Illustration by T.M. Detwiler • Special to the Star Tribune
A pick for every Vikings pick

2017 Vikings NFL draft preview: A pick for every pick

 

Story by Matt Vensel • Star Tribune

Final picks

The Vikings in the 2017 draft put the finishing touches of what they hope will be a dramatic offensive turnaround by trading up to take running back Dalvin Cook and then center Pat Elflein, who both could vie for starting positions as rookies, with their first two picks. General Manager Rick Spielman made seven other trades, allowing them to fill out their depth chart with nine other picks. Will any of those guys make an impact? Rodney Adams could be their kickoff returner and Jaleel Johnson might get in the mix at defensive tackle. The Vikings will need contributions from their rookie class this year to get back on track.

  • 1. Dalvin Cook
  • RB
  • Florida State
  • Round 2, No. 41
  • 2. Pat Elflein
  • OL
  • Ohio State
  • Round 3, No. 70
  • 3. Jaleel Johnson
  • DT
  • Iowa
  • Round 4, No. 109
  • 4. Ben Gedeon
  • ILB
  • Michigan
  • Round 4, No. 120
  • 5. Rodney Adams
  • WR
  • South Florida
  • Round 5, No. 170
  • 6. Danny Isidora
  • G
  • Miami
  • Round 5, No. 180
  • 7. Bucky Hodges
  • TE
  • Virginia Tech
  • Round 6, No. 201
  • 8. Stacy Coley
  • WR
  • Miami
  • Round 7, No. 219
  • 9. Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • DL
  • Northwestern
  • Round 7, No. 220
  • 10. Elijah Lee
  • LB
  • Kansas State
  • Round 7, No. 232
  • 11. Jack Tocho
  • CB
  • N.C. State
  • Round 7, No. 245

Team needs

The Vikings used free agency to do something about their most glaring need, shelling out nearly $100 million in contracts to offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, and they signed running back Latavius Murray to help replace Adrian Peterson. Those moves mean they won't have to reach early in the draft to fill holes on their depth chart for 2017. But they still have needs to address for this season and for the future.

OFFENSE

Offensive tackle (OT): Even after signing stopgaps Reiff and Remmers, offensive tackle remains the team's most pressing long-term need. The Vikings must draft and develop a keeper.

Guard (G): The Vikings have a couple of capable options in Jeremiah Sirles and Joe Berger to play right guard in 2017. But they need long-term reinforcements at guard, too.

Wide receiver (WR): The Vikings are thin at wideout after letting Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson walk in free agency. They also may be tempted to take a talented tight end.

Running back (RB): Coach Mike Zimmer remarked this offseason that the Vikings are likely to draft a big-play threat from a deep running back class that General Manager Rick Spielman feels is maybe the best he has seen.

DEFENSE

Cornerback (CB) The return of veteran Terence Newman likely gives Zimmer enough depth at this key position. Still, the DB whisperer is always looking to groom potential starters at the position.

Defensive tackle (DT): With Sharrif Floyd's career in jeopardy due to injury and a bunch of other guys also in contract years, Zimmer would like to get his hands on a disruptive defensive tackle.

Linebacker (LB): Since Chad Greenway was only a part-time player in his final two years, finding a replacement is not a pressing concern. But they'll probably draft another linebacker.

Safety (S): Andrew Sendejo was actually pretty solid in 2016 alongside Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith. The backups behind those two, though, did not inspire much confidence.

Vensel's mock draft

Because the Vikings gave up their 2017 first-round pick in the Sam Bradford trade last September, they have been absent from the semi-weekly mock drafts pumped out by all the national draftniks. We are here to pick up the slack, though, with a full seven-round mock draft. Sure, these pick projections are slightly-educated-but-mostly-wild guesses, but this exercise will give you an idea of how the Vikings might attack this year's draft.

