News

Print
RSS

Mock Madness 1.0: Experts Predict Offensive Line Additions for Vikings

Posted Feb 6, 2018

EDEN PRARIE, Minn. — We’re 79 days away from the 2018 NFL Draft.

That means there’s no better time than now to start peeking at the madness.

This is our first installment of Mock Madness, a look at who an array of experts forecast the Vikings to take with their first-round pick in 2018. It is a culmination of 11 predictions so far.

After reaching the NFC Championship, Minnesota has the 30th overall pick. The Vikings didn’t have a first-round pick in 2017, but still found exceptional talent with their first two picks in running back Dalvin Cook and center Pat Elflein.

We’ll roll out this piece every two weeks for the next two months, and will then take a weekly look as the draft draws closer.

Here’s a look at our first Mock Madness of 2018:

ESPN’s Todd McShay

Feb. 6, 2018

The predicted pick: Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame

The take: Minnesota came up short in the NFC Championship Game, but this is a very solid roster with good depth throughout. The biggest question mark is at QB, but that will be solved one way or another in free agency. Even after investing in the offensive line last offseason (Mike RemmersRiley Reiff), they could use some more depth there. McGlinchey is a good player who played left tackle at Notre Dame but will likely be an RT at the next level. He's an experienced starter with great character. Minnesota has had success with Fighting Irish players in the past (Harrison SmithKyle Rudolph).

Click here for McShay’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Feb. 5, 2018

The predicted pick: Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame 

The take: The Vikings need to strengthen their tackle position. McGlinchey could help, although he's inconsistent against power rushers.

Click here for Zierlein’s full mock draft.

USA TODAY’s Nate Davis

Feb. 6, 2018

The predicted pick: Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame

The take: Minnesota needs to get better up front, and they’ve already shown willingness to move T Mike Remmers to guard. McGlinchey would enable that move to become permanent.

Click here for Davis’ full mock draft.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr.

Jan. 18, 2018 (Note: Kiper’s draft was published before Minnesota’s draft slot was finalized)

The predicted pick: Connor Williams, T, Texas

The take: The Vikings spent a lot of money last offseason on free-agent tackles Mike Remmers and Riley Reiff, and the duo had a solid season, but Remmers moved to guard late in the year because of injuries. Could he stay there in 2018 and beyond? I like Williams as a left tackle, but he could move to the right side. He suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in his left knee and missed seven games in 2017, but he looked like a potential top-10 pick last season. This could be a value pick.

Click here for Kiper’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso

Feb. 4, 2018

The predicted pick: Connor Williams, T, Texas

The take: If Williams is healthy and some 2017 hiccups are cleaned up, the Vikings very well could land the steal of the first round in this scenario. He's a young, stellar pass protector. 

Click here for the Trapasso’s mock draft.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah

Jan. 30, 2018

The predicted pick: Arden Key, DE, LSU

The take: Key could drop because of some off-field issues as well as an inconsistent fall. However, his upside is outrageous and Mike Zimmer would be the right coach to help him reach that level.

Click here for Jeremiah’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks

Jan. 30, 2018

The predicted pick: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The take: The Vikings could follow the "BPA" (best player available) premise and add a rock-solid interior defender to the rotation.

Click here for Brooks’ full mock draft.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller

Feb. 5, 2018

The predicted pick: Kolton Miller, T, UCLA

The take: The Minnesota Vikings enter the offseason with just Kyle Sloter under contract at quarterback until Teddy Bridgewater's status as a potential free agent is known. Given the timing of this mock draft, we'll assume Bridgewater is back either on a new contract or playing out the final year of his rookie deal. That takes quarterback off the list of needs and allows the front office to move to offensive tackle.

UCLA's Kolton Miller isn't getting a ton of national love yet but will as the scouting combine gets closer and more in the media start focusing on the draft. I'm predicting a rise here for Miller based somewhat on team needs and positional value but also on the quality of his play.

The Vikings have done well in remaking a bad offensive line in a hurry, but many of the moves were merely Band-Aids when surgery was needed. Miller represents a potential long-term answer at left tackle.

Click here for Miller’s full mock draft.

Yahoo! Sports

Feb. 6, 2018

The predicted pick: Kolton Miller, T, UCLA

The take: Miller is a high-upside pass-blocker who can be groomed for the left or right side.

Click here for the full mock draft.

SB Nation’s Dan Kadar

February 5, 2018

The predicted pick: Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida

The take: At 39, Terence Newman’s long NFL career may be coming to a close. If he retires, the Vikings will need another cornerback to go along with Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. Hughes is an aggressive press cornerback, and head coach Mike Zimmer would love his play style.

Click here for Kadar’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ R.J. White

Jan. 25, 2018

The predicted pick: Billy Price, G, Ohio State

The take: Assuming the Vikings figure out what to do with their free-agent quarterbacks heading into the draft, Price would be a great target for them as a potential replacement for Joe Berger inside. Price would be one of the better starting centers in the league, so the Vikings have the option of sticking him at the pivot immediately and having Pat Elflein compete at a guard spot. Or they could put Price at guard next to his former Ohio State teammate. Either way, it would be a boost for the offensive line.

Click here for White’s full mock draft.