Vikings First Round Mock Draft Roundup 2.0
Almost exactly two weeks ago, just a few days after the Vikings were eliminated by the 49ers, we brought you the first mock draft roundup of the offseason. That post compiled 11 different mock drafters' projections for who the Vikings will take with the 25th overall pick in the first round.
Since then, things have changed. Senior Bowl week in Mobile, AL, was the first time since the college football season ended for scouts to get an in-person look at a bunch of talented prospects, a few of which will go in the first round. With that event in the rearview, it's time to get an updated sense of where the Vikings might go with pick No. 25. The draft is still basically three months away, so there's still plenty of time for things to change. We're focusing on very recent, post-Senior Bowl mocks here.
Joe Marino, The Draft Network – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
1/27 – The Minnesota Vikings love drafting cornerbacks in the first round and it makes sense for it to happen again. With Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander on expiring contracts, Xavier Rhodes showing signs of decline and the injury history of the others on the roster, Minnesota is in the market for help. Trevon Diggs is long, rangy and physical with tremendous ball skills. He would add much-needed youth to the Vikings cornerback room that could be rebuilt this offseason.
InsideTheVikings analysis: Taking Diggs would be a widely celebrated move by casual Vikings fans because of his brother. The diehards and draft experts would love it, too, because Diggs can really play. He's not a perfect prospect, but he has serious star potential.
Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
1/27 – Though the Minnesota Vikings have invested many priority picks in the cornerback position before, they still have a big need there, especially after the disappointing season Xavier Rhodes had. Knowing the Vikings staff, there’s a good chance they’ll love what Jeff Gladney brings as a super athlete at the position.
InsideTheVikings analysis: Gladney is another one of the corners we covered in the video at the top of this page. He's not as big as someone like Diggs or CJ Henderson, but he can absolutely fly and is one of the more sound tacklers among the 2020 corner class. This would be a strong pick.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
1/27 – Despite questions about his tackling ability, Delpit would upgrade the speed and athleticism in the Vikings' secondary.
InsideTheVikings analysis: I'm a little surprised that Brooks has the Vikings going with a safety, but if they're unable to bring back Anthony Harris in free agency, that will definitely become a major need. Personally, I'd rather spend big to make sure Harris returns, and then grab Delpit's teammate Kristian Fulton (another CB in the above video), who Brooks has going three picks later.
Jason McIntyre, FOX Sports – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
1/24 – With so many talented offensive linemen going back to school — Creed Humphrey, Alex Leatherwood, Alaric Jackson and Walker Little, just to name a few — Becton makes his debut in the mock draft. There are needs on an aging Vikings defense with three starters 31 or older, but protecting Kirk Cousins makes more sense right now.
InsideTheVikings analysis: OL is a big-time need for the Vikings in the draft. They need a left guard to replace Pat Elflein, though that could be accomplished by moving Riley Reiff inside. If Reiff is a cap casualty – which may be unavoidable given the Vikings' financial situation – they'll need a new left tackle, too. The massive (6-foot-7, 368 lbs), talented Becton would be a home run pick, but I highly doubt he lasts until No. 25.
Mel Kiper Jr, ESPN – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
1/24 – A four-year starter for the Cougars, Jones has had a great week at the Senior Bowl, and I feel good about making him the fifth offensive tackle of this first round. Minnesota got a solid season out of Brian O'Neill at right tackle, but left tackle Riley Reiff isn't the long-term answer. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Jones could be.
InsideTheVikings analysis: No problems here. Jones is a bit of a project, but he wowed observers at the Senior Bowl and has a chance to be a stud for a long time. As I wrote about Jones last week, the Vikings love Senior Bowl OLs.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports – Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
1/26 – Linval Joseph is the Vikings' best defensive lineman, but the unit ranked 30th against the run, according to Football Outsiders. Gallimore is a fire plug with a non-stop runner who excels against both the run and the pass.
InsideTheVikings analysis: We'll give Wilson the benefit of the doubt and assume he's talking about interior defensive linemen, as Danielle Hunter is pretty clearly the Vikings' best DL. Gallimore is the other Senior Bowl riser I wrote about last week. I'm a big fan of his athleticism and potential as an interior pressure-creator.
Josh Edwards, CBS Sports – Neville Gallimore
It would not be a surprise if Minnesota took a cornerback here either. Xavier Rhodes really struggled in 2019 but they add an imposing interior pass rusher instead.
InsideTheVikings analysis: Kristian Fulton and Trevon Diggs are still on the board here in Edwards' mock. It'll all depend on need and what happens in free agency.
Dan Kadar, SB Nation – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
1/28 – What the Vikings do in the draft will depend on what they do with offensive lineman Riley Reiff this offseason. If he’s left at tackle, this could end up being a cornerback. But if Reiff is moved inside, a tackle such as Jackson could fit for the Vikings.
InsideTheVikings analysis: With Becton and Jones gone early in the first round in Kadar's mock draft, he has the Vikings taking Jackson over Georgia's Isaiah Wilson. From what I've read about Jackson, I'm not sure how much of an upgrade he would be over Rashod Hill.
Thor Nystrom, Rotoworld – Austin Jackson
1/ 29 – As always, the Vikings badly need offensive line help. Mekhi Becton is still on the board and is rated higher by most. However, Becton, an enormous lineman, doesn’t appear to be the best fit for the Vikings’ zone blocking system. Jackson’s calling card is athleticism. And the Purple prioritize that at offensive line as much as anyone (see: past two years picks of Brian O’Neill and Garrett Bradbury). The Vikings could install Jackson at RT immediately and kick O’Neill to LT, where he’ll spend the next several years. That would give Minnesota the makings of one of the league’s youngest (Jackson is only 20 years old), most-athletic lines, nirvana for zone guru Gary Kubiak.
InsideTheVikings analysis: This is an interesting argument from Nystrom for Jackson over Becton. I doubt that becomes a decision the Vikings have to make, as most mocks seem to have Becton going in the top 15 picks. Whether or not the Vikings keep O'Neill at RT or move him to left side is a major decision they're going to have to make.
Lance Zierlien, NFL.com – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
InsideTheVikings analysis: Johnson has a well-rounded skillset and dominated in the Pac 12, a league that might produce two first-round QBs this year. He'd be ready to contribute right away. With Jones and Diggs also available in Zierlien's mock, it would be a tough call.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
1/29 – The Vikings aren't in a stellar cap situation, and could lose Anthony Harris to the free-agent market. If so, Rick Spielman goes safety to instantly bring a multi-faceted play-maker to the secondary.
InsideTheVikings analysis: Again, this all depends on if Harris is back. We think corner is the biggest need in the secondary, but if Harris departs and Waynes returns, that might no longer be the case.