Vikings Mock Draft Roundup: The Draft Network Releases Eight New Mocks

Will Ragatz

Just two and half weeks remain until the NFL Draft kicks off on April 23rd, so don't expect the mock drafts to slow down anytime soon.

The Draft Network recently released eight new mocks from eight different writers and is pitting them up against each other in a March Madness-style bracket. TDN is one of the best sites for reputable draft content on the internet, so let's run through the Vikings selections in each of these eight mocks and see if there's any type of consensus forming.

Benjamin Solak's Mock

Round 1, Pick 22: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Justin Jefferson in place of Stefon Diggs is such an easy fit. Jefferson doesn’t have the same contested-catch prowess but as a route-runner, he’s equally loose, physical and savvy.

Round 1, Pick 25: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The Minnesota Vikings and general manager Rick Spielman can’t resist a first-round cornerback if they tried. A.J. Terrell has a well-rounded skill set and can win on the outside but only offers a modest ceiling.

Jordan Reid's Mock

Round 1, Pick 18: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Another trade! The Vikings ship a third-rounder (No. 105) and a seventh-round pick (No. 253) to the Dolphins in order to move up for one of the top corners on their board in Gladney.

Round 1, Pick 25: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

After losing Stefon Diggs, this pick is a no brainer. Adding Jefferson to Adam Thielen gives the team a formidable duo.

Kyle Crabbs' Mock

Round 1, Pick 22: Trade back, no pick

Crabbs has the Vikings sending the 22nd pick to the Colts for No. 34, No. 75, and a 2021 second-rounder.

Round 1, Pick 25: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

The Minnesota Vikings cashed in their first pick to add more long-term picks and land a new pass catcher for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Joe Marino's Mock

Round 1, Pick 22: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Justin Jefferson is dominant in contested situations, wins after the catch, has dynamic ball skills and is a silky smooth route runner. Ya digg?

Round 1, Pick 25: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

Noah Igbinoghene is an elite competitor that is physical with superb athletic traits to become the Minnesota Vikings’ new shutdown corner.

Carter Donnick's Mock

Round 1, Pick 22: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Denzel Mims is a big, graceful prospect with a catch radius the size of Mars.

Round 1, Pick 25: Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan

Cesar Ruiz is an exceptional zone blocker and the top interior lineman in this class.

Drae Harris's Mock

Round 1, Pick 22: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

Brandon Aiyuk has a skill set similar to Stefon Diggs but is a younger, more explosive version.

Round 1, Pick 25: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

The Minnesota Vikings add another weapon to their receiving corps.

Trevor Sikkema's Mock

Round 1, Pick 22: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Round 1, Pick 25: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

Rob Judin's Mock

Round 1, Pick 22: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Round 1, Pick 25: Trade back, no pick

Judin has the Vikings sending the 25th pick to the Lions for picks No. 35, 109, 182, and a 2021 third-rounder.

Analysis

Out of the 14 Vikings picks made by TDN staffers in these mock drafts, nine were wide receivers, as all eight writers gave the Vikings at least one WR. That's a pretty heavy consensus. I understand that it's a major need after the Stefon Diggs trade, but I'm still not completely sold on the idea that Rick Spielman will take a receiver in the first. There's so much depth at that position that it wouldn't shock me if he went with a cornerback and an offensive lineman in the first. I certainly can't imagine in a million years that the Vikings would take two receivers in the first like they do in Harris's mock. This tweet was a joke!

If the Vikings do take a receiver in the first, there are two names that continue to come up regularly: Justin Jefferson and Denzel Mims. Those two made up seven of the nine WR picks in these mocks, and both would make sense. Jefferson is a polished route-runner who projects as an instant impact guy in the slot, and Mims is a high-upside option who has off-the-charts physical traits. Of the two, I think I'd prefer Jefferson.

There's less consensus among the cornerbacks, with two Jeff Gladney selections and one each of AJ Terrell and Noah Igbinoghene. I was surprised to not see any Kristian Fulton, as Gladney and Fulton seem to be the two most popular CB choices for the Vikings in the first round these days. With that said, I'd have no issue with Terrell or Igbinoghene in the first, as both are ridiculous athletes with a lot of upside.

I was also surprised to see just one offensive lineman, and that it was Cesar Ruiz. I've written about Ruiz being a possible surprise choice for the Vikings, so I'm a fan of that pick from Donnick. But where is Josh Jones in these mocks? He's been frequently mocked to the Vikings for months now because he'd be a great scheme fit. The Vikings need a left tackle of the future, so it was interesting not to see Jones (or Austin Jackson, Ezra Cleveland, Lucas Niang, etc) among these picks.

One thing I loved: no defensive ends!

Lastly, another notable thing about this eight-mock sample is the two trade-backs. I think there's a very solid argument to be made for Spielman moving back with one of his two first-rounders, assuming he's not thrilled with the options at either 22 or 25, and loading up on Day 2 picks in a deep draft.

Related: Three Vikings Mock Draft Scenarios: Trading Up, Staying Put, and Trading Back

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