Mock Madness 1.0: Experts Picking Offensive Lineman for Vikings in First Round

EAGAN, Minn. — It’s officially time for the experts to start making their picks for the first mock drafts for the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft.

The annual offseason marquee event will be held from April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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

The Vikings hold the 18th pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft after losing to the Bears on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

The Vikings are scheduled to have one selection in the second, third, fourth and sixth rounds.

Minnesota also could receive compensatory picks leading up to the draft.

Below is the first culmination of 16 recent predictions, most of which project the Vikings to beef up their offensive line.

Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little was a popular pick as four of the experts had the Vikings taking the 6-foot-6, 325-pound offensive tackle.

Only three of the experts did not pick the Vikings to supplement the offensive line in the first round.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr.

Jan. 17, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Greg Little, T, Ole Miss

There's a case to be made that Little is the best true left tackle in this class. He's certainly the most talented. The former five-star high school prospect was inconsistent at times in college, but he should take off in an NFL strength and conditioning program. Coach Mike Zimmer loves guys who get after quarterbacks too, so that's going to be in consideration here.

Click here for Kiper’s full mock draft.

ESPN’s Todd McShay

Dec. 12, 2018

The predicted first-round pick: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Getting a prospect like this at No. 22 would be robbery. Brown is the type of pass-rushing tackle that Mike Zimmer loves, and Sheldon Richardson's one-year deal provides an opening in the interior of that Minnesota line.

Click here for McShay’s full mock draft.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah

Jan. 18, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Jonah Williams, G, Alabama

Williams is a solid offensive tackle prospect, but I believe he has All-Pro potential at guard. The Vikings need to address the O-line this offseason.

Click here for Jeremiah’s full mock draft.

NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks

Jan. 18, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Greg Little, T, Ole Miss

The Minnesota Vikings are looking to solidify the offensive line. So much of the blame went to Kirk Cousins, but how can you do it when you don’t have the offensive line. That is why Greg Little is the pick here at 18. He’s a solid pass protector, and good on the run. They need to get better in both facets, and I think he is the pick for them.

Click here for Brooks’ full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson

Jan. 21, 2019

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

Same as last week -- but is it too early for the Vikings to look for a quarterback? That was rhetorical, mostly because Kirk Cousins is one year into a three-year, $84 million — all guaranteed — deal. And since Cousins isn't going anywhere, Minnesota has to do a better job of protecting him. Risner was a tackle in college but could kick inside at the next level where he will be a Day 1 starter.

Click here for Wilson’s full mock draft.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso

Jan. 21, 2019

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

Risner would start immediately at right tackle for the Vikings, and after three years of dominating at that spot, I'm confident when I write he can be an instant-impact pro. Kirk Cousins would be pleased with this pick.

Click here for Trapasso’s full mock draft.

The Washington Post’s John Clayton

Jan. 22, 2019

The predicted pick: Greg Little, T, Ole Miss

Everyone knows offensive line was the biggest problem for the Vikings last season. The position has to be a top priority for them in the draft, and in this scenario, one of the best in the class falls to them.

Click here for Clayton’s full mock draft.

SB Nation’s Dan Kadar

Jan. 21, 2019

The predicted pick: Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida

The Vikings need to hit on some picks this draft to really get into contention in the NFC. One thing holding Minnesota back has been subpar offensive line play. Taylor is a standout run blocker who could get looked at either at tackle or on the inside.

Click here for Kadar’s full mock draft.

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer

Jan. 22, 2019

The predicted pick: Greg Little, T, Ole Miss

The Vikings suffered from shaky pass protection in 2018, which is part of the reason Kirk Cousins’ first season as their starting quarterback ending with a thud. Little (6-5, 325 pounds) has the agility and athleticism to lock down the blind side for now full-time offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.

Click here for Iyer’s full mock draft.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller

Dec. 31, 2018

The predicted pick: Yodny Cajuste, T, West Virginia

The Minnesota Vikings took a step back this season after expectations were high following a deep playoff run last year. To get back on track, the front office has to nail draft picks to build a group around expensive free-agent signing Kirk Cousins at quarterback.

West Virginia's Yodny Cajuste has excellent athleticism and movement for a left tackle prospect. There will be concerns that he's coming from the Big 12 where blockers don't encounter many top-tier defensive linemen, but his traits are good enough to justify a selection on the first night of the draft.

_The Vikings have a core group that's good enough to compete every year. Now the front office has to round out the roster with starting-quality draft picks. _

Click here for Miller’s full mock draft.

Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo

Jan. 15, 2018

The predicted pick: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

The offensive line is still an issue in Minnesota, and Little has the five-star pedigree and year-to-year development to get excited about his future. He allowed just 10 pressures on 493 pass-blocking snaps last season.

Click here for Palazzolo’s full mock draft.

MMQB’s Kalyn Kahler

Dec. 19, 2018

The predicted pick: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

The Vikings still need to improve the offensive line, and Ford is versatile and talented, the kind of capable run-blocker Mike Zimmer would advocate for.

Click here for Kahler’s full mock draft.

USA TODAY’s Nate Davis

Jan. 16, 2019

The predicted first-round pick: Devin White, LB, LSU

The O-line should be a priority but could be tough to address at this juncture. White (6-1, 240) isn't as big as free-agent-to-be Anthony Barr but his ranginess might make him a better fit in Mike Zimmer's defense.

Click here for Davis’ full mock draft.

USA TODAY’s Luke Easterling

Jan. 17, 2019

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

This offensive line needs help across the board, so finding a versatile blocker with the experience and polish to start immediately at multiple spots would be ideal. Lucky for the Vikings, that’s exactly what Risner can bring to the table.

Click here for Easterling’s full mock draft.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley

Jan. 22, 2019

The predicted pick: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Click here for Buckley’s full mock draft.

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