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Vikings 2022 Mock Draft Tracker: Version 1.0

Ahmad-Gardner-AP-2560
CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

EAGAN, Minn. — The countdown is on to the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Vikings currently have the 12th overall pick after Minnesota went 8-9 in 2021 and finished in second place in the NFC North.

Minnesota has drafted at No. 12 overall twice in team history, selecting quarterback Christian Ponder in 2011 and running back (and Vikings Ring of Honor member) Chuck Foreman back in 1973.

The Vikings, who are interviewing candidates for their open general manager and head coach jobs, currently have eight overall picks.

The 2021 NFL Draft is slated to be held from April 28-30. The first round will be on April 28, followed by Rounds 2 and 3 on April 29 and the final four rounds on April 30.

Here is the first version of our Vikings 2022 Mock Draft Tracker, which includes 16 recent predictions from across the football world. (Note: only mock drafts created after the 2021 regular season were included).

A pair of positions were the most popular, as cornerback was the selection six times, while a quarterback was drafted five times for Minnesota. There were six total positions represented by draft pundits.

Here's a look at our first Vikings 2022 Mock Draft Tracker:

Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus

Jan. 17, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati

A physical, uber-talented cover corner, Cincinnati's Ahmad Gardner had one of the most impressive seasons we've ever seen for a college cornerback. He played 448 coverage snaps and allowed receptions on just 17-of-36 targets for 117 yards and zero touchdowns.

Click here for Gayle's full mock draft.

Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus

Jan. 10, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Kenny Pickett, Quarterback, Pittsburgh

Pickett earned the highest PFF grade of any quarterback in this class, but it was so far an outlier from the rest of his career that it will give some pause. The Pitt star earned a 92.3 overall grade in 2021 after managing a mark of just 69.8 in 2020.

Click here for Renner's full mock draft.

Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News

Jan. 18, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Utah

The Vikings will need to address the second level with oft-injured aging Anthony Barr heading into free agency along with Nick Vigil. Lloyd is a strong rangy athlete who stands out making plays, with smarts and good instincts made for their zone scheme.

Click here for Iyer's full mock draft.

Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports

Jan. 17, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

Add the Vikings to the list of teams searching for a new GM and coach. They could go QB here or they could target a cornerback. Instead, we have them going with wideout. Yes, Justin Jefferson is one of the best players in the league but Adam Thielen will be 32 next season -- and more importantly, there's not much depth behind those two among the wideouts.

Click here for Wilson's full mock draft.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports

Jan. 13, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

Wilson will provide Justin Jefferson a running mate on the perimeter in Minnesota.

Click here for Trapasso's full mock draft.

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Josh Edwards of CBS Sports

Jan. 13, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty

Minnesota has gone the route of cleaning house by moving on from Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman. There is no indication of who the next regime will be or what it might do in the draft, but it is reasonable to think it may want a fresh start at quarterback as well.

Click here for Edwards' full mock draft.

Kyle Stackpole of CBS Sports

Jan. 14, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame

Somehow, CBS Sports' top-overall prospect is available at No. 12, which would be too good for a Vikings team with an aging defense to pass up. Minnesota could have gone with a cornerback, such as Andrew Booth, Jr., or Ahmad Gardner, but Hamilton can impact all three levels of the defense with his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, quality coverage skills and sure tackling. He'd make life easier for the other 10 defenders on the field.

Click here for Stackpole's full mock draft.

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Jason McIntyre of FOX Sports

Jan. 13, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame

Hamilton is one of the most talented players in the draft, and he certainly could go in the top 10. The Vikings are a tough read given they fired their coach and GM, and they have perhaps six defensive starters who are going to hit free agency, including safety Xavier Woods.

Click here for McIntyre's full mock draft.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network

Jan. 17, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Sam Howell, Quarterback, North Carolina

Speaking of not the biggest, fastest, or strongest, Minnesota is taking the chance to transition quarterbacks — with a new head coach, too! The Vikings will free themselves up a lot of flexibility if they can trade QB Kirk Cousins' $35M guaranteed 2022 salary off their books this offseason — a venture I think they should explore. But that cost combined with Cousins' age and ceiling may be prohibitive to the team successfully hauling in an ideal return. I don't think they get a first for him.

Sam Howell would benefit greatly from going into an environment where his supporting skill players are top-notch — as he had in 2020 when playing with Javonte Williams and Michael Carter in the backfield plus Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome at wide receiver. Without all of themin 2021, Howell's passing efficiency dipped and he had to put the team on his back with twice the rushing workload.

Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen? That's a friendly environment for a young quarterback, for sure.

Click here for Crabbs' full mock draft.

Joe Marino of The Draft Network

Jan. 10, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: George Karlaftis, Edge Rusher, Purdue

The Minnesota Vikings didn't have a single standout pass rusher in 2021 but collectively performed well with Danielle Hunter back in the fray and D.J. Wonnum showing some promise as a pass rusher despite plenty of inconsistency stopping the run. But even with some of the other young developmental talent that the Vikings have at defensive end, it would be tough to pass up a talent like George Karlaftis.

Karlaftis is a heavy-handed pass rusher who plays with an unrelenting motor that knows how to reduce rush angles and make an impact. He would complete the Vikings edge rusher situation and allow the team to focus elsewhere.

Click here for Marino's full mock draft.

Cam Mellor of Pro Football Network

Jan. 17, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati

A true lockdown cornerback heads to the Minnesota Vikings as Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner heads north. The talented CB from Cincinnati was so feared in coverage that he was routinely avoided this past season. He'll blanket an entire side of the field in coverage and separate himself as a willing run defender. Sauce brings just that — some sauce — to an otherwise lackluster, aging secondary.

Click here for Mellor's full mock draft.

James Fragoza of Pro Football Network

Jan. 14, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati

Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner not only has the best nickname in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he has an argument to be the CB1. No DB has been as consistent as Gardner over the last three years. The definition of a shutdown corner, he didn't allow a single touchdown in his collegiate career. Not. One. Like giving flowers on Valentine's Day, Gardner never fails.

Click here for Fragoza's full mock draft.

Charles McDonald of USA TODAY Sports

Jan. 12, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Andrew Booth, Jr., Cornerback, Clemson

The Vikings need to upgrade their cornerback room so here's a cornerback. See how that works? Andrew Booth can run with the best of them and would give the Vikings a physical corner capable of shutting down receivers in man coverage.

Click here for McDonald's full mock draft.

View photos of RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson, S Harrison Smith, T Brian O'Neill and QB Kirk Cousins from the 2021 season and were named to the 2022 Pro Bowl.

Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports

Jan. 13, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Matt Corral, Quarterback, Mississippi

The organization has moved on from their head coach and GM, and it won't be long before Kirk Cousins joins the list. Corral is a dynamic passer that certainly brings a bit of an "it" factor that is currently lacking in the Twin Cities.

Click here for Fischer's full mock draft.

Luke Easterling of Draft Wire

Jan. 13, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati

This is a huge win for the Vikings, who match a big need at corner with a huge steal in Gardner, who didn't allow a single touchdown catch in his entire college career. His combination of size, length, athleticism and ball skills should have him off the board in the top 10, making him a bargain here.

Click here for Easterling's full mock draft.

James Dator of SB Nation

Jan. 11, 2022

The predicted pick at No. 12: Andrew Booth, Jr., Cornerback, Clemson

Click here for Dator's full mock draft.

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