Rick Spielman said the Vikings weren’t locked into an offensive lineman with the 30th pick in Thursday’s first round. That bit of predraft chatter turned out to be correct.
So is it John DeFilippo’s turn to get a piece for the Vikings offensive line?
After selecting Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes on Thursday, the Vikings likely will be looking for help on the offensive line. They have two picks (62nd and 94th) during the NFL draft’s second and third rounds Friday night.
And there’s help still available, even though offensive linemen were drafted most in the first round.
Six were taken Thursday: Notre Dame’s Quinton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey, Arkansas’ Frank Ragnow, Ohio State’s Billy Price and Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn.
A handful of heralded offensive linemen are available Friday, including Iowa center/guard James Daniels, Texas tackle Connor Williams and UTEP guard Will Hernandez.
“I think there’s a lot of depth there,” Spielman said Thursday night. “Last year, we were able to get Pat [Elflein] in the third round. Looking at the board, I know there’s a lot of quality depth in the offensive line.”
Currently slated to start in the back of the second round (62nd overall), Spielman is ready to maneuver Friday if necessary. He traded up twice last year in rounds two and three to acquire running back Dalvin Cook and center Pat Elflein.
The Vikings have seven picks left, including five Saturday, between a fifth-rounder (167th overall), three sixth-rounders (204th, 213th and 218th) and a seventh-rounder (225th).
That’s enough draft capital to move up for a targeted player.
“We’ll see how the board starts to fall in the beginning,” Spielman said.
The Vikings still have either right guard or right tackle up for grabs, depending on where Mike Remmers settles in the lineup. They are comfortable with Remmers playing either position, according to Spielman, and that could depend on who they draft Friday.
Elflein was taken 70th overall a year ago and came on strong as a rookie starting center.
Help could also be had Friday at either tight end or receiver, both skill positions where the Vikings have expiring contracts in 2018 or ’19. Tight end Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State) remains available among top prospects. He came into Eagan on a predraft visit for the Vikings.
There are also more holes for the Vikings to fill on defense. Linebacker and defensive tackle are two areas the team could use depth after losing contributors such as Emmanuel Lamur, Shamar Stephen and Tom Johnson in free agency.
The Vikings did plenty of homework on mid- to late-round options at both positions. Keep an eye on Fort Hays State defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, who had a private visit with the Vikings during the draft process. Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is another talented prospect, but is falling because of a reported heart condition that is scaring away some teams.
After standing pat at No. 30, chances are the Vikings start moving around the draft board Friday. The only certainty is needed help on the offensive line.
“That’s the exciting part, because you don’t know what you’re going to experience,” Spielman said. “Because it seems like you experience something new every year.”