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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Five draft-day outcomes that would earn the Vikings an ‘A’ grade

By Matthew Coller

Draft day is finally upon us.

Despite sitting at the bottom of the first round, the draft is deep enough that the Minnesota Vikings are in position to land a player that will impact 2018 and beyond. The Vikings need an offensive lineman, but they will have a number of options that could result in analysts and fans alike being on board.

Let’s have a look at five outcomes that would be well received….

Drafting either James Daniels, Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez or Frank Ragnow

In Mike Mayock’s final mock draft, these four interior offensive lineman are selected in the first round. While there is no doubt the guard class is deep, Daniels, Wynn, Hernandez and Ragnow stand above the rest (aside from uber prospect Quenton Nelson). If the Vikings picked any of them, they would have a plug-and-play guard who would immediately improve the offensive line. Each player has the mobility to fit in the Vikings’ system and the character to fit in the locker room.

Trading down into the second round and picking up a fourth-round pick

If the Big Four interior linemen are all gone by No. 30, it would make sense for the Vikings to trade down and look into linemen like Connor Williams, Braden Smith and Austin Corbett in the middle of the second. Moving back might be met with groans from those who attend the team’s draft party, but it would be a smart move considering the likelihood of a mid-second pick is very similar to that of a late-first. It would give the Vikings an extra shot at grabbing a solid prospect in the fourth.

Picking a vertical threat tight end

While Kyle Rudolph is still a quality NFL tight end, the Vikings may have an opportunity to add to Kirk Cousins’ group of weapons by taking one of three highly-touted tight ends Dallas Goedert, South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst or Penn State’s Mike Gesicki with the 30th pick. It would be cause for some concern that they would lose out on good offensive linemen, but would have the potential of stacking up the Vikings’ offense with a versatile group of playmakers.

Surprisingly landing one of the top DBs in the class

Cornerback and safety aren’t the Vikings’ top needs, but they are on the list. It’s unclear who will be playing nickel corner and Minnesota only has three CBs with NFL experience on the roster. At safety, the Vikings could jack up their versatility and find an eventual replacement for Andrew Sendejo, who is coming off a terrific year, but also turns 31 this season. Any old corner or safety wouldn’t be enough to convince fans and analysts that it was OK to pass up on OL prospects though. It would have to be a player who stunningly dropped like Florida State safety Derwin James, Alabama corner Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ohio State CB Denzel Ward or Louisville CB Jaire Alexander.

Selecting a future star defensive tackle

Maurice Hurst’s draft stock appears to have fallen due to a heart issue that caused him to leave the Combine. It’s unclear if he will still be available in the late first or even in the second round. If his medical situation is not serious, the Vikings could score a disruptive pass rusher that could double as a 2018 rotational player and the future starter at the three-technique position. If not, high-ceiling players like Da’Ron Payne of Alabama and Taven Bryan could still be in play. Mike Zimmer has won 40 games in four years in large part because of his monster defensive line. It would be very tough to criticize adding to the front four, even if it isn’t a dire need.

The post Five draft-day outcomes that would earn the Vikings an ‘A’ grade appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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