Vikings take fliers on CB Boyd, WR Mitchell, WR Johnson, LS Cutting in seventh round
After selecting one player in each of the opening five rounds, the Minnesota Vikings were busy late, adding three players in the sixth round.
General manager Rick Spielman kept it rolling into the seventh round and drafted Texas cornerback Kris Boyd (No. 217 overall), Oregon wide receiver Dillon Mitchell (No. 239), Colorado State wide receiver Olabisi Johnson (No. 247) and Air Force long snapper Austin Cutting.
Boyd appeared in 51 games for the Longhorns and made 33 career starts. He logged 191 career tackles (141 solo) at Texas with four interceptions, 40 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. As a senior, Boyd was given an All-Big 12 nod after registering 67 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 16 pass breakups and an interception in 14 games.
His cousin, Bobby Taylor played cornerback for Philadelphia and Seattle from 1995-2004 and was named a Pro Bowl corner in 2002.
At 5-foot-11 and 201 pounds, Boyd ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine. Boyd is the second defensive back taken by Minnesota in 2019, joining Wyoming safety Marcus Epps (sixth round, No. 191).
Mitchell is coming off a monster junior season in 2018 with the Ducks. He broke Oregon’s single-season program record and led the Pac-12 with 1,184 receiving yards on 75 receptions, scoring 10 touchdowns. In three seasons at Oregon, Mitchell tallied 119 catches for 1,710 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also returned 21 punts for 125 yards (6.0 average).
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound receiver ran a 4.46 40-yard dash.
Minnesota dipped into the receiver pool again by selecting Johnson, a 6-foot, 204-pound pass-catcher out of Colorado State. A 1-2 punch at the receiver position with Preston Williams, who was not drafted, Johnson caught a career-best 54 passes for 796 yards and four touchdowns last season.
Over his four-year career, Johnson hauled in 125 receptions for 2,019 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also returned 26 punts for 170 yards (6.5 average) and, like Mitchell, could be a candidate to take over the Vikings’ primary punt returner role after veteran Marcus Sherels departed to New Orleans in free agency.
Cutting, who was Air Force’s primary long snapper from 2016-18, joins Kevin McDermott as the two long snappers on Minnesota’s roster. McDermott has been with the Vikings since 2015.
The Vikings spent their first four picks on offensive players — center Garrett Bradbury (18th overall), tight end Irv Smith Jr. (second round), running back Alexander Mattison (third round) and guard Dru Samia (fourth round) — then added tackle Oli Udoh in the sixth round and the two receivers in the seventh.
Minnesota addressed special teams with Cutting in the seventh round.
Minnesota used four picks on defensive players — linebacker Cameron Smith (fifth round), along with Arkansas defensive tackle Armon Watts and Wyoming safety Marcus Epps in the sixth round and Boyd in the seventh.
The 12-man draft class is Vikings’ biggest since the NFL began its seven-round draft format in 1994.