With the NFL Draft fast approaching, it’s time to do a mailbag talking the NFL Draft and the Minnesota Vikings. Getting closer to the draft, I will be doing another one as well. With all that being said, let’s get right to it.
Cory Skloff: What are a few teams that you think are most likely to trade out of the first round? Conversely, what are a few teams most likely to trade up for a first-round pick?
I honestly don’t know if there are any teams who would be looking to completely move out of or move back into the first round. However, I do believe there will be teams looking to move both up and down. The Dolphins, Vikings, and Lions are all teams I can see moving back. The Dolphins will likely try to take advantage of having the 3rd overall pick to get another first-round pick for 2022 while getting a premium player while the Vikings and Lions are both in need of a young talent influx for different reasons.
Teams looking to trade up are all going to be teams that need a quarterback. The Panthers, Broncos and 49ers are the most likely candidates with possibilities of seeing the Patriots, Bears, and Washington Football Team making the big leap.
Tyler Browning: Are you on the side of offensive tackle for the Cowboys at 10 or no? Explain
The Cowboys are in an interesting spot. Both of their tackles were hurt most of the season but are also both in their prime. Their needs fit very well for the 10th pick in the first round. It’s almost certain that one of the top two cornerbacks will be sitting there for the taking. That needs to be the selection there. The are only reasons I would take a tackle here: 1. Tyron Smith or La’el Collins get traded for a good size haul or 2. Penei Sewell is somehow available at 10 but Caleb Farley and Patrick Surtain II are both off the board.
Ben Arkema: In your mind, what should the Vikings do to fix the offensive line? Looking for specific moves you’d make
First things first with fixing the offensive line: the approach needs to change. I would bring in an offensive line coach to pair with running game coordinator Rick Dennison that prioritizes and specializes in pass blocking. Once that is taken care of, I would bring in two capable guards that are good pass blockers to help solidify both the interior protection, but also take the pressure off of Garrett Bradbury. I believe his pass blocking numbers improve drastically with capable players next to him.
Patrick Chamberlain: What is the best guard for the Vikings to target with their first round pick?
I am on record with the stance of guards don’t matter and I really don’t think the value is there at 14. However, there are a couple of good options that could end up being the best talent on the board. The two that come to mind right away are Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker. Slater doesn’t have the ideal size and length to play tackle and Vera-Tucker could end up being an all-pro type guard with his skill set.
Andrew Magnuson: New England, Washington, and Chicago all need a QB and none of them are currently in range to land a top 4 QB. Rank them by likelihood of trading up and as a bonus, should we watch for anyone else trading into the top 10 for a QB?
When I look at these three teams, I would rank them like this
- New England
Chicago has both their head coach and general manager both solidly on the hot seat. The frustrating part is that if Mitch Trubisky was a success, there is a good chance that they would have won a Super Bowl in the past 3 season. With that sense of desperation, they might take the chance to get that guy to save their jobs.
Washington has a very aggressive head coach and a roster ready to win now with a couple more additions. Riverboat Ron Rivera could very well mortgage the near future draft capital to get the guy to quarterback his team moving forward.
New England is a wild card. With this being the second season post Tom Brady, how much does Bill Belichick value the quarterback position compared to the rest of the roster? They won 7 games last season with Cam Newton and also had 8 player opt out due to COVID-19. Will they try to go get that guy or use a true team building philosophy and bring Cam back?
Carl Rottman: A lot of players draft stock skyrocket or plummet with combine numbers. Without an actual combine this year, who do you think will be most affected by the lack of a combine (either positively or negatively)?
The players most impacted by the lack of a combine are those with limited production and major questions about speed and athleticism. Players in these situations can see those questions answered at the combine. This year, there is a lot of misinformation and skewed numbers that will come out and that doesn’t help,
This year, the player that would benefit the most from the combine happening is Trey Lance. He has only played 17 games and possesses some wow type traits. If he was able to perform live and in person for scouts, I think there would be a lot more talk about him being the second quarterback off the board.