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Day 2 draft simulation: Vikings may have to trade up to fill O-line need

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings elected to add a cornerback in Round 1 on Thursday night. The biggest Day 2 question is how the Vikings will fill the hole left on the offensive line by Joe Berger’s retirement.

Minnesota’s front office caught a good break with several of the top O-line prospects still on the board heading into Friday, but three simulations of the second and third rounds using Fanspeak.com reveal that nabbing a starting guard or tackle at No. 62 might not be easy….

Simulation 1

Second round O-line picks:

  • 35 – James Daniels, Iowa
  • 39 – Will Hernandez, UTEP
  • 43 – Connor Williams, Texas
  • 46 – Austin Corbett, Nevada
  • 48 – Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
  • 52 – Brian O’Neil, Pitt

If we follow best-player -available theory for our first simulation, it makes much more sense to select an instant-impact tight end who can provide Kirk Cousins with a deep threat option than to select a so-so O-line prospect.

The linemen with second/third round grades who still remaining on the board were Oregon’s Tyrell Crosby, Ohio State tackle Jamarco Jones, Auburn’s Braden Smith and Virginia Tech’s Wyatt Teller.

Rankin was a tackle in college, but NFL.com’s draft profile indicates he could be a better fit as a guard or center.

Lance Zierlein wrote:

“As a left tackle, Rankin will struggle with edge speed and as a right tackle he may have issues as a run blocker handling the power he will face. While he offers tackle flexibility and may get an early look at right tackle, his best position might be at center where his instincts and intelligence will stand out. The further Rankin kicks inside the better he will be. He may be average as a tackle or guard, but he could become a good NFL starter if he gets his shot at center.”

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Simulation 2

Second round O-line picks:

  • 34 – Corbett
  • 43 – Williams
  • 44 – Hernandez
  • 46 – Daniels
  • 48 – Crosby
  • 52 – Jones
  • 56 – Smith

In Sim 2, we looked at simply taking the best interior lineman on the board who would fit the Vikings’ running scheme. Teller had a terrific Combine, posting numbers well above average in key areas like the 40, bench press and 3-Cone drill.

NFL.com pointed out his inconsistency is a concern:

“Teams will have to figure out why Teller’s consistency and effort level dropped so drastically from 2016 to 2017 if they want to draft him. He has the play strength, body control and hand usage you want from an interior player, but his tape simply wasn’t trustworthy this season. Teller has limitations, but he also has enough in the toolbox to work with. He’ll be a fit as a backup with eventual starter potential in a power-based scheme if he can revert to his 2016 form.”

Several tackle prospects were still on the board, including Pitt’s Brian O’Neil, Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown, Geron Christian of Louisville and Rankin.

Taking a guard in the second opens up the Vikings to pick nearly any position in the third. With Kendall Wright on a one-year deal, receiver is worth a look. Hamilton was a highly productive receiver at Penn State with a high floor but limited ceiling to a No. 2 or No. 3.

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Simulation 3

Second round O-line picks:

  • 39 – Hernandez
  • 43 – Williams
  • 44 – Daniels
  • 47 – Rankin
  • 48 – Crosby
  • 51 – Corbett
  • 56 – Smith

This time, we went with the best tackle available. O’Neil is similarly athletic to Kolton Miller, who went in the first round. He is a terrific fit for the Vikings’ scheme, but there are question marks about his technique and consistency.

NFL.com wrote:

“O’Neill has good length and is a terrific athlete, but his inconsistencies at the Senior Bowl practices will be hard for teams to get out of their minds. What might be even more troubling is the way he seemed to panic and lose technique in certain matchups. O’Neill is a classic zone scheme blocker, but teams may take a look at him as a move guard with tackle potential rather than locking in with him as a blind-side tackle. O’Neill needs to get thicker and stronger or swing tackle could be his ceiling.”

In this Sim, there were very few quality remaining linemen on the board after O’Neil. Once again, Jones and Brown were there along with Chukwuma Okorafor of Western Michigan.

In the third round, the Vikings could fill another defensive need. Shepherd is an all-around talent who completely dominated lower level talent at Fort Hays St.

What would it cost to move up?

If you believe the draft trade chart, dealing away their second and third would only move the Vikings up about 10 spots. That leads you to believe they may have to dip into 2019’s stockpile of picks.

The post Day 2 draft simulation: Vikings may have to trade up to fill O-line need appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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