Mock Madness 2.0: Majority of Experts Expect Vikings to Help O-Line in 1st Round

EAGAN, Minn. — Welcome to round two of Mock Madness.

The Vikings are a little less than three months away from the 2019 NFL Draft, meaning the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine and free agency are on the near horizon.

But it’s always worth keeping an eye on the draft and which players are being projected to land in Minnesota.

This is our second installment of Mock Madness, a look at who an array of experts forecast the Vikings to take with their first-round pick in 2019.

It is a culmination of 12 recent predictions, more than half of whom have the Vikings helping out their offensive line early. But don’t sleep on upgrades on the other side of the ball, as a handful of experts have Minnesota making picks that would bolster Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer’s defense.

Minnesota has the 18th overall pick after going 8-7-1 and missing out on the playoffs in 2018.

Our first Mock Madness can be found here.

Here’s a look at our second Mock Madness of 2019:

Dane Brugler of The Athletic (two rounds)

Feb. 5, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Many believe this pick is offensive line or bust, but the Vikings will let the board fall to them. With Trae Waynes entering the final year of his contract, Williams would give the Vikings immediate cornerback depth and a long-term plan at the position.

The predicted second-round pick (No. 50): Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

With Sheldon Richardson not expected back, the Vikings will be in the market for a young talent to groom at the under-tackle position.

Click here for Brugler’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks

Jan. 25, 2019

The predicted pick: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

After watching Kirk Cousins take a beating in 2018, the Vikings will make upgrading the offensive line a top priority. Dillard is arguably the most polished pass protector in the draft, with superb footwork and technique defining his game.

Click here for Brooks’ full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter (three rounds)

Feb. 5, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Oliver's lack of size and length will hurt his stock, but this pick will ultimately prove to be a steal.

The predicted second-round pick (No. 50): David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

Edwards has a chance to go higher than this pick, but Minnesota would love to add his strength to its line.

The predicted third-round pick (No. 81): Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

With George Iloka due to hit free agency, Gardner-Johnson's a good combo safety worthy of a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) selection.

Click here for Reuter’s full mock draft.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Jan. 29, 2019

The predicted pick: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma

Ford has upside as a tackle, but his technique is still a work in progress. As a guard, he could step right into the starting lineup and upgrade the pass protection.

Click here for Zierlein’s full mock draft.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller (seven rounds; three listed here)

Feb. 4, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

An offensive lineman might be the biggest need for the Minnesota Vikings, but with Devin Bush on the board and Anthony Barr set to become a free agent, it makes sense to load up on a rangy, athletic linebacker when available.

Bush has developed into a force at linebacker since being a top high school recruit three seasons ago. He might not have great height at a listed 5'11", but his 240-pound frame is stout. Paired with his excellent athleticism and instincts, Bush has all the tools to be an impressive rookie starter as a three-down impact player.

The NFL is trending toward linebackers who can rush, cover and blitz; Bush does all of those well.

The predicted second-round pick (No. 50): Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame

The predicted third-round pick (No. 81): Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma

Click here for Miller’s full mock draft.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley

Feb. 4, 2019

The predicted pick: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Click here for Buckley’s full mock draft.

Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead

Feb. 1, 2019

The predicted pick: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

Pro Football Focus rated the Vikings offensive line 29th in the NFL. Offensive line has to be the top priority in the draft.

Click here for McIntyre’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli

Feb. 5, 2019

The predicted pick: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Taylor is a classic result of development and good coaching. He didn't arrive at Florida as a highly-touted prospect, but he was a three-year starter for the Gators and one who improved nearly every season, culminating in a terrific junior season. The Vikings need to improve their offensive line, and Taylor is somebody who could start at right tackle in Week 1.

Click here for Fornelli’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ R.J. White

Jan. 30, 2019

The predicted pick: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Taylor could rocket up boards if he tests well over the next few months, but at bare minimum I expect him to go in the middle of the first round with the crushing need for offensive line around the league. He could develop at tackle or move inside to guard but, surprise, the Vikings need upgrades in both spots. I'd give him a shot at right tackle to start and see how his athleticism translates.

Click here for White’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso

Feb. 4, 2019

The predicted pick: Cody Ford, OT/OG, Oklahoma

Another team in need of offensive line reinforcement. I'm not a huge position-change guy – especially for someone you pick in Round 1 – but I love the idea of Ford as a mauling, mobile offensive guard. And he does have experience on the inside. He played right tackle well for Oklahoma in 2018. Play him anywhere, Vikings.

Click here for Trapasso’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson

Jan. 29, 2019

The predicted pick: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

Risner had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl and while he's destined to kick inside in the NFL – perhaps even to center – he showed in Saturday's game that he's a very good tackle too. Either way, the Vikings have to do a better job of protecting Kirk Cousins and Risner checks all the boxes.

Click here for Wilson’s full mock draft

Luke Easterling of DraftWire (four rounds; three listed here)

Feb. 5, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

This team has some dangerous offensive weapons and a capable quarterback, but the protection has to improve across the board. Risner’s experience and polish should make him an instant-impact player at the next level, and his versatility would make him an upgrade at multiple spots.

The predicted second-round pick (No. 50): Dre’Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State

The predicted third-round pick (No. 81): Kendall Joseph, LB, Clemson

Click here for Easterling’s full mock draft

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