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1500ESPN draft simulation, Part 4: Six rounds and a trade scenario

By Matthew Coller

Now that the first wave of free agency is over, it’s time to turn our sights to the NFL Draft. Here at 1500ESPN, we prefer to draft simulations using the website Fanspeak to mock drafts.

Here is Part 1, the first two rounds.

Part 2, the first three rounds.

Part 3, the first five rounds

Here is our fourth simulation:

See the entire draft here

First round

Why T Tyrell Crosby was picked:

The Vikings have shown interest in moving Mike Remmers to guard, which opens up the possibility of selecting a tackle at No. 30 overall. The Oregon tackle has not allowed a sack since 2015 and is lauded as one of the best run blockers in the draft. Pro Football Focus ranked him in the top 10 in Pass Blocking Efficiency and Run Block Success. He is a solid athlete and possesses a mean streak that would fit in with the Vikings’ O-line. Crosby could start Day 1 at right tackle with the potential to eventually move to the left side down the road. If he doesn’t appear ready to take on NFL pass rushers, he has enough quickness to start at guard.

Here are Crosby’s PFF grades in each area:

The trade-down scenario:

In this simulation, here’s how the offensive linemen fell after the No. 30 pick:

  • 34 – UTEP, G, Will Hernandez
  • 40 – Ohio State, C, Billy Price
  • 46 – Iowa, C, James Daniels
  • 53 – Arkansas, C, Frank Ragnow
  • 56 – UCLA, T, Kolton Miller

There are a few teams that would make interesting trade partners if the Vikings wanted to trade back. One example is the Denver Broncos, who hold the 40th overall pick. According to the famous draft chart, the Vikings’ pick is worth 620 points and the 40th pick is worth 500 points. Denver’s fourth-round pick, 106th overall, is worth 82 points.

The Vikings could trade back to No. 40, select Daniels, Ragnow or Miller and gain a fourth to make up for their missing pick. In this simulation, receiver Michael Gallup (Colorado State), LB Shaquem Griffin (UCF), DT Da’Shawn Hand (Alabama) and C Scott Quessenberry (UCLA) are all interesting prospects.

Considering the Vikings would still land a solid guard prospect, there should be serious consideration put into a move down.

Second round

Why CB Donte Jackson was picked:

The Vikings are short on cornerbacks and the immediate future of the nickel corner position is unclear. At LSU, Jackson played both inside and outside. He isn’t the biggest, but he is the fastest, running a 4.32 40-yard dash. Over the last three years, teams only completed 51 percent of passes his way with a QB rating against of 79.4. Getting another high-end prospect into Mike Zimmer’s hands could work out well in the short term if Jackson plays well in the slot and long term if the Vikings eventually see Trae Waynes hit free agency.

Other available options:

  • Oklahoma, T, Orlando Brown
  • LSU, WR, DJ Chark
  • Oklahoma St., WR, James Washington
  • Auburn, G, Braden Smith
  • Oklahoma, TE, Mark Andrews

Third round

Why WR Daesean Hamilton was picked:

The Vikings did a good job landing Kendall Wright in free agency, but he’s on a one-year deal, so the future of the receiving group is still unclear aside from Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen – and even then, Diggs does not yet have a contract extension. Hamilton, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, led all FBS receivers in deep catch percentage, bringing in 73.3 percent of deep throws his way. He also ranked in the top 10 in yards out of the slot. His versatility could help him find a quick role in the offense next year and expand on that role down the road.

Fifth round

Why DE Dorance Armstrong was picked:

In 2016, Armstrong had 10 sacks and 27 hurries, but his production fell off the side of a cliff last year with only two sacks, 20 hurries. Still, the Kansas Jayhawk dominated against the run, ranking third in Run Stop Percentage. If the Vikings are looking for rotational players with potential, Armstrong qualifies.

Sixth round

Why RB Ito Smith was picked:

At this point, teams should go with the best player on the board regardless of position. The Vikings have three running backs on the roster, but the door is open for a high-potential runner to compete with Mack Brown for a spot. Smith ran for more than 1,400 yards in back-to-back seasons for Southern Miss. He is a good pass blocker and caught more than 40 passes for three straight seasons.

Why TE Jordan Akins was picked:

Yes, here we go again with a tight end being selected in the late rounds. Akins was fourth in FBS in deep catches, per PFF, and had a strong Senior Bowl week. The Vikings have been in search of a TE who can stretch the field – if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Why WR Jordan Lasley was picked:

Can you tell these kids were born during the Jordan era? Lasley caught over 50 percent of his deep balls and contested targets at UCLA. He made a total of 69 receptions for 1,264 yards. He might be considered a higher prospect if not for a high drop rate.

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Post your draft simulations from Fanspeak in the comments or tweet them to @matthewcoller

The post 1500ESPN draft simulation, Part 4: Six rounds and a trade scenario appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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