After a devastating injury to Teddy Bridgewater last summer, the Minnesota Vikings never fully regained the momentum they had for the 2016 season. While the defense is littered with young talent, the offense failed to push the ball down the field under quarterback Sam Bradford.
Whether Bridgewater makes a great return or Bradford is under center yet again, Day 2 and 3 of this draft will be huge for Minnesota. Let’s take a look at who the Vikings may pick with each of their selections.
*For realistic results, I use fanspeak.com’s premium mock draft simulator for each team mock combined with Matt Miller’s big board rankings
Round 2, pick 48: Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan
It’s no secret that the Vikings offensive line was an absolute disaster last season. They need upgrades at offensive tackle and in the interior as well. Moton is a load and a powerhouse who has the ability to kick inside to guard but displays plenty of starting tackle qualities.
With long arms and meat hook hands, he comes off the snap looking to punish anyone in the opposition’s front seven. He’d help get the run game going for the Vikings once again while also being an upgrade as a pass protector on the edge.
Round 3, pick 79: Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo
The Adrian Peterson era might finally be coming to a close, but the Vikings don’t need to use a premium pick to find a serviceable running back.
Kareem Hunt forced 23 missed tackles against Western Michigan this year. Absurd: pic.twitter.com/FQZsoWvcIE
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) March 19, 2017
Hunt was a machine over the past few years for Toledo. He was one of the best playmakers after contact, leaving defenders in quick sand to churn off intermediate gains.
Round 3, pick 86: Dorian Johnson, G, Pittsburgh
If you came hoping for an offensive line overhaul, you’re in the right place. With Moton plugged in at right tackle, Johnson could play the other guard position opposite of Alex Boone.
More Dorian Johnson leading the way and James Conner finishing runs like he always does: pic.twitter.com/JoSDiUDOM2
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) March 2, 2017
He has a ton of starting experience, getting great push in the run game while displaying an excellent anchor in pass protection. This new unit would give the quarterback the time he needs to finally get the passing game moving.
Round 4, pick 120: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
The final piece for the offensive trenches. Elflein has experience at both guard and center, increasing his value at the next level.
Hard pass when Pat Elflein is coming your way full speed pic.twitter.com/hT3FFNzatT
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) January 20, 2017
Elflein is an above average athlete with the ability to get to the second level of the field to open up the ground attack. With powerful hands and a thick build, defenders want little to do with him when he has a full head of steam. His style of play and attitude could help transform the attitude of this Vikings unit.
Round 4, pick 128: Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
After an extremely disappointing and unproductive rookie campaign, all eyes are on Laquon Treadwell heading into the 2017 season. With that being said, the Vikings need an insurance plan to work the middle of the field, and Smith-Schuster fits that role perfectly.
Round 5, pick 160: Ryan Glasgow, DL, Michigan
A two-down, run-stuffing defensive tackle to rotate in the front seven. Glasgow is a hard-nosed interior lineman who is pro-ready.
This is the kind of attention Glasgow consistently commanded vs. the run game: pic.twitter.com/R7EapcEKsJ
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) January 14, 2017
Round 6, pick 199: Dylan Cole, LB, Missouri State
A huge pro day put the weight room warrior Cole on the map as a Day 3 selection in this class. His downhill attacking style should translate perfectly to a special teams role.
He has the potential to be an offense destroyer in the NFL.
Don't sleep on Dylan Cole. pic.twitter.com/fOSQOVadYz
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 14, 2017
Round 7, pick 232: Josh Harvey-Clemons, LB/S, Louisville
The former highly touted recruit never put it all together in college, but his incredible length and frame could help him find a role as a money ‘backer at the next level. He’s a complete project pick, but at this point of the draft, it’s worth the roll of the dice.