The best thing about the Vikings' first round of the draft on Thursday night was that they didn't just land Christian Darrisaw, a stud left tackle with great length and some serious power to his game, it was that they managed to trade back and add two more third-round picks before doing so.
By moving down nine spots to No. 23 and adding a pair of premium picks — in a trade with the Jets that the Vikings won, according to the draft pick value charts — Minnesota is set up to make a lot of noise during the draft's second day.
The Vikings don't have a second-round pick because they traded it to Jacksonville for Yannick Ngakoue last August in what amounted to a failed experiment. They were able to recoup a third by shipping Ngakoue to Baltimore two months later, giving them a pair of thirds heading into this year's draft.
Now they've doubled that total.
Minnesota has the second, 14th, 22nd, and 26th picks in the third round late on Friday night, which are Nos. 66, 78, 86, and 90 overall. With that stable of picks, plus six more on Day 3, the Vikings have more than enough ammunition to trade up into the second round for a player they covet. Frankly, I'd be shocked if their first pick of the night comes at 66.
"Very excited with what we were able to get accomplished in the first round tonight," GM Rick Spielman said. "The ability to get two third round picks for tomorrow, giving us four third-round picks tomorrow, gives us the flexibility to probably move up into the second round."
The Vikings filled their biggest hole by adding a starting left tackle, which allows Ezra Cleveland to remain at right guard, but they still have a lot of work to do. They need a left guard and a pass rusher or two, for starters. Wide receiver, defensive back, and backup quarterback are also notable positions of weakness that they could address on Friday.
It sounds like there's a very strong chance they'll get into the second round to go get someone they like at one of those spots. Spielman mentioned that possibility multiple times in his post-pick press conference.
"If you're the second pick in the third round, it gives you a lot of opportunity to do a lot of things tomorrow, so it could be we move up into the second. We have more than enough ammunition, I believe, to move up into the second round. Or maybe we move down and get six third-round picks. No, just kidding. We'll see what happens tomorrow."
Let's take a look at the players at each of those positions that the Vikings could target in the second or third round tomorrow. I'm using the consensus big board compiled by Arif Hasan to gauge who might be available in the mid-to-late second and third rounds while not representing a major reach in that range.
The Vikings could either draft a traditional guard or move a college tackle inside like they did with Cleveland last year.
- Wyatt Davis, Ohio State (Consensus board rank: No. 53) — UPDATE: VIKINGS TAKE DAVIS AT NO. 86
- Jalen Mayfield, Michigan (No. 55)
- Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater (No. 65)
- Trey Smith, Tennessee (No. 72)
- Brady Christensen, BYU (No. 74)
- Aaron Banks, Notre Dame (No. 90)
- Ben Cleveland, Georgia (No. 103)
- Kendrick Green, Illinois (No. 104)
This might be the top priority after the Vikings went OL with their first pick. They desperately need another pass rusher who can compete for reps on the edge and play in sub-packages on third downs. There was a run on edge rushers to end the first round, with four of them going in the last five picks, so the supply is drying up. A move into the second for one of these guys could be hugely beneficial.
Some guys that are considered fourth-rounders by the consensus board might get pushed up into the third due to supply and demand.
- Joseph Ossai, Texas (No. 42)
- Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest (No. 49)
- Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma (No. 64)
- Quincy Roche, Miami (No. 95)
- Rashad Weaver, Pitt (No. 98)
- Patrick Jones II, Pitt (No. 105) — UPDATE: VIKINGS TAKE JONES AT NO. 90
- Dayo Odeyingbo, Vandy (No. 109)
- Jordan Smith, UAB (No. 119)
- Chris Rumph II, Duke (No. 124)
- Cameron Sample, Tulane (No. 131)
- Elerson Smith, Northern Iowa (No. 143)
The Vikings had some reported interest in Justin Fields, but not enough to pull the trigger on a move up from 14. He wound up going to the Bears at 11 after a pricey trade up from 20 by Chicago. Could they take a developmental backup QB on Day 2?
- Kyle Trask, Florida (No. 91)
- Davis Mills, Stanford (No. 93)
- Kellen Mond, Texas A&M (No. 99) — UPDATE: VIKINGS TAKE MOND AT NO. 66
Not a position to sleep on after the Jeff Gladney arrest, with three veteran corners (Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander, and Mike Hughes) set to hit free agency next year.
- Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse (No. 56)
- Tyson Campbell, Georgia (No. 57)
- Elijah Molden, Washington (No. 59)
- Aaron Robinson, UCF (No. 63)
- Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky (No. 66)
- Paulson Adebo, Stanford (No. 82)
- Shaun Wade, Ohio State (No. 114)
- Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota (No. 117)
- Ambry Thomas, Michigan (No. 121)
- Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas (No. 127)
Harrison Smith is 32 and Xavier Woods is on a one-year deal. This is another position where the Vikings could be proactive about looking ahead to the future.
- Jevon Holland, Oregon (No. 52)
- Richie Grant, UCF (No. 54)
- Andre Cisco, Syracuse (No. 88)
- Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State (No. 94)
- Jamar Johnson, Indiana (No. 96)
- Divine Deablo, Virginia Tech (No. 115)
- Ar'Darius Washington, TCU (No. 116)
- Talanoa Hufanga, USC (No. 122)
The Vikings could use another weapon to pair with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Getting someone with the ability to return kickoffs and/or punts would be an added bonus for a team in need of a spark on special teams.
- Dyami Brown, North Carolina (No. 62)
- Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC (No. 69)
- Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State (No. 70)
- D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan (No. 75)
- Amari Rodgers, Clemson (No. 76)
- Nico Collins, Michigan (No. 77)
- Tutu Atwell, Louisville (No. 107)
- Seth Williams, Auburn (No. 120)
- Anthony Schwartz, Auburn (No. 125)
Linebacker and defensive tackle could also be in play on Day 2, although I think it's more likely they wait until Saturday to address those positions. (Update: the Vikings took UNC LB Chazz Surratt at No. 78 overall in the third round).
I'd be shocked if they took a running back or tight end prior to Saturday.
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