With the first wave of free agency behind us, it has become increasingly clear what the Minnesota Vikings will be focusing on come draft weekend in April. With the signings of Dalvin Tomlinson, Nick Vigil, and Patrick Peterson, Mike Zimmer got his wish in addressing the defensive side of the football. There are, however, multiple glaring needs that will be facing the Vikings in the face when pick 14 comes around less than 6 weeks from now. There will be a lot of familiar names that will stay consistent in the mock drafts that you see nationally. With that in mind, the rest of this article will be focused on two different groups: one where the Vikings stay at 14 and one where they trade back into the mid 20’s.
Stay At 14
In a strong tackle class, Christian Darrisaw is my undisputed tackle number two. He provides everything that you can want in a left tackle prospect. He has the size (6’5″ 314lbs), athleticism and power in all phases of the game. He can fit in seamlessly into any scheme and start from day one. There is some aspects of his game that need to be ironed out, but you can do that on the fly without much worry.
The Vikings have prioritized hyper athletes throughout the tenure of Rick Spielman, especially at edge rusher. Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter are the best examples of the profile and you can argue that Kwity Paye has a better profile than Hunter did coming out and they are a similar size. Not only will he fit their athletic profile, but he also fits in both need and value at 14. An elite run defender, Paye has already displayed multiple pass rush moves and has a plan of attack more often than most rushers in this class.
Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith or Ja’Marr Chase
I know a lot of people are going to ask why I have a receiver this high, especially Ja’Marr Chase, who I am very low on. The answer is simple: they should not be here at this point and you take a premium talent when they fall to you. WR3 is one of the major needs left for this team and Adam Thielen is on the wrong side of 30. Taking a player at a premium position allows the offense to be a lot more diverse, especially with the unknown of Klint Kubiak’s style of offense.
A tall, outstanding athlete, Samuel Cosmi showed tremendous growth over his career at the University of Texas and exemplified that athleticism by testing out as an overall 100th percentile athlete per Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb).
Cosmi is a mauler in the running game and a patient pass protector. He will need to learn how to become more aggressive in pass protection and keep adding strength, but he is an excellent prospect nonetheless.
One thing that stood out to me this offseason is that word came out that the Vikings aren’t married to the offensive scheme like they have been in the past. With that in mind, a slightly above average tackle with a ton of power becomes more in play than ever before. Teven Jenkins fits the bill and then some. If his hands get on you, it’s over. Early on, he could play guard if needed but I would want him as a right tackle. With Brian O’Neill able to move to the left side, Jenkins would fit like a glove on the right opening up holes for Dalvin Cook.
Greg Newsome II
Vikings fans will not be happy one bit to see the Vikings take a cornerback in round one, but I warn you to not jump to conclusions. Even with the 4 first round picks along with 2 day 2 picks at the position since 2013, the team exemplified the point that you can never have enough cornerbacks this past season. Newsome II is a player that Zimmer will love. He is sticky in coverage, feisty, and has excellent ball skills. He would be a great addition to the room and another corner for Patrick Peterson to help mold.