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Bleacher Report – Vikings

After Todd McShay’s latest mock draft, who’s left in the second round for the Vikings?

By Matthew Coller

Engram

If you haven’t heard, the Minnesota Vikings don’t have a first-round pick on this year’s draft. Since they dealt the selection to the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota’s first pick will come at 48th overall, which is certainly air out of the balloon for draftniks, especially when it comes to mock drafts.

However, we can look at the players who would hypothetically be available after mocked first rounds. For this, we will use ESPN draft guru Todd McShay’s latest work.

First, a few notes on McShay’s 3.0 mock draft:

  • Myles Garrett, DE from Texas A+M goes first overall
  • The first quarterback, DeShaun Watson, isn’t selected until 12th
  • Eagles use Minnesota’s pick to take Christian McCaffery at 14
  • Four offensive linemen are selected in the first, with Forrest Lamp off the board first
  • Three RBs are picked with Alvin Kamara of Tennessee slipping in at 27th

Here are five players who are considered first or second round prospects that are still available after McShay’s first round:

Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

At the end of the college football season, most mock drafts had Michigan’s hybrid safety/linebacker as a high first round pick. Now McShay has him falling completely out of the first round and Mel Kiper said that he’s hearing it’s possible Peppers goes in the second round. Every report on Peppers says that he has intriguing physical skills (he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) but he needs to develop. There isn’t a better situation in the league to develop than the Minnesota Vikings, with cornerback whisperer Mike Zimmer, experienced DBs coach Jerry Grey and veteran coach-on-the-field Terence Newman. Zimmer has a knack for finding what players do best and putting them in a position to succeed. Sure, safety isn’t a desperate need, but if the Vikings are ever going to make a deep playoff run, it’ll be on the back of great defense.

NFL Draft buzz: Mel Kiper says Jabrill Peppers could drop into the second round

Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss

At first, you think his 40-yard dash time must be a typo. After all, no tight end could ever run a 4.42, but that’s exactly what Engram did at the NFL Combine. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound tight end caught 65 passes this season for 926 yards and eight touchdowns.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared him to Washington’s Jordan Reed and wrote this in Engram’s draft profile:

“Makes up for his lack of size with athletic ability and plus speed for the position. Engram has experience as a safety blanket for Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly and can work all three levels of the field. He will appeal strictly to teams looking for a move tight end who can be deployed as a chess piece in a matchup-based passing attack. Engram’s ability to stress defenses could land him on Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) of the draft and a potential starting role early in his career.”
The Vikings’ interest in Jared Cook at a potential free agent signing should tell you that they are in the market for a playmaking tight end to go along with Kyle Rudolph. Using sets with two tight ends could be one way for Minnesota to make up for its lack of quality depth at the wide receiver spot.

Dion Dawkins, G/T, Temple

Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers may have temporarily filled holes on the Vikings’ offensive line, but the long-term outlook of the line could certainly be improved in the draft. Dawkins is one of a few projected second-round offensive linemen, including Indiana’s Dan Feeney. What makes Dawkins intriguing is that he has the athleticism to play left tackle, which means he could develop and see fill-in action in his first year or two, then transition into a starter. That might not be the sexiest option with the 48th overall pick, but it might be the only one that has a chance of resulting in a long-term solution at tackle. If he doesn’t make the transition to tackle, Dawkins showed he can also play guard.

Here is what his NFL.com draft profile says:

“Quality tackle who operates with good balance and solid technique. Shows some good initial quickness and a smooth kick-slide out of his stance, but might be better in short areas as a guard rather than in open space as a tackle. He’s athletic enough to operate in space, but power appears to be his calling card. His wide-hand approach in pass protection could be a difficult habit to break, but he has the natural power to withstand bull rush that might come with that. Dawkins is a well-schooled, three-year starter who has chance to transition into an early starter.”

Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

With all sorts of uncertainty surrounding Sharrif Floyd’s future, the Vikings could have their eye on another defensive lineman. This year’s draft is stacked with D-line talent and Zimmer knows that everything with his defense plays off the front four’s ability to rush the passer. Last season, filling Floyd’s shoes with Shamar Stephen and Tom Johnson proved to be difficult. McDowell is a high-ceiling player who had a very impressive 2015, positing 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss, but had less impressive numbers last season. The Vikings met with McDowell last week.

His NFL.com draft profile includes this nugget:

“He has a chance to be a dominant player in our league. I mean dominant. It hasn’t turned on for him all the way yet but if it does, he could be like Mario Williams. He’s just a little lazy and I worry about whether he is going to be a self-starter.” — NFC North area scout

Curtis Samuel, WR/RB, Ohio State

The Vikings are in the market for a playmaking wide receiver since Cordarrelle Patterson left in free agency for Oakland. Samuel played both running back and receiver in college and projects into a Tyreek Hill or Tavon Austin type role. There are concerns about whether he can fit into one spot, as you can read in his NFL.com draft profile:

“Jack-of-all trades but master of none, Samuel showed an ability to gain yardage and create scoring opportunities in a variety of ways on a talented Buckeyes offense. However, NFL teams will want to slot him into a more defined role, which is most likely at receiver. He is still learning the position and has separation quickness to create open throwing lanes, but while he’s sharpening his route work, he could find early reps as a kick returner.”

Maybe the Vikings would want to avoid making the same mistake they did trading up for Patterson or it’s possible they can see increased roles around the league for guys who are explosive with the ball in their hands. Samuel would be quite intriguing as part of a three-headed monster with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.

Here are five other players who have first/second round grades that would be available if McShay’s mock came true:

Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida – Powerful defensive tackle known for his competitiveness

Desmond King, DB, Iowa – Played in 94% of Iowa’s plays over his four years, can play as zone corner or safety

Gerald Everett, TE, Southern Alabama – Ran one of the fastest 40s and is known for his excellent hands

Taylor Moton, T/G, Western Michigan – His size and power make him a high-ceiling guard with potential at tackle

D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas – Incredibly fast for his size, but mostly one-dimensional

The post After Todd McShay’s latest mock draft, who’s left in the second round for the Vikings? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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