Vikings Have Options Tonight after Round 1 Falls Perfectly

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The 2019 NFL draft kicked off last night from Nashville, with high drama unfolding early. Fans watching the draft from MetLife Stadium had childish meltdowns, as the New York Giants drafted QB Daniel Jones out of Duke University with the 6th overall pick. I’m positive some of them looked at each other and said “Does Duke even have a football team?” Meanwhile, Dwayne Haskins was feeling disrespected for not going higher than pick number 15. Imagine being drafted in the 1st round by your hometown team and still being this salty.

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All the while, the Vikings waited patiently like a lion stalking prey, for their turn to pick at the 18th overall spot. It paid off when that top-shelf meat fell right into their lap, in the form of Garrett Bradbury. Considering the first offensive lineman wasn’t taken off the board until the 11th selection, the Vikings probably felt pretty good about getting their guy if they stood pat at 18. 

The former NC state center is quick, athletic; and a tough leader in the middle of the trenches. All this stud did in 2018 was show out, posting a perfect pass-block record (what do the Vikings lack again?) on his way to winning the Rimington Award. Our guy @b_heintzz will have your Bradbury deep dive and hype piece later today so I’ll stop there, but finish with this:

Selecting an offensive lineman isn’t always the most fun or exciting pick for the average fan, but you know what else isn’t very fun? Having your quarterback lying on his back all day. Round one of the draft was a HUGE success for the Vikings as they grab their day one starter to help protect their 84 million-dollar man for years to come.

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Looking at Day 2:

Day two of the draft is the day to keep a close eye on your TV/smartphone. For Vikings fans, things could get very interesting very quickly. The Vikings need to clear cap space in the worst way. There have been rumors flying around for quite some time about the Vikings dealing Trae Waynes or Xavier Rhodes, to make that happen. In the days leading up to the draft, tight end Kyle Rudolph has been throw into the trade rumors mill, as well… particularly to the Patriots as someone to help replace Gronk. When asked about the cap space issue, GM Rick Spielman definitively replied “we have a plan in place”. If there was a day to make such a trade, one would assume today is that day.

The Vikings hold the 50th and 81st overall picks today, and they could go in a number of different directions with those selections. Defensive tackle is one of the top needs, outside of the offensive line, and there isn’t a whole lot of value at the position on day two. One player does stick out, however. Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones was overshadowed by his teammate, (#2 overall pick) Nick Bosa. He would fill in very nicely next to Linval Joseph, at the 3 technique.

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Oh, you want to stockpile Offensive linemen? When you have a quarterback who isn’t the most mobile, it’s not a bad idea to make sure he has as much protection as possible. We got our interior lineman in Bradbury, and luckily for the Vikings there is a good handful of OT who can contribute right away still left on the board. Jawaan Taylor, Cody Ford, Dalton Risner, and Greg Little are the tackles to keep an eye on. Taylor is a top-10 talent, who has fallen due to knee concerns, and Risner is a versatile tackle who plays with a mean streak