Vikings post-Super Bowl 2019 mock draft roundup
The 2018 NFL season officially ended with the Super Bowl — and the 2019 offseason began. And that means, of course, time to start really thinking about the draft.
Yes, the NFL draft (April 25-27) 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 Game are behind us, meaning scouts — and draftniks — have even more info on some of this year’s draft-eligible players.
And 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. 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 and Minnesota does not have a pick in either the fifth or seventh round; also compensatory picks have yet to be added), but as you might have guessed an offensive lineman sure seems like a popular choice — although which one is up for debate, as you’ll see.
Here’s the first roundup of mock drafts from around the web:
Chad Reuter of NFL.com (3 rounds): Round 1 — Ed Oliver, DT, Houston; Round 2 — David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin; Round 3 — Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic ($; 2 rounds): Round 1 — Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. “Many believe this pick is offensive line or bust, but the Vikings will let the board fall to them. With Trae Waynes entering the final year of his contract, Williams would give the Vikings immediate cornerback depth and a long-term plan at the position.”; Round 2 — Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State.
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. “This is the furthest I’ve had Lawrence falling so far and it’s not a stock up/stock down situation, it’s just more about having a fluid list of guys in a very fluid draft. It’s more fun to give the Vikings a corner and watch Vikings fans freak out but I think Lawrence could make some sense here with Sheldon Richardson a free agent.”
Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today: Round 1 — Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. “Sheldon Richardson and backup Tom Johnson are set to hit the open market, which could leave Minnesota with a hole in the middle. According to NFL Network, Simmons has not been invited to the NFL scouting combine due to an incident in which he hit a woman while in high school, for which he later pleaded no contest to simple assault and was found guilty of malicious mischief. But few defensive players can match his overall proclivity for disrupting plays in the backfield.”
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com: Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma.
Todd McShay of ESPN Plus ($): Montez Sweat, DE/OLB, Mississippi State. “With the top three offensive linemen off the board — reaching for Ole Miss’ Greg Little is a possibility but doubtful — Minnesota turns to defensive end here and grabs Sweat. Even though the Vikings have Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen (who is 31) off the edge, you can never have enough pass-rushers. Sweat impressed at the Senior Bowl and has some great takeoff quickness.”
Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State. “Risner had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl and while he’s destined to kick inside in the NFL — perhaps even to center — he’s shown throughout his college career that he’s a very good tackle too. Either way, the Vikings have to do a better job of protecting Kirk Cousins and Risner checks all the boxes.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi. “The Vikings suffered from shaky pass protection in 2018, which is part of the reason Kirk Cousins’ first season as their starting quarterback ending with a thud. Little (6-5, 325 pounds) has the agility and athleticism to lock down the blind side for now full-time offensive coordinator Kevin Stepfanski.”
Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma.
Dan Kadar of SB Nation (2 rounds): Round 1 — Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State; Round 2 — Gerald Willis, DT, Miami.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (7 rounds): Round 1 — Devin Bush, LB, Michigan. “An offensive lineman might be the biggest need for the Minnesota Vikings, but with Devin Bush on the board and Anthony Barr set to become a free agent, it makes sense to load up on a rangy, athletic linebacker when available. … Paired with his excellent athleticism and instincts, Bush has all the tools to be an impressive rookie starter as a three-down impact player.”; Round 2 — Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame; Round 3 — Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma; Round 4 — Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame; Round 6 — Jonathan Ledbetter, DL, Georgia.
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. “After giving the league’s richest contract to quarterback Kirk Cousins, you can bet folks in Minnesota are unhappy sitting out of the playoffs. That could lead to all kinds of changes, including on defense where Anthony Barr and Sheldon Richardson (among others) will be looking for big paydays. Simmons plays with the intensity and physicality Zimmer loves.”
Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com (5 rounds): Round 1 — Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; Round 2 — Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State; Round 3 — Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson; Round 4 — Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan.
DraftTek (7 rounds): Round 1 — Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson; Round 2 — Darryl Williams, OG, Mississippi State; Round 3 — Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic; Round 4 — Chase Hansen, OLB, Utah; Round 6 — Jakobi Meyers, WR, NC State.
Luke Easterling of The Draft Wire (4 rounds): Round 1a — Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State; Round 2 — Dre;Mont Jones, OL, Ohio State; Round 3 — Kendall Joseph, LB, Clemson; Round 4 — Connor McGovern, OL, Penn State.
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State. “Awesome match here. The Vikings have an $84 million investment to protect in Kirk Cousins and Risner can start and play well at any of the five offensive line spots.”
Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst (2 rounds): Round 1 — Greg Little, OL, Mississippi. “The Vikings have several needs on the offensive line, and Little is versatile enough to be used at several spots.”; Round 2 — Zach Allen, DL, Boston College.
Justin Rogers of the Detroit News: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma.
Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi.
Joe Marino of The Draft Network: Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State.
Nick Klopsis of Newsday: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com: Jonah Williams, OG, Alabama.
Jonathan Cook of The Huddle Report: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida.
Eddie Brown of the San Diego Union-Tribune (2 rounds): Round 1 — David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin; Round 2 — Oshane Ximines ,OLB, Old Dominion.
Thor Nystrom of Rotoworld: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama.
John McClain and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle: McClain — Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State; Wilson — Byron Murphy, CB, Washington.
Sean Wagner-McGough of CBSSports.com: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma.
Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State.
Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com (3 rounds): Round 1 — Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; Round 2 — Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame; Round 3 — Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State.
Kyle Meinke of mlive.com: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma.
Final tally: 17 different players were predicted, with six receiving multiple mentions. Ford led the way with six followed by Risner (5) and Jonah Williams (4). Little had three while Dillard and Simmons had two each.
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), 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