 yards (4.8 average) with 13 TDs in 2018 as a junior and 1,146 yards (4.4 average) with 11 TDs in 2017. He also caught 58 passes over those two years. He’s not spectacular, but he should be steady. He might even make it to the third round.
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington: You can never have enough good cornerbacks in this pass-happy NFL, especially if Minnesota is seriously considering trading Trae Waynes. At one time considered a first-round pick, Murphy relies more on instinct than size (5-foot-10 1/2) and speed (4.55 in the 40).
Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State: Taking over for Saquon Barkley, Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards (5.8 average) as a junior in 2018 with 24 receptions. On the plus side, that’s been the brunt of his work in college (276 carries overall). On the downside, he’s not really known as a pass catcher and his blocking needs work. He ran a 4.49 at the combine. Should be available in the third round.
Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois: At 6-foot, 324 pounds, Saunders offers strength in the middle of the line. But don’t discount his athleticism either (5.01 in the 40). Saunders projects best in a 4-3 defense, which will limit his suitors, and should be around in Round 3.
Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic: There are a plethora of running backs who could go in rounds 2 and 3 and Singletary should be among them. He was a big-time producer at FAU (4,287 rushing yards, 66 TD in three years) and is a shifty runner who should succeed at the next level. He needs to improve in the pass game, however.
Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama: Smith was a contributor only one year at Bama, but he averaged 16.1 yards per catch on 44 receptions with seven touchdowns. Smith has the potential to be a three-down tight end and perhaps the eventual replacement for Kyle Rudolph.
Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida: Another player who was projected to go in the first round but fell. In Taylor’s case it was reportedly because of a knee issue. Still, looking long-term, he could be a solid pro at either tackle or guard and would be great value in Round 2. Short term, perhaps he could still break Minnesota’s starting lineup in 2019 even if an injury prevents that from the start.
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU: And yet one more who was expected to go in the first round but slipped to Day 2. Williams has good height, speed and instincts, but isn’t the biggest of corners and could struggle in defending the run.