Vikings post-Super Bowl 2018 mock draft roundup
Once the Super Bowl ends, the NFL moves onto the next chapter — the NFL draft.
This year’s draft is still a couple of months away (April 26-28), but the college football all-star games (i.e. East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl) are behind us, meaning there’s a little more evaluation having been done on players.
There’s more to come of course — the combine (Feb. 28-March 4) and pro days, for example. And, yes, things will change in the next couple of months — there will be players cut to help out salary caps and free agency will plug other holes. But, this feels like a good time to start our recap of mock drafts for the Minnesota Vikings.
Since we want the latest information, for this purpose, we used only mocks which came out in the past few days after the Super Bowl. We’ll continue to provide mock draft roundup updates sporadically leading up to the draft.
There’s no unanimous choice on which direction the Vikings might go in the first round (note: some mocks do go beyond one round), but offensive lineman sure seems like a popular choice — although which one is up for debate, as you’ll see. It’s all about covered in this first mock check-in.
Here’s the first roundup of mock drafts from around the web:
Draftek (7 rounds): Round 1 — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M; Round 2 — Braden Smith, G, Auburn; Round 3 — Steven Richardson, DT, Minnesota; Round 5 — Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn; Round 6 — Joe Ostman, OLB/DE, Central Michigan.
Todd McShay of ESPN Insider: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. “Minnesota came up short in the NFC Championship Game, but this is a very solid roster with good depth throughout. The biggest question mark is at QB, but that will be solved one way or another in free agency. Even after investing in the offensive line last offseason (Mike Remmers, Riley Reiff), the Vikings could use some more depth there. McGlinchey is a good player who played left tackle at Notre Dame but will likely be an RT at the next level. He’s an experienced starter with great character. Minnesota has had success with Fighting Irish players in the past (Harrison Smith, Kyle Rudolph).”
Nate Davis of USA Today: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. “Minnesota needs to get better up front, and they’ve already shown willingness to move T Mike Remmers to guard. McGlinchey would enable that move to become permanent.”
Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma. “We grade Brown as a second-round prospect, but the need at tackle is great and Brown will line up on the right side.”
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: Connor Williams, OT, Texas. “If Williams is healthy and some 2017 hiccups are cleaned up, the Vikings very well could land the steal of the first round in this scenario. He’s a young, stellar pass protector.”
Eric Galko of The Sporting News: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. “The Vikings have found success in free agency the last few years along the offensive line, but it’s not something they should bank on if they hope to get back to the NFC title game. Miller is a high-upside pass-blocker who can be groomed for the left or right side.”
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (7 rounds): Round 1 — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA; Round 2 — Taven Bryan, DL, Florida; Round 3 — Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin; Round 5 — Dominick Sanders, S, Georgia; Round 6 — Chase Litton, QB, Marshall.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com’s CFB 24/7 (3 rounds): Round 1 — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. “Miller isn’t getting a lot of pub outside the West Coast, but he’s a future starter.”; Round 2 — Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State; Round 3 — Tyquan Lewis, OLB/DE, Ohio State.
Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com: Round 1 — Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado. “The Vikings have a huge liability at cornerback in Trae Waynes, who has failed to live up to his first-round billing. Terence Newman isn’t getting any younger either, as we saw when he tried to defend Alshon Jeffery in the NFC Championship. The Vikings could decide to go back to the drawing board next offseason.”; Round 2 — Justin Jones, DT, North Carolina State; Round 3 — Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri.
Dan Kadar of SB Nation: Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida. “At 39, Terence Newman’s long NFL career may be coming to a close. If he retires, the Vikings will need another cornerback to go along with Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. Hughes is an aggressive press cornerback, and head coach Mike Zimmer would love his play style.”
Daryl Slater of NJ.com (2 rounds): Round 1 – Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan; Round 2 — Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State.
Wayne Staats of Land of Ten: Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State.
Connor Riley of SEC Country: Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State. “Quarterback could be in play here, but Price, like Pat Elflein did this season for Minnesota, could be a Day 1 starter on the interior.”
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com’s CFB 24/7: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame.
Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com (3 rounds): Round 1 — Auden Tate, WR, Florida State; Round 2 — Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan; Round 3 — Christian Campbell, CB, Penn State.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com’s CFB 24/7: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama.
Gentry Estes of the Louisville Courier-Journal: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia.
Kyle Crabbs of FanRagSports: Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan. “The Vikings miss the potential talents of Sharrif Floyd, whose NFL career is reportedly over. Without him in the mix, the Vikings would be wise to bring in a disruptive player up front. That’s Mo Hurst’s MO out of Michigan.”
Paul M. Banks of The Sports Bank: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State.
Mickey McKeon of Mockout: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP.
Nick Klopsis of Newsday: Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State. “The Vikings’ offensive line took a step forward in 2018, but Joe Berger may retire, so they’ll need to find a replacement along the interior. They struck gold with Ohio State center Pat Elflein in last year’s draft, so they could opt to do it again with his former Buckeyes teammate, Billy Price. Like Elflein, Price can play either guard spot as well as center. He’s a tough blocker who helped Ohio State average 243.2 yards per game on the ground in 2018, 17th-most in the nation. He could be an anchor alongside Elflein and help open running lanes while protecting the quarterback.”
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns