In the previous seven drafts with Mike Zimmer as head coach, the Vikings have taken 4 offensive players and four defensive players in the to start with round. Up coming Thursday, the tie will be broken.
The Vikings maintain the No. 14 select in the April 29-May well 1 NFL draft, and the major query is regardless of whether they will seem to take an offensive lineman or a defensive finish at that location. With Zimmer coming off the worst defensive season in his tenure, NFL Community draft analyst and CBS match analyst Charles Davis predicted what he thinks Minnesota will do.
“I always joke about the Zimmercratic oath,” Davis explained of the defensive-minded mentor. “It’s like the Hippocratic Oath. Very first, do no harm to that defense, and they weren’t what they’ve been (previous calendar year).”
Which is why Davis’ mock draft has the Vikings taking Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips to enable a group that had just 23 sacks past season. But another reason Davis believes Minnesota will go defense in the very first round is due to depth at positions in the draft.
“There’s possibly a minimal more depth on the offensive line than on the defensive line if you are hunting for people actual variation makers in the draft,” Davis explained. “That could possibly sway you a little bit.”
When trades could shake up their draft purchase, the Vikings do not have a next-round variety but do keep the Nos. 78 and 90 picks in the third round. If they choose a defensive conclusion in the very first spherical, this kind of as Phillips or Michigan’s Kwity Paye, they however might have a probability to get a setting up-caliber offensive lineman later on in the draft.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper agrees with the toughness of offensive linemen in the draft, contacting it the “third-strongest” posture team following huge receivers and cornerbacks. But even though he doesn’t reduce the likelihood that the Vikings could go with a defensive stop at No. 14, he has them selecting Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw in his most recent mock draft.
“If you have to have offensive line aid, which they do, this would be the year to get it,” Kiper claimed.
If the Vikings are looking for a rookie to step in at remaining tackle in area of the departed Riley Reiff, they possible would want to handle that in the initially spherical. But if they are prepared to continue being versatile on who will get over for Reiff, that would provide additional of an possibility to just take an offensive lineman soon after the 1st round.
The Vikings could fill their emptiness at left tackle by shifting appropriate guard Ezra Cleveland or suitable deal with Brian O’Neill into that location, which would create yet another opening on the line. Regardless, they need to have enable at remaining guard after Dakota Dozier struggled as a starter past time.
If a single of the two maximum-rated tackles turns into offered to Minnesota, both would be tricky to flip down in the initial spherical. Oregon’s Penei Sewell is predicted to be lengthy gone by No. 14, but probably the Vikings may possibly glimpse to trade up for a shot at him. And if Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater slides to No. 14, he may be a no-brainer select.
If Sewell and Slater are both out of get to for Minnesota, then it will get far more appealing. But draft analyst and previous Vikings security Corey Chavous believes Darrisaw, a 3-year starter in faculty, is in a very similar group with these players.
“He’s an exceptional prospect,” reported Chavous, who played for the Vikings from 2002-05 and has set out the 492-webpage Corey Chavous’ 2021 NFL Draft Guide/Free Company Evaluation. “He’s one particular of the major-rated gamers on our board. If they could get him at No. 14, that would be grand larceny.”
Also intriguing at No. 14 could be Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC, who played remaining guard in 2019 before relocating to remaining tackle in 2020 he is thought of to most probable be a guard in the NFL. How exceptional would it be for the Vikings to just take a guard in the initial spherical of the draft?
They’ve done it just after in their 60-calendar year heritage, earning Randall McDaniel the No. 19 over-all decide on in 1988. McDaniel went on to make the hall of fame.
“To me, he’s an speedy starter,” Davis stated of Vera-Tucker. “He’s got Pro Bowl likely.”
Nonetheless, Davis still jobs the Vikings to get Phillips.
“He appears to be much more like Danielle Hunter to me,” reported Davis, referring to the Vikings’ two-time Pro Bowl defensive close. “He’s obtained flat-out pace to the quarterback. I think he’s bought creativeness in the pass hurry. But you have to stage back, and this is wherever the medical facet receives involved.”
Phillips had unspectacular seasons at UCLA in 2017 and 2018 prior to he was recommended to retire soon after struggling a few concussions. He also experienced two wrist surgeries following a 2018 moped accident. But he resurfaced to deliver eight sacks in 10 games for Miami in 2020.
“He would be a major danger (at No. 14),” Chavous said. “And then you have obtained the 1-calendar year marvel of it. I’d like to see an additional calendar year of creation.”
The two Davis and Chavous agree Paye would be a “safer” select if the Vikings were being to go with a defensive conclusion at No. 14. Paye had 8½ sacks in 16 online games the earlier two seasons, but Davis expects those people quantities “would go up” immediately after leaving a plan in which sack figures have been distribute out between a quantity of gamers.
“His flexibility helps,” Chavous explained. “He’s a guy that Mike Zimmer could go all over the position.”
If the Vikings go with a defensive end in the first round, that virtually definitely would direct to them getting an offensive lineman in the third spherical if they never trade up for 1 in the second round. Intriguing linemen who could be readily available as late as the third round include things like guards Wyatt Davis of Ohio Condition, Deonte Brown of Alabama, Aaron Banking institutions of Notre Dame and Ben Cleveland of Ga and tackles Walker Small of Stanford, Brady Christensen of BYU, Dillon Radunz of North Dakota Condition, Spencer Brown of Northern Iowa and James Hudson of Cincinnati.
Chavous thinks the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Hudson, who began his faculty vocation at Michigan right before transferring, could be a steal in the third spherical.
“If the Vikings bought him, he’d commence proper absent,” Chavous claimed. “I assume there is far more tackle depth in the draft than some people today might notice.”