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Mock Madness 6.0: Experts Heavy on O-Line Projections for Vikings in 2018 NFL Draft

Posted Apr 17, 2018

EAGAN, Minn. — We’re down to just single-digits of days in the waiting game for the 2018 NFL Draft.

The annual offseason marquee event will be held from April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium and will be the first draft to occur in Texas and the first to be hosted by an NFL Stadium.

This is our sixth 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 20 recent predictions, most of which project the Vikings to beef up their offensive line. Of the 20 projections, 16 have Minnesota taking an offensive lineman in the first round.

Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn (four times), UCLA’s Kolton Miller (four times), Texas’ Connor Williams (twice), UTEP’s Will Hernandez (twice) and Iowa’s James Daniels (twice) and Josh Jackson (twice) were each projected to the Vikings by more than one expert.

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 (running back Dalvin Cook in the second round and center Pat Elflein in the third round).

We’ll conclude this series next week.

Our first Mock Madness can be found here.

Our second Mock Madness can be found here.

Our third Mock Madness can be found here.

Our fourth Mock Madness can be found here.

Our fifth Mock Madness can be found here.

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

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. (Note: Kiper did an extended mock draft and his first three Vikings picks are listed here).

April 10, 2018

The predicted first-round pick: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

The predicted second-round pick: Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma

The predicted third-round pick: Colby Gossett, G, Appalachian State

The take: Offensive line makes sense in the first round for the Vikings, but I didn't have a tackle or guard still on the board who is rated as a Day 1 pick. So I moved on to the next-biggest need, which is corner. The Vikings are set at both starting spots, but we still haven't seen enough from former second-round pick Mackensie Alexander to know if he's a quality NFL player. Jackson, who led the FBS with eight interceptions last season, was tremendous in his lone season as a starter.

Brown had one of the worst combine workouts I've ever seen, but he was better at the OU pro day, and at some point you have to trust the tape. He was dominant protecting Baker Mayfield's blind side for three years, and he's a monster in the run game. He's probably going to have to play right tackle in the NFL. Gossett is an under-the-radar gem who started 46 straight games at right guard for the Mountaineers.

Click here for Kiper’s full mock draft.

ESPN’s Todd McShay (Note: McShay did an extended mock draft and his first three Vikings picks are listed here).

April 10, 2018

The predicted first-round pick: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

The predicted second-round pick: Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana

The predicted third-round pick: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh

The take: With Joe Berger's retirement, Minnesota has a need at guard (or tackle if Mike Remmers plays inside). Wynn is a college left tackle who will likely shift inside. He's a complete player and would be a nice addition. Thomas is a good blocker and average pass-catcher who would provide depth behind Kyle Rudolph. Maddox is a small (5-9, 184), twitchy cover corner.

Click here for McShay’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Maurice Jones-Drew

April 10, 2018

The predicted pick: Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma

The take: His performance at the NFL Scouting Combine didn't help his stock, but the game tape shows Brown is a physical run blocker who flattens defensive ends.

Click here for Jones-Drew’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Adam Rank

April 12, 2018

The predicted pick: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

The take: You spent a lot of money on Kirk Cousins. Now you need to protect him, like getting that extended warranty. Sure, you don't want to pay the extra money, but you sure do like the coverage if you need it. So you take a lineman to replace the retired Joe Berger. Snatch up Wynn right here. And honestly, if you want to make sure you're protected, don't be afraid to take another lineman in the second round. A third might be excessive, but I'm not going to stop you.

Click here for Rank’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah

April 17, 2018

The predicted pick: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

The take: The Vikings need more help for the offensive line, and Wynn is incredibly consistent on tape.

Click here for Jeremiah’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks

April 12, 2018

The predicted pick: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

The take: The Vikings shore up the biggest weakness on their roster by adding a versatile lineman with a polished game.

Click here for Brooks’ full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ R.J. White 

April 12, 2018 

The predicted pick: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

The take: This might be a best-case scenario for the Vikings, as they land a value at No. 30 while bringing in a guy to address their offensive line issues who can start from Day 1. Hernandez could be a top-20 pick, but if teams pass him over to address other needs, I think this is the lowest he'd fall.

Click here for White’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Will Brinson

April 13, 2018

The predicted pick: Connor Williams, T, Texas

The take: The Vikings have a three-year window to win the Super Bowl with Kirk Cousins and would benefit greatly from some talent and depth on the offensive line. Williams wouldn't need to play right away.

Click here for Brinson’s full mock draft.

The Monday Morning Quarterback’s Albert Breer

April 17, 2018

The predicted pick: Connor Williams, T, Texas

The take: Vikings still could use some offensive line help, and Williams could start at guard and evolve into a left tackle.

Click here for Breer’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco

April 5, 2018 

The predicted pick: Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame

The take: They still have some questions on the offensive line. After paying Kirk Cousins all that money, they need to protect him.

Click here for Prisco’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson

April 4, 2018

The predicted pick: Kolton Miller, T, UCLA

The take: The Vikings need help at guard but with Nelson, Wynn and Hernandez off the board, they turn to one of the draft's best tackles. Miller will help bolster a unit that was replacement-level in the running game last season.

Click here for Wilson’s full mock draft.

The Athletic’s Chad Graff

April 17, 2018

The predicted pick: Kolton Miller, T, UCLA

The take: The Vikings could pick Ohio State’s Billy Price in this spot, but in taking a tackle, they’re able to move Mike Remmers to guard, where he played during the playoffs. Miller wasn’t perfect protecting Rosen’s blind side at UCLA, but a strong showing at the combine boosted his draft stock.

Click here for The Athletic’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso

April 16, 2018

The predicted pick: Kolton Miller, T, UCLA

The take: The Vikings' roster is loaded. It's still in need of improvement at the tackle position on offense. Miller is a long, athletic prospect.

Click here for Trapasso’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin

April 13, 2018

The predicted pick: Kolton Miller, T, UCLA 

The take: It's difficult to think of a better pick in this spot for the Vikings.

Click here for Dubin’s full mock draft.

NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler (Note: Brugler did an extended mock draft and his first three Vikings picks are listed here).

April 12, 2018

The predicted first-round pick: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

The take: Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer covets up-field players who can create disruption, and Bryan has the potential to be wreck a lot of NFL backfields.

The predicted second-round pick: Frank Ragnow, C/G, Arkansas

The predicted third-round pick: Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State

Click here for Brugler’s full mock draft.

NFLDraftScout.com’s Rob Rang (Note: Rang did an extended mock draft and his first three Vikings picks are listed here).

April 5, 2018

The predicted first-round pick: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

The take: The retirement of longtime starting right guard Joe Berger further muddies the offensive line charged with protecting splashy free agent signee Kirk Cousins. Powerful, competitive and durable at a position of concern, Hernandez would be a quality addition to a roster built for a Super Bowl run.

The predicted second-round pick: Chukwuma Okorafor, T, Western Michigan 

The take: The Vikings prioritize size along the line of scrimmage and might be intrigued by the 6-6, 320 pound Okorafor’s versatility and upside.

The predicted third-round pick: R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami

Click here for Rang’s full mock draft.

The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer

April 15, 2018

The predicted pick: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

The take: Kyle Rudolph continues to produce and has two years left on his contract, but he also is coming off ankle surgery and turns 29 in November. Minnesota lacks another athletic pass-catching option behind him, and new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo saw what the Zach Ertz-Trey Burton combination did for Philadelphia last season. Kirk Cousins already is loaded with targets on his new team, but in Washington, he thrived most when two tight ends (Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis) were key threats.

Click here for Iyer’s full mock draft.

Bleacher Report’s Dan Kadar 

April 16, 2018

The predicted pick: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

The take: Hernandez would’ve been the choice for the Vikings if he were available. After him, the next offensive lineman off the board could be Connor Williams of Texas. He’s a little inconsistent, though, and the Vikings need a player who can provide an impact early. That could be Jackson, a playmaking cornerback who has size and speed.

Click here for Kadar’s full mock draft.

The Ringer’s Danny Kelly

April 17, 2018

The predicted pick: James Daniels, C/G, Iowa

The take: With Joe Berger’s retirement, the Vikings need to add some depth to the interior offensive line, and Daniels is exactly the type of versatile, plug-and-play lineman they need. Daniels is likely best at center, but could play either guard spot, too.

Click here for Kelly’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter (Note: Reuter did an extended mock draft and his first three Vikings picks are listed here).

April 5, 2018

The predicted first-round pick: James Daniels, C/G, Iowa

The take: The Vikings continue to fortify their line to help new quarterback Kirk Cousins succeed. Daniels is an athletic lineman with the ability to play guard or center.

The predicted second-round pick: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC

The predicted third-round pick: Tre’Quan Smith, WR, Central Florida

Click here for Reuter’s full mock draft.