With the draft rapidly approaching, the Minnesota Vikings have been mocked the same positions and players over and over again and with good reason. The needs on this team are blatantly obvious. Offensive line, edge rusher opposite Danielle Hunter, and safety are all positions that are mutually agreed upon that the Vikings need the most, but what happens if the board falls in a way we don’t expect it to? There is always a player or two that fall down the board for whatever reason and the Vikings could make the smart play to either capitalize by taking the player or moving down to gain capital on day 2. When it comes to off-the-wall selections the Vikings could make in round one, here are 3 names to familiarize yourself with come draft day.
LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
Linebacker is far from a major need for the Minnesota Vikings at the current moment, but it is 100% a need in 2022. With Anthony Barr restructuring his contract, the final two seasons were voided, making him a free agent in 2022. With how Mike Zimmer values and utilizes Barr’s size, athleticism, and skillset, it would only make sense to take the player that resembles him to a T. When you watch Collins on the field, he looks like Anthony Barr. The size, length, speed, and playstyle all jump off the page and his pro day exemplified it.
Drafting Collins would likely only happen with a trade back, but given a year as a sub-package player learning underneath Barr, Collins would be afforded time to grow and Zimmer would certainly create blitz packages utilizing the two of the in the A gap and off the edge.
C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
This will feel quite off the wall for fans, as the Vikings just invested a first round pick into center Garrett Bradbury just 2 years ago. Being that the need is there for interior offensive lineman and Humphrey has guard flexibility, it’s not a stretch to select him here. While he doesn’t play unathletic on the field, his athleticism, which ranked him as the top center in the last 30 years athletically according to Kent Lee Platte’s RAS.
The Vikings are sure to prioritize his athleticism along with his power and technique in the trenches. It wouldn’t necessarily be admitting that Bradbury was a mistake in selecting Humphrey, but rather that they are valuing a player with 4 years of really good tape in the college game.
S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Even though the Vikings signed Xavier Woods (not The New Day star), there is still a need in the back end. One half of the best safety duo in college football, Moerhig would complement Harrison Smith very well. He plays well as a center fielder, shows good range and has plus ball skills. He does play a little too aggressive at times and needs to work on his discipline, but having him paired with an aging Harrison Smith would be a great scenario. I do think the only way this happens is with a trade back, but safety is something that could become more a priority with the long term future of Smith up in the air.