The long anticipated wait is over, it’s finally NFL Draft week! We’ve seen countless Mock Drafts, hot takes, and debates among Vikings Twitter and it’s lead us all to this point. Over the past few weeks I’ve highlighted some of players who I think the Vikings could draft at pick 18 and why they could be good for us. Today we conclude this four part series with a little bit of a rapid fire overview of some remaining prospects who could be in play for our favorite team come Thursday night, so strap in folks!
Prospect: Garrett Bradbury
College: NC State
Pros: Garrett Bradbury checks all the boxes as a player you’d want as your team’s starting center for years to come. He has a high football IQ and the ability to diagnose specific blitz packages. His pass blocking and run blocking are equally as impressive. These attributes combined with his impressive hand technique, and his ability to reach the second level, and use his leverage to create running lanes, makes for an ideal zone blocking center.
Cons: While there aren’t many negatives when it comes to Bradbury, there is some concern with his size and strength. However, if you play him in a zone blocking scheme, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Overall: Bradbury seems to be as sure handed of a prospect on the OL as you can find. He has the ability to be a plug and play center from day one and be a cornerstone for your offensive line for years to come. When it comes to the Vikings, the “issue” that you run into is that currently Pat Elflein is our starting center. Luckily, if the Vikings go this route, they can slide Elflein to Guard (he played that position in college) and leave Bradbury at center and prosper!
NFL teams that are looking for a center, NC State has a really good one in Garrett Bradbury. Excellent reach block here on outside zone. pic.twitter.com/WuwLzmvnEF
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) November 14, 2018
Prospect: Cody Ford
Pros: When you looks at Cody Ford, you will see an aggressive lineman who can set the tone for an offensive line. He’s got tremendous power and athleticism, and what you’d call a “mauler” on the OL. He’s extremely physical, has good length, and he can mirror the defender, exactly what most NFL teams want.
Cons: There are some questions surrounding Ford due to his lack of starting experience and whether or not you’d play him at Guard or Tackle. Additionally, he definitely has some inconsistencies with his game that need to be worked on at the next level. When you talk about scheme fit as well, there are many people (including myself) who believe that while Ford is a really good player, he wouldn’t necessarily fit the Vikings scheme here in MN.
Overall: Ford is a great prospect, and I think that a lot of teams would be lucky to have him. Though with some inconsistencies in his game, his lack of starter experience and the fact that he is not built for a zone blocking scheme that the Vikings run, I ultimately think they would have other players ranked above him. However, the Draft is a crazy thing and we never know what could happen. If they do end up drafting Ford, I think we should be excited to see how the Vikings coach him up and insert him into the OL!
I’d try him at tackle first, but if not, I think Cody Ford can be a high-level starter at guard.
Definition of nasty and a tone setter. pic.twitter.com/lU2tbBHsvX
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) April 19, 2019
Prospect: Greedy Williams
Pros: Greedy Williams is just about everything Mike Zimmer likes in a cornerback, he’s tall, lengthy, has smooth hips and is a disruptive player who plays very patiently. He could easily be a CB 1 for a team someday. Combine that with his shut down ability in man coverage and ability to track the ball, he could be a very attractive option for teams.
Cons: I’ve seen some people knock Greedy for a variety of reasons. He sometimes appears to be uninterested in some plays. He needs to improve in run support, put on some muscle, and his tackling ability is subpar. Nevertheless, all of these issues could be fixed with coaching and the right environment.
Overall: Do you want to see Vikings Twitter explode? Draft a cornerback in the first round. I think that Greedy is a good player and even though he appears to seem uninterested at times, I think the Vikings culture could fix that and coach him up to be a very good player. With that being said, I think that there are other positions the Vikings will consider before drafting a cornerback., In the event that we do draft Greedy though, grab your popcorn and head on over to the Twitter machine, because Vikings fans will be irate, and I’m here for it.
Greedy Williams isn't perfect, but I like what I've seen so far in terms of coverage. He's willing to get physical and contest despite his frame. pic.twitter.com/SWMVX4kZkq
— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) April 18, 2019
Pros: Depending on how the board falls, trading back can garner you a surplus of picks, especially if a team really likes a player. You have the advantage if teams come calling because you could maybe get more than your pick is worth. This can also allow you to use those extra draft picks to either move up later in the draft or use those picks on extra players. This could prove to be beneficial in a draft like this year with so much talent on day 2.
Cons: Any time you trade back you risk a lot. You risk missing out on potential players you like, you risk someone trading ahead of you and taking someone you want in your new spot, and you risk making a bad deal, and getting poor value for your draft pick.
Overall: We know that Rick Spielman likes having ten picks in the draft, and he usually gets to that number, one way or another. The talent levels in the first two days of this draft are deep, and if a team came calling and offered us a day two pick, I have a hard time believing Rick would pass that up. With that being said, if the top guy on your board is there at 18, you take him. The draft is unpredictable, and there can be runs on positions and it can leave you in a tough spot, so get your guy when you can, and don’t reach.
There are really countless options for the Vikings, and it’s hard to narrow down what a team thinks and who they will actually draft. I probably missed some player because either I don’t think the Vikings have interest in them at pick 18, or I just don’t think they will be there at pick 18. Anyway, thanks for reading my little series on who to draft at pick 18. The wait is nearly over and we will be able to stop speculating on who we are going to draft and really start reading up more on who we actually draft. If you missed any of my other articles feel free to check them out below! SKOL!