It’s officially draft season! The Senior Bowl kicked off earlier this week with practices and player interviews, which means it’s time to predict where these prospects will land. Without further ado, here is an early 2019 Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft.
2019 Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft
Prefacing the Draft
The Vikings currently hold five draft picks in 2019. They hold their own draft picks in rounds one through four, as well as round six. The team traded its fifth-round pick to the Denver Broncos in the Trevor Siemian trade last off-season. Minnesota also traded its seventh-round pick to the New York Giants for Brett Jones. The team will also likely receive three compensatory selections, two in round six and one in round seven, giving them eight total selections. Important to note: the Vikings will not receive a compensatory selection for Sam Bradford, as he was released by the Arizona Cardinals prior to week 10.
General manager Rick Spielman is no stranger to trading back on draft night and acquiring extra selections. With only eight picks projected in their hands, there is quite the possibility that the Vikings will look to move back at some point to stash extra picks later in the draft. Now let’s get into it.
Round One: Andre Dillard, Tackle, Washington State
Andre Dillard has exploded onto the scene over the past few weeks. After a strong season in 2018, he accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl and is continuing to showcase his talents. Dillard has incredible upper-body strength and great athleticism as a left tackle. He passes off blocks well and keeps his opponent in front with ease, not allowing pressure on the quarterback.
⚓️ Look at this anchor from Andre Dillard. Finished up the indoor practices and he had a great Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/XM4T9bhqJx
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) January 24, 2019
If there was a weakness to Dillard’s game at this point, it would be his struggle with speed off the edge. He has great footwork and can get to the spot quickly, but quick edge rushers have shown the ability to blow by him from time to time.
Pairing Dillard with Brian O’Neill as the tackles of the future could set the Vikings up nicely.
Alternative: Deebo Samuel, wide receiver, South Carolina
Round Two: Michael Deiter, Guard, Wisconsin
Two offensive lineman in a row? You betcha. Michael Deiter is a mauler in the run game with the athleticism to get up field. He can get to the second level and create holes better than any guard in this class. With the hiring of Gary Kubiak, Deiter looks like an even better fit for the offense. He is built for the zone run, and Kubiak is an expert on the subject.
While Deiter is an excellent run-blocking guard, he does have his fair share of struggles with pass protection. He tends to get pushed back a little and stands straight up against a pass rush. He is susceptible to sacks at the next level, but NFL coaching can fix many of the flaws.
Alternative: Caleb Wilson, tight end, UCLA
Round Three: Dawson Knox, Tight End, Ole Miss
Here’s where things get interesting. The Vikings have a ton of weapons on offense, but adding more couldn’t hurt. Kyle Rudolph is aging but is still a reliable pass-catcher. The offense just needs a player that can create after the catch in the middle of the field. Dawson Knox is exactly that. Knox is a tight end with the skill-set to play in the slot and attack the seam. He possesses great hands and a knack for finding the soft spot in the middle of the defense. He is shifty and agile after the catch, making him a nightmare for linebackers.
Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox is a great athlete for a TE. I think he can play the slot in the NFL pic.twitter.com/Ebe4zvcVGD
— Luke Parrish (@lparrish22) January 12, 2019
Typically, tight ends are capable of both receiving and blocking. That’s where Knox lacks a little. He isn’t built to block, and the tape shows just that.
Round Four: Mike Edwards, Safety, Kentucky
Mike Edwards is a guy that pops on tape. He doesn’t have the biggest name in the draft, but he will be a contributor at the next level. His ability to blow up plays will make him a factor on special teams early on. He’s explosive and quick for a safety, with the ability to move around and play in the box at times.
Edwards may be aggressive, but he tends to shy away in the run game. He also struggles in zone coverage at times. At this stage in the draft, teams are trying to find any contributors they can, and Edwards can be a special teamer early on and develop into a true safety over time.
Round Six: Chase Hansen, Linebacker, Utah
Chase Hansen could be a good role player in the NFL. He has shown the ability to shoot gaps and diagnose the play. However, he misses a lot of tackles and struggles to get off of blocks.
Compensatory Pick: Bryce Love, Running Back, Stanford
Injuries will force Bryce Love down the board. Love battled a ton of injuries in college and recently suffered a torn ACL. The Vikings could take a shot on a gadget back to share reps with Dalvin Cook.
Compensatory Pick: Jonathan Ledbetter, Interior Defender, Georgia
The Vikings love to add depth along the defensive line. Jonathan Ledbetter is a huge interior lineman that could wreak havoc if he develops.
Round Seven: Isaiah Johnson, Cornerback, Houston
Isaiah Johnson is one of the biggest corners you will ever see. He is 6’4” and has some tools to be a good corner. However, his size limits his speed down the field.
Compensatory Pick: Bobby Okereke, Linebacker, Stanford
A lot will change between now and April. Draft season is in full swing and prospects will jump around boards over the next few months. However, team needs will remain largely the same. The Minnesota Vikings should be able to build through the draft, as this class is filled with many of their positional needs.