Vikings' eight picks

1 Round 2, No. 48

2 Round 3, No. 79

3 Round 3, No. 86

4 Round 4, No. 121

5 Round 4, No. 129

6 Round 5, No. 160

7 Round 6, No. 199

8 Round 7, No. 232

FIRST PICK: RD 2, #48

PICK

Dan Feeney

Indiana, G

Instead of reaching for the top offensive tackle left in a poor class for that position, the Vikings grab one of the top guards in Feeney, who is a smart, tough and athletic blocker.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Alvin Kamara • RB, Tennessee

This is not too early for Vikings to grab a back like Kamara or Oklahoma's Joe Mixon.

Malik McDowell • DT, Michigan State

He's disruptive in the interior, but questions about his toughness could turn off Zimmer.

SECOND PICK: RD 3, #79

PICK

Antonio Garcia

Troy, OT

Garcia may need to add size and strength to play at the NFL level, but the Vikings appear to be intrigued, having been one of about a dozen teams to send someone to his pro day.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Samaje Perine • Oklahoma, RB

The Vikings met with Perine, Mixon's bruising backfield buddy, at the scouting combine.

Curtis Samuel • Ohio State, WR

Versatile speedster has drawn comparisons to former Vikings WR Percy Harvin.

THIRD PICK: RD 3, #86

PICK

Kareem Hunt

Toledo, RB

Slippery and surprisingly powerful for a 5-foot-10, 216-pound running back, Hunt has a combination of skills that could help him become a three-down back at the NFL level.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Jourdan Lewis • Michigan, CB

Undersized but feisty, he could duke it out with Mackensie Alexander for the nickel role.

Davon Godchaux • LSU, DT

Another potential replacement for Sharrif Floyd, Godchaux notched 5.5 sacks in 2016.

FOURTH PICK: RD 4, #121

PICK

Elijah Lee

Kansas State, OLB

Long and rangy, Lee is an athletic linebacker who could potentially excel in coverage if he were to win the competition at Chad Greenway's old weak-side linebacker position.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Jamaal Williams • BYU, RB

Williams is one to watch if the Vikings wait until Day Three to draft a running back.

Jalen Myrick • Minnesota, CB

Myrick might be too short at 5-foot-10 for Zimmer’s liking, but the Vikings know this kid can play.

FIFTH PICK: RD 4, #129

PICK

John Johnson

Boston College, S

Some analysts feel Johnson, who made starts at safety and corner at BC, has the ability to line up in centerfield and in the box, making him a possible fit next to Harrison Smith.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Isaac Asiata • Utah, G

The cousin of ex-Vikings running back Matt Asiata can line up at a few different spots.

Dede Westbrook • Oklahoma, WR

Zimmer recently said the Vikings want to add a deep threat. He definitely fits the bill.

SIXTH PICK: RD 5, #160

PICK

Rodney Adams

South Florida, WR

He struggled with drops in college, but his ability to gain yards after the catch could make him a fit in Pat Shurmur's scheme. Plus he was a good returner in college, too.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Zane Gonzalez • Arizona State, K

Kai Forbath is under contract for 2017, but the Vikings have worked out this top kicker.

Jake Butt • Michigan, TE

If Butt, who tore his ACL in January, is available this late, he would be worth stashing.

SEVENTH PICK: RD 6, #199

PICK

Charles Walker

Oklahoma, DT

Having passed on the position early in this mock, the Vikings in the late rounds take a chance on a high-upside three-technique in Walker (or Tulane's Tanzel Smart).

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Jerod Evans • Virginia Tech, QB

The Vikings haven't drafted a QB since Teddy Bridgewater in 2014 but could this year.

Will Likely • Maryland, CB

Likely, who is coming off a torn ACL, is arguably the top kickoff returner in this class.

EIGHTH PICK: RD 7, #232

PICK

Brendan Langley

Lamar, CB

Langley, a small-school standout, is a raw prospect. But his combination of size and athleticism makes him somebody whom Mike Zimmer might be able to mold into a player over time.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Bryan Cox Jr. • Florida, DE

The son of ex-NFL defender Bryan Cox has some tools but inconsistent game tape at Florida.

Worth Gregory • East Carolina, P

The signing of veteran Ryan Quigley doesn’t necessarily mean they are content at punter.

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