On another fantastic Mock Draft Monday on the Climbing The Pocket YouTube Channel, Dave and I decided to go through the draft based on what we thought was best for this team, but we also still drafted a little bit based on how this organization would draft. Littered through this are high upside athletes and trades that benefit the Vikings this year and next.
Round 1, Pick 27 (Via Baltimore): EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
We had the Vikings move down from 14 to 27 in exchange for 131, 207, and a second-round selection next year and the Vikings ended up selecting a player likely to go in the top 15 with Gregory Rousseau. A high upside athlete, Rousseau registered 15.5 sacks during his redshirt freshman, and only season, at the University of Miami. Standing 6’7″ and 265 pounds, Rousseau has every element of size and athleticism you could want. His biggest issues lie solely with technique. I would rather take a guy who has all the traits and teach him technique than vice versa. You can read my final scouting report here.
Round 3, Pick 78: S Jevon Holland, Oregon
With safety being a major need with the uncertainty at the position this year and after 2021, the Vikings take a player out of Oregon in Jevon Holland who can do a little bit of everything. Standing 6’1″ and 196 lbs, Holland can play everywhere including the slot as a nickel cornerback. As the Chiefs have shown over the last couple of seasons, when you have versatile chess pieces on defense, it affords you to be more flexible overall with your schemes. Holland will have a chance to learn from all-pro Harrison Smith and potentially take over for him in 2022.
Round 3, Pick 90: WR D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan
Every year, I fall in love with a prospect or two. Last year, it was DL Jason Strowbridge out of North Carolina, and this year it’s Western Michigan WR D’Wayne Eskridge. If he was 6’1″ instead of 5’9″, I think we would be talking about a likely first-round pick. Eskridge has legit 4.35 speed, elite acceleration, and excellent agility and fluidity in his routes. Plus, he provides an upside in the return game, something the Vikings desperately need. You can read my scouting report on Eskridge here.
Round 4, Pick 118: DT Alim McNeill, North Carolina State
While the Vikings had a top 3 offense in yardage, their defense was far from it and it started on the defensive line. Missing both Hunter and Pierce was crippling from the start. On top of that, the Vikings have been desperately looking for a 3 technique for the last 5 years ever since Sharrif Floyd went out with a knee injury that forced him into retirement. Alim McNeill fits the bill. While he is still raw, McNeill is a high upside athlete who is already good at penetrating gaps and a solid pass rusher, both of which the Vikings need and there is still room to grow.
Round 4, Pick 124: DT Jaylen Twyman, Pittsburgh
Why did we take 3 techniques in back to back picks only 6 selections apart? This team desperately needs the position but they also need depth along the entire line. Twyman is the best player on the board and he is another high upside pass rusher. He is a little bit smaller at 6’2″ and 290, but he is a quick twitch pass rusher and that kind of upside is what you are looking for on day 3. You can read my scouting report on Jaylen Twyman here.
Round 4, Pick 131: OG David Moore, Grambling State
Finally we have appeased the segment of the Vikings fanbase that is desperate for an offensive lineman. David Moore has a very unique build, standing 6’1 5/8″ and 350 lbs but has an almost 7 foot wingspan. A functional athlete, Moore is a very solid pass blocker that needs to work on his leverage and over extending. If he can figure those out, this could be a steal for the Vikings.
Round 4, Pick 131: EDGE Shaka Toney, Penn State
This is another Andre Patterson special. Shaka Toney is an incredible athlete with traits and bend for days. Possessing an explosive first step. Toney can get around just about any offensive lineman you put in front of him. The biggest issues he faces is his size to be an every down edge (6’3″ 238 lbs) and the inconsistent run defense. If you can add some weight onto his frame without sacrificing his high level bend and athleticism, Toney could be a steal at the end of the 4th round.
Round 4, Pick 142: G Trey Hill, Georgia
Another guard to satisfy the “we desperately need OL” crowd, Trey Hill comes off the board. This also fits my belief that guards don’t matter because these guys are all taken on day 3, just like you probably should do with running backs. While he lacks top level athleticism, he makes up for it with his size and strength, both of which the Vikings are sorely lacking on the interior.