Vikings mock draft:
Projecting every pick

The Vikings finished last season one game away from the Super Bowl. Adding Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson in free agency was one big step toward their ultimate goal. The next is filling all of their needs through the 2018 NFL Draft. In the ultimate Vikings Mock Draft, here are our predictions for how they’ll spend each of their eight picks.

TEAM NEEDS

The Vikings filled their biggest need (quarterback) by signing Kirk Cousins in free agency, filled out the group they’ll put around him on offense and filled a need with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. But as they try to improve on their 13-3 record and NFC Championship Game trip, they’ll have a few areas to address – especially with several key players approaching free agency.

OG Offensive Guard

With Joe Berger retiring and Jeremiah Sirles heading to Carolina, the Vikings need both a starter at right guard and some depth in the middle of their line to go with free-agent pickup Tom Compton.

TE Tight End

Kyle Rudolph is back, but the Vikings’ pursuit of Jared Cook in free agency a year ago and their interest in Trey Burton this year shows they’re looking for another player who can work as a receiving threat over the middle of the field.

OT Offensive Tackle

Riley Reiff’s impressive first season in Minnesota helped solve the Vikings’ left tackle problem, but they could still use another young player to develop at the spot.

WR Wide receiver

Of their top three receivers, only Adam Thielen is signed beyond this year. The Vikings could look to add another receiver with size, especially with Laquon Treadwell still struggling.

DT Defensive tackle

Signing Sheldon Richardson gave the Vikings their new starter at three-technique, but they need more depth, especially with Shamar Stephen gone.

CB Cornerback

It’s never a bad idea to invest here, especially when the Vikings could benefit from using a high pick on a corner who could play in the nickel.

LB Linebacker

With Anthony Barr hitting free agency hitting free agency after the season, the Vikings could certainly look for another starter here.

SS Strong Safety

With Andrew Sendejo turning 31 in September, the Vikings could look for another option alongside Harrison Smith – and a player who can add some versatility to their sub packages.


First Pick

Round 1 Pick 30

Maurice Hurst Michigan · Defensive Tackle

Sheldon Richardson is only signed for a year, the Vikings need more standout players in the middle of their line and Hurst, if he’s still on the board, could make an immediate impact as a pass rusher.

Other possibilities

Frank Ragnow Arkansas, C

The Chanhassen native might be gone by the time the Vikings pick, but if he’s there, he’s polished enough to step in and start at center or guard.

Jaire Alexander Louisville, CB

A cornerback who can play the nickel spot would be a sound investment, with 39-year-old Terence Newman still debating his future and the jury still out on Mackensie Alexander.


Second Pick

Round 2 Pick 62

Billy Price Ohio State · Center

Pat Elflein’s former college teammate could fall because of the pectoral injury he suffered at the NFL combine. If the Vikings get him here, he can line up at guard next to his friend.

Other possibilities

Mike Gesicki Penn State, TE

He’d give the Vikings the athletic tight end they seem to be seeking to pair with Kyle Rudolph.

Lorenzo Carter Georgia, LB

Vikings brought Carter to town on a visit before the draft; he stands 6-foot-6, weighs 250 pounds and runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.


Third Pick

Round 3 Pick 94

Dante Pettis Washington · Wide Receiver

The Vikings had him in on a top-30 visit; he’d give them an athletic young slot receiver who also posted impressive numbers as a punt returner in college.

Other possibilities

Kemoko Turay Rutgers, LB

Another player the Vikings brought in on a visit, Turay is an athletic edge rusher in the mold of Anthony Barr.

Nyheim Hines North Carolina State, RB

Hines is an explosive back, though he's only 5-foot-8 and would need some work as a receiver. Still, his speed (a 4.38 40) and ability as a return man could be intriguing.


Fourth Pick

Round 5 Pick 167

Tony Brown Alabama · Cornerback

He’s a physical corner who’d help in run support from the nickel position immediately, while contributing on special teams.

Other possibilities

Jack Cichy Wisconsin, LB

The Badgers linebacker, who visited the Vikings before the draft, is coming off an ACL tear, but could be worth the gamble.

Tre Flowers Oklahoma State, S

The 6-foot-3 safety could be worth a look, especially if the Vikings believe he can improve as a tackler.


Fifth Pick

Round 6 Pick 204

Alex Cappa Humboldt State · Tackle

The 6-foot-6 tackle from the Division III school has good footwork and could eventually be a versatile backup who can play several spots.

Other possibilities

Nick DeLuca North Dakota State, LB

He came back from a shoulder injury to post 6 ½ sacks and 10 ½ tackles for loss as a senior.

Greg Gilmore Louisiana State, DT

The Vikings have enjoyed good luck with LSU defensive line prospects (Danielle Hunter and Tashawn Bower) in recent years; Gilmore could play either tackle spot.


Sixth Pick

Round 6 Pick 213

Troy Fumagalli Wisconsin · Tight End

He could be the Vikings’ answer to what John DeFilippo had in Trey Burton in Philadelphia: an athletic tight end who runs good routes and has solid hands.

Other possibilities

Riley Ferguson Memphis, QB

This might not be a bad spot for a developmental QB, and Ferguson could have potential if he refines his mechanics.

Justin Jackson Northwestern, RB

Vikings might need another running back after losing Jerick McKinnon, and Jackson could be a fit on third downs.


Seventh Pick

Round 6 Pick 218

John Franklin-Myers Stephen F. Austin · Defensive End

The Vikings typically add an athletic specimen of a pass rusher late in the draft; Franklin-Myers might be on the larger side for their defensive ends, but he’s a powerful man who could also move inside.

Other possibilities

Tray Matthews Auburn, S

He had some strong moments during the week of practices at the Senior Bowl, and could step in on special teams for now.

Jeff Badet Oklahoma, WR

The Vikings had him in town for their top-30 event earlier this month; his immediate impact would likely be as a returner.


Eight Pick

Round 7 Pick 225

Michael Joseph Dubuque · Cornerback

Can he jump from Division III to the NFL? If he can, Joseph has the size and speed to be a late-round gem.

Other possibilities

Quentin Poling Ohio, LB

The Vikings met with him before the draft, and could target him as an undrafted free agent if he isn’t drafted.

Matt Gono Wesley, G

He’s another player the Vikings met with before the draft, and this might not be a bad spot for another lineman who could develop.


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