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4 Experts Predicting Help for Vikings Secondary at No. 25 Draft Pick

As it stands now, the Vikings will have the 25th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The draft will kick off just under two months from now in Las Vegas, which leaves plenty of time for speculation, mock drafts and more mock drafts.

While at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber caught up with a number of league experts and analysts to get their thoughts on what the Vikings will do at No. 25.

In his second mock draft of the offseason, NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks projected LSU safety Grant Delpit to Minnesota.

Brooks was asked about the pick by Leber and explained that a focus for Minnesota should be "finding a playmate for Harrison Smith." Worth noting is that Brooks is making an assumption that Anthony Harris, who is slated to become a free agent in the new league year, will no longer be on the Vikings roster in 2020.

"He's a deep middle safety. He can play from numbers to numbers and float over the top," Brooks said of Delpit. "There's some issues that will show up on tape that he's going to have to clean up … some of the tackling kind of makes you wince because he doesn't get them down to the ground consistently.

"But as far as athleticism, ball skills, range, sideline-to-sideline ability, he has all that," Brooks added. "The tackling's going to have to be something he addresses. And knowing [Vikings Head Coach] Mike Zimmer, that's something he'd have to address in these meetings right here [in Indianapolis]."

Delpit also was a name brought up by longtime NFL Films producer Greg Cosell.

Cosell believes that even if Harris remains in Minnesota, drafting a safety would not be out of the realm of possibility for the Vikings – as long as he was the right style of safety.

"I think the game has changed," Cosell explained. "The game is played predominantly now, for a lot of defenses, in sub packages, meaning nickel or dime. The Vikings under Zimmer are a nickel defense; they don't play many snaps with six defensive backs. But now that sort of multidimensional safety, who can also line up as a slot corner at times, who can play in the box at times, who can play both split-safety or post-safety, that sort of multidimensional guy has become, to me, a really important player in this league."

According to Cosell, Delpit and Alabama's Xavier McKinney are two safeties in this year's draft that fit the above description.

"I really like Delpit because of his length. There's not a lot of guys who look like that," he said. "McKinney, I'm sure some will have him rated higher – it's not a matter of rating for me. They're a little bit different in just the way they play. McKinney is probably more of a true, sort of slot-corner type, if you're looking for a slot corner. Whether the Vikings can retain Mackensie Alexander [in free agency], I guess we don't know that. But McKinney kind of reminded me a lot of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson coming out of Florida last year, and he did a really nice job for the Saints this year, playing multiple positions. So McKinney and Delpit, to me, are guys that kind of fit the NFL game now and the way it's evolved."

Analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis also suggested secondary for the Vikings at No. 25, but they each predicted a cornerback to Minnesota at that spot.

Davis and Jeremiah each mentioned Ohio State's Damon Arnette, whom Davis believes "got overlooked" a bit because of the hype surrounding fellow Buckeyes corner Jeff Okudah, whom most are predicting to be a top-10 draft pick.

"But then you plug in the tape – and I've actually watched [Arnette's] tape – this kid is an aggressive, press man-type of a guy," Davis said. "He can play in zone and do the things that you would expect, but his forte is being aggressive, being physical, being in your face. He's similar to Xavier Rhodes that way. Not as big of a body, but similar in that type of mentality and style of play.

"And a toughness to him," Davis continued. "If you watch him all year long, he played with a cast on a broken left wrist and made plays. Made a lot of plays. So, I'm really high on Damon Arnette."

Jeremiah also said that Arnette is "worth keeping an eye on" for Minnesota, depending on which names are on their board and who's remaining at 25.

"He's ultra-twitched up, and he's tough. You look at Zimmer and what he covets, and he has some of those qualities to him. I could see that being a fit," Jeremiah said. "He's a tiny bit tight, but I think also he could be a big nickel in there, as well. He's got some versatility."

And while MMQB's Albert Breer didn't argue a case for Minnesota addressing its secondary in the first round, he also pointed out that some of the top corners likely could be off the board by the time the Vikings pick comes around.

Breer advocated instead for the Vikings targeting a cornerback in the second or third round and then opined they could use their first-round pick to continue shoring up in the trenches.

"There are some offensive linemen that are really, really good in this year's draft – four tackles in Andrew Thomas, Mekhi Becton, Tristan Wirfs and Jedrick Wills. A pretty strong group there," Breer said. "You could get one of those guys, maybe look at and think, 'OK, we've got a long-term right tackle or left tackle here.'

"And then of course, everybody knows how good the receiver group is," Breer added. "It's interesting because the value's going to set up in different places, and I'm not so sure that you get to 25 and there's a corner that's near the top of your board, which could create an interesting decision for the Vikings."

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