With the 2018 NFL Draft a little more than 48 hours away, experts and analysts across the league are sending in the final versions of their mock drafts.
Peter King of The Monday Morning Quarterback only does one league-wide projection each year, but it was unveiled earlier this week.
King had the Vikings selecting guard Will Hernandez out of the University of Texas at El Paso, as he believes the offensive lineman fits exactly the style and attitude Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is looking for.
The Vikings can plug holes here rather than seek the best available player, regardless of position. The guard group for Minnesota is its biggest weakness (possible starters: Nick Easton, Tom Compton), and Hernandez, many scouts think, is a plug-and-play day one starter with the kind of mean streak in the running game that will make him an immediate favorite of the pugnacious Mike Zimmer. I love this pick for them.
Hernandez was a four-year starter at left guard at UTEP and started 49 consecutive games after redshirting in 2013. He was named as a Second-Team All-American by multiple outlets in 2017, and was also a First-Team All-Conference USA selection as a senior.
He became the first athlete in school history to be named to back-to-back All-American teams, and was the first offensive lineman in program history to earn First-Team All-Conference USA honors in consecutive seasons.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote that Hernandez "possesses a rare combination of power, balance, and athletic ability," and that the Las Vegas native "is a plus run blocker with the anchor and footwork to handle himself in pass protection as well."
Hernandez was linked to the Vikings twice in last week's Mock Madness.
Page, McDaniel and Moss listed as top 1st-round picks in their numerical spot
The draft is more than about the players who go in the top 10 of the first round.
While those players often become high-caliber players, there are usually other gems to be found in the first round.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com recently ranked the top first-round draft picks in league history by the slot they were drafted in. For example, Harrison's top No. 1 overall pick of all-time was Peyton Manning.
Harrison named three former Vikings on his list in defensive tackle Alan Page, guard Randall McDaniel and wide receiver Randy Moss.
Page, the 15th overall pick in the 1967 NFL Draft, played in 160 consecutive regular-season games for the Vikings and appeared in all four Super Bowls in franchise history.
The first defensive player in league history to win an MVP award [which he did in 1971], Page was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
McDaniel topped Harrison's list for the 19th overall pick, where the former Arizona State standout was selected in 1988.
He was a Pro Bowl starter in 11 of the 12 seasons he spent with the Vikings, and was selected as a First-Team All-Pro for five straight years in the 1990s.
McDaniel, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, was also a teammate of the final Vikings player mentioned on Harrison's list.
Moss was the 21st overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft and took the league by storm right away, hauling in 69 catches for 1,313 yards and a rookie-record 17 touchdown catches.
The former star at Marshall finished his legendary NFL career with 982 catches (15th all-time), 15,292 yards (fourth all-time) and 156 receiving touchdowns (second all-time).
Moss was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February and will be enshrined in a ceremony in August.