Vikings post-Super Bowl 2020 mock draft roundup
The 2019 NFL season officially ended with the Super Bowl — and the 2020 offseason began. And that means, of course, time to start really thinking about the draft.
Yes, the NFL draft (April 23-25) is still a couple of months away, and we have to endure the combine and pro days, but the collegiate all-star games such as the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl are behind us, meaning scouts — and draftniks — have even more info on some of this year’s draft-eligible players.
Before the draft we’ll have free agency, not to mention players being cut to give teams some salary-cap room, so needs will change. Nevertheless, 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, although cornerback is quite the popular choice but hardly the only position predicted for Minnesota, as you’ll see.
Most mock drafts only tackle the first round, but if there’s more (yes, some do the full seven rounds), we’ve noted it and included all the picks, too, of course. Side note: Minnesota has no fifth-round pick having dealt that for kicker Kaare Vedvik last August.
Here’s the first roundup of mock drafts from around the web:
Chad Reuter of NFL.com (3 rounds): Round 1 — Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama. “The Vikings’ secondary is due for a reboot this spring. Diggs gets to take on his brother, Stefon, in practice on a daily basis, which will be good prep for taking on the rest of the league’s top wideouts.”; Round 2 – K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State; Round 3 – Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri.
Kevin Hanson of SI.com: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama. “Both Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are scheduled to become free agents and the play of Xavier Rhodes has regressed significantly. Younger brother of Stefon, Trevon has ideal length for the position and led Alabama in pass breakups (eight) last season.”
Draftek (7 rounds): Round 1 –Jordan Love, QB, Utah State “The 5th-year option is valuable when it comes to Quarterbacks. This move, of course, is predicated on the Vikings deciding to not invest $30 million-plus into a Kirk Cousins extension.”; Round 2 – A.J. Terrell, WR, Clemson; Round 3 – Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal; Round 4a – Trevis Gipson, Edge, Tulsa; Round 4b (projected comp) – Terrell Burgess, S, Utah; Round 6 – Francis Bernard, LB, Utah State; Round 7a – John Hightower, WR, Boise State; Round 7b – Carlos Davis, DL, Nebraska; Round 7c (projected comp) – Carter Coughlin, LB, Minnesota; Round 7d (projected comp) – Alex Taylor, OT, South Carolina St.
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State. “Xavier Rhodes has faded fast as a big cover man, and Trae Waynes is a pending free agent. Dantzler (6-2, 185 pounds) has nice size and uses his hands and hips well to be disruptive against receivers downfield. He’s at his best operating in zone and can be deployed well in Mike Zimmer’s defense.”
Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson. “The Vikings need an upgrade at corner, and while Terrell had a horrible night against LSU in the title game, he’s a very good player with the potential to be a solid NFL starter.”
Nate Davis of USA Today: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson. “Burrow didn’t help Terrell’s stock in the national championship game. Nevertheless, it seems like the Vikes draft a DB high every year, and they’ll likely need to restock a secondary that may also jettison CB Xavier Rhodes.”
Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com (5 rounds): Round 1 – Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M “Linval Joseph is still a dominant presence in the interior, but he’ll turn 32 next season. He’ll decline soon, and the Vikings could use some help next to him in the meantime. Justin Madubuike was a disruptive force in the interior of the Aggies’ defensive line this past season, logging 11.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks.”; Round 2 – Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State; Round 3 – Paddy Fisher, LB, Northwestern; Round 4 – Trishton Jackson, WR, Syracuse.
Newsday’s Nick Klopsis: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama. “The Vikings could lose Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Marcus Sherels to free agency, leaving them with very little depth behind Xavier Rhodes, who struggled this season. The 6-2, 202-pound Diggs has excellent athleticism and hands, traits he shares with his older brother: Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs.”
Eddie Brown of the San Diego Union-Tribune (2 rounds): Round 1 — C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida. “Trae Waynes is an unrestricted free agent and something is clearly wrong with Xavier Rhodes. It’s nitpicking to say Henderson is a shy tackler in the run game. Shutdown corners aren’t charged with shutting down running backs. They’re supposed to shutdown wide receivers and Henderson has no problem doing that.”; Round 2 – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU.
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn.
Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington. “Eason looks a lot like Carson Palmer when he’s on the field. And while he could’ve benefitted from another year at Washington, he the physical tools to play the position at a high level. Like most young QBs, he’ll need time to grow into the position. In Minnesota, Kirk Cousins has one more year left on his current deal and Eason would be a natural successor should the two sides decide to part ways.”
R.J. White of CBSSports.com: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida. “The Vikings are losing two corners to free agency and Xavier Rhodes is likely to be cut, so they’ll need to address the position somehow. Henderson has a high ceiling and should be able to handle himself when pressed into early duty.”
John McClain and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle: McClain – Josh Jones, OT, Houston; Wilson – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama. “Harrison Smith can’t play forever, and McKinney would be great value at this spot.”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation (2 rounds): Round 1 – Austin Jackson, OT, USC. “Jackson is one of the best pass blocking left tackles in this draft thanks to quick feet that help him mirror speed rushers and ride them around the pocket. Kirk Cousins will like that.”; Round 2 – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State.
D.J. Boyer of DraftSite.com (7 rounds): Round 1 – K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU; Round 2 — Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon; Round 3a – Nick Harris, C, Washington; Round 3b – Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska; Round 4 – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor; Round 6 – Darrion Daniels, DT, Nebraska; Round 7a – Zack Johnson, G, North Dakota State; Round 7a – Trajan Bandy, CB, Miami; Round 7b – Josiah Scott, CB, Michigan State; Round 7c – Glen Logan, DT, LSU.
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU. “Fulton isn’t exactly a consolation prize — he’s a physical stud in man coverage. With Minnesota facing a declining Xavier Rhodes and with Trae Waynes currently an expiring contract, the Vikings will need new blood to help make this defense work under coach Mike Zimmer. Fulton’s physicality is a great match.”
Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com (3 rounds): Round 1 – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama; Round 2 – Trey Adams, OT, Washington; Round 3 – Larrell Murchison, DT, NC State.
Tankathon: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU.
Joe DiTullio of The Game Haus: Tyler Biadasz, G/C, Wisconsin.
Mike Penner of Pro Football Focus: Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn. “Davidson was one of the biggest movers with his play at the Senior Bowl a couple of weeks ago. He has prototypical 3-tech traits even though he played mostly on the edge at Auburn. Earning an 83.8 pass-rushing grade playing out of position in the SEC is pretty dang impressive.”
Tim Bielik of Cleveland.com: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson.
Daryl Slater of NJ.com: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama.
Justin Rogers of the Detroit News: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama.
C.J. Doon of the Baltimore Sun (2 rounds): Round 1 — Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah; Round 2 – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (7 rounds): Round 1 – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU; Round 2 – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia; Round 3 – Robert Hunt, G, La.-Lafayette; Round 4a – Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas; Round 4b (projected comp) – Alex Taylor, OT, South Carolina; Round 6 – Binjimen Victor, WR, Ohio State; Round 7a – Charlie Taumoepeau, TE, Portland State; Round 7b – Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas; Round 7c (projected comp) – Justin Strnad, LB, Wake Forest; Round 7d (projected comp) – Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsburgh.
TALLY (in alphabetical order)
Tyler Biadasz, G/C, Wisconsin
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU
Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn – 2
Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama – 4
Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU – 3
C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida – 2
Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama – 2
A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson – 3
Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama