Mock Madness 6.0: Draft Predictions for Vikings as Calendar Flips to April

 EAGAN, Minn. — We’ve reached April, so this is your official welcome to draft month.

The 2019 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-27 in Nashville, where teams will look to bolster their roster over the three-day period.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and his staff have been hard at work in recent weeks and are right in the thick of draft preparations.

Minnesota currently holds the 18th overall pick in the first round, but which direction will the Vikings go early on?

A total of 20 draft experts have weighed in for our sixth edition of Mock Madness, just three-plus weeks away from the draft.

The majority of experts (16 of them) are projecting the Vikings to help out their offensive line with their first-round pick. But they aren’t sold on one particular player, as six different offensive linemen were predicted to land with Minnesota.

A trio of experts like the Vikings to add a tight end, while a lone analyst projected Minnesota to select a defensive tackle.

There were also two projected trades for the Vikings — one expert predicted the Vikings will move up in the first round, and the other projected Minnesota to move back a few spots.

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 2019:

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr.

March 25, 2019

The predicted pick: Jonah Williams, T/G, Alabama

The Vikings would be thrilled with Williams, a tackle in college – he made 43 consecutive starts for the Crimson Tide – who could play guard at the next level. If Minnesota moves Riley Reiff inside to guard, Williams (6-foot-4, 302 pounds) could stick at left tackle. As always, don't be shocked if [Vikings Head Coach] Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman target a pass-rusher here.

Click here for Kiper’s full mock draft.

The MMQB’s Kalyn Kahler

March 27, 2019

The predicted pick: Jonah Williams, T/G, Alabama

The Vikings need to protect Kirk Cousins and open up rushing lanes for Dalvin Cook.

Click here for Kahler’s full mock draft.

Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus

April 2, 2019

The predicted pick: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

Minnesota goes offensive line, and they go best available here.

Click here for PFF’s full mock draft.

Charles Davis of NFL.com

April 2, 2019

The predicted pick: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Head [Coach] Mike Zimmer has made no bones about it: He wants to run the football more frequently in 2019. The best blocking TE in the draft will help in a big way, and he can catch the ball well, too.

Click here for Davis’ full mock draft.

Chad Reuter of NFL.com

March 28, 2019

The predicted pick: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

Minnesota brought in former Titans starter Josh Kline to fortify one guard spot, and now Lindstrom takes over on the other side to provide much-needed protection for Kirk Cousins.

Click here for Reuter’s full mock draft.

Peter Schrager of NFL.com

March 26, 2019

The predicted pick: Kaleb McGary, T, Washington

The Vikings started to address the offensive line in free agency, adding Josh Kline, but they're not done. Look for this pick to be a center, guard or tackle. In McGary, they get a big, hulking body who'll be able to contribute right away. Viewed as a better run blocker than pass protector, he still has great room to improve.

Click here for Schrager’s full mock draft.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com

March 21, 2019

The predicted pick: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma

The Vikings could get more value by taking the best available defensive tackle on their board here, but the need at guard might push them into addressing that position with this pick.

Click here for Zierlein’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson

April 1, 2019

The predicted pick: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma

Kirk Cousins had an uneven debut season for the Vikings. And while he deserved some of the blame, Minnesota's porous offensive line did him no favors. Ford is coming off a strong season for the Sooners, and he'll be a welcome addition to an O-line that wasn't even replacement level in ’18.

Click here for Wilson’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso

March 22, 2019

The predicted pick: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

The Vikings couldn't be happier. Dillard is a new-age left tackle with impeccable pass-blocking ability.

Click here for Trapasso’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ R.J. White

March 26, 2019

TRADE: Vikings acquire picks No. 20 (first round), 141 (fifth round), 207 (sixth round) in exchange for 18*th overall pick*

The predicted pick at No. 20: Garrett Bradbury, C/G, North Carolina State

With the top tackle and guard options off the board, the Vikings trade down slightly before pivoting to ... the pivot, where Bradbury is a clear upgrade from Pat Elflein, who can then move over and upgrade one of the guard spots. That configuration with Bradbury at center will help stabilize an interior blocking unit in Minnesota that was terrible last season.

Click here for White’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco

March 26, 2019

The predicted pick: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

They need help inside, and this kid might have been a top-10 pick if not for a torn ACL. This would be a steal down the road.

Click here for Prisco’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Will Brinson

March 20, 2019

The predicted pick: Jonah Williams, T/G, Alabama

The Vikings HAVE to get better on the offensive line for Kirk Cousins' sake, and they do so by drafting Williams, who would presumably kick into guard from the get go for Minnesota but give them an option if one of their current tackles struggles.

Click here for Brinson’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin

March 28, 2019

TRADE: Vikings acquire pick No. 15 in exchange for 18*th overall pick (rest of trade compensation unknown)*

The predicted pick at No. 15: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma

The Vikes jump up ahead of the Panthers [at pick No. 16] in order to get their preferred offensive lineman, rectifying a major issue that undermined the team last season.

Click here for Dubin’s full mock draft.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (three rounds)

March 25, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

It's all about the offensive line in Minnesota. Protecting Kirk Cousins and opening rushing lanes for Dalvin Cook are everything the front office should be focused on after building a team that made a playoff run in 2017 before regressing in 2018.

Andre Dillard is the smoothest, most athletic of the left tackle prospects in the 2019 draft class, but there are some concerns about his ability to bring power in the run game. Dillard can develop as a run blocker, but what's harder is finding a pass protector as naturally gifted as he is.

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

The predicted third-round pick (No. 81): Connor McGovern, C/G, Penn State

Click here for Miller’s full mock draft.

Chris Roling of Bleacher Report

March 31, 2019

The predicted pick: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Click here for Roling’s full mock draft.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report

April 1, 2019

The predicted pick: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

Predictably, the Minnesota Vikings take the first interior offensive lineman off the board. Tom Compton (New York Jets) and Nick Easton (New Orleans Saints) signed elsewhere during free agency. Josh Kline joined the group, but he struggled in pass protection with the Tennessee Titans last term, allowing three sacks, per Washington Post's STATs.

If the Vikings acquire Chris Lindstrom, he'd start right away. The Boston College product spent a majority of his collegiate career at right guard. He would likely push Kline to the left side or into a reserve role. The added help in the trenches gives hope for an improved ground attack—assuming running back Dalvin Cook stays healthy this season.

In 2018, defenders stuffed Minnesota's running backs on 21.5 percent of their carries, 2.2 percent higher than the league average, per Football Outsiders. Lindstrom adds toughness to the interior and expands lanes for the tailbacks.

Click here for Moton’s full mock draft.

Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report

April 1, 2019

The predicted pick: Jonah Williams, T/G, Alabama

Click here for Buckley’s full mock draft.

Dan Kadar of SB Nation

April 1, 2019

The predicted pick: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

Drafting a true offensive tackle like Dillard would move veteran Riley Reiff to the inside. That might be the smarter move for Minnesota than taking a guard like Chris Lindstrom of Boston College. Reiff should be able to handle the move and upgrade the run blocking while Dillard can be a long-term fix for pass protection.

Click here for Kadar’s full mock draft.

An image from September 9, 2018 regular season home game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Vikings won 24-16.

Vikings Draft Party

April 25 at U.S. Bank Stadium

Brad Kelly of The Draft Network

March 31, 2019

The predicted pick: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

While Minnesota has more pressing needs than tight end, it’s no secret that quarterback Kirk Cousins enjoys targeting the position in the pass game.

Hockenson projects as a very nice receiving threat because of his quickness and body control, but he’s known as a devastating blocker. He’s one of the 10 best players in the NFL draft, and scooping him up at 18 would be tremendous value for the Vikings. Address interior offensive line at pick 50.

Click here for Kelly’s full mock draft.

Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire

March 28, 2019

The predicted pick: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

Whatever the Vikings do on offense with Kirk Cousins — and they’re always going to find limitations in that — their passing offense will be far more limited if Cousins doesn’t have enough protection to stay on script. Dillard needs to develop power as a run-blocker, but as a blindside protector, he has everything you want — from the quickness to snap and adjust to edge-rushers, to the intelligence and fast-twitch reflexes to take on games and stunts.

Click here for Farrar’s full mock draft.

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