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Lunchbreak: Looking at Dream Scenarios for Vikings in 1st-Round

Posted Apr 26, 2018

Earlier this week, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman held his pre-draft press conference and noted his team had flexibility with what they could do with pick No. 30.

Spielman said Minnesota has ‘five different positions’ under consideration for the first-round pick. The Vikings could even make a trade to either land a guy they covet, or drop back and acquire extra picks. 

Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com agreed with Spielman’s assertion that the Vikings could go any number of ways, and laid out a few dream scenarios that he believes the Vikings will be happy with if it pans out this way Thursday night in Dallas.

Coller believes that picking up a top-tier lineman such as [Iowa’s] James Daniels, Isaiah Wynn [of Georgia], [UTEP’s] Will Hernandez or [Arkansas’] Frank Ragnow will be a win for the Vikings. 

He wrote:

In Mike Mayock’s final mock draft, these four interior offensive lineman are selected in the first round. While there is no doubt the guard class is deep, Daniels, Wynn, Hernandez and Ragnow stand above the rest (aside from uber prospect Quenton Nelson). If the Vikings picked any of them, they would have a plug-and-play guard who would immediately improve the offensive line. Each player has the mobility to fit in the Vikings’ system and the character to fit in the locker room.

But Coller also noted that not making a pick would also be a win, as long as Minnesota trades back to snag another second-round pick plus perhaps receive a fourth-round selection as part of a potential deal.

Spielman made nine total trades in the 2017 NFL Draft that landed 11 selections in all. 

If the Big Four interior linemen are all gone by No. 30, it would make sense for the Vikings to trade down and look into linemen like Connor Williams [of Texas], [Auburn’s] Braden Smith and Austin Corbett [of Nevada] in the middle of the second. Moving back might be met with groans from those who attend the team’s draft party, but it would be a smart move considering the likelihood of a mid-second pick is very similar to that of a late-first. It would give the Vikings an extra shot at grabbing a solid prospect in the fourth.

Coller also gave three more scenarios that would mean a strong Day 1 for the Vikings. 

He said that landing one of the draft’s premier tight ends, having a top defensive back fall to late in the first round or picking up a rugged defensive tackle would also equate to a great start to the draft for Minnesota.

Hartman: Vikings made right pick with Harrison Smith

The Vikings are one spot below from the 29th pick in the draft, a selection where they made a historic pick six years ago.

Minnesota snagged safety Harrison Smith with the 29th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (after trading back into the first round), and the pick has paid dividends.

Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman said Minnesota’s selection of Smith has been crucial to helping the Vikings have one of the league’s top defenses in recent years.

He wrote:

There’s no doubt Smith remains one of the best and most important draft picks in recent Vikings history. The choice boosted the career of Rick Spielman as Vikings general manager, because that was his first draft with final call on personnel decisions.

He was considered the best safety in the NFL last year and was named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. He received 45 votes at safety; the next highest total went to the Titans’ Kevin Byard, who received 12.

Smith recorded 93 total tackles with 10 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks during his All-Pro season. He also tied a career-high with five interceptions.

Smith was the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 16 performance in Green Bay when he nabbed a pair of interceptions to go along with seven total tackles as the Vikings shut out the Packers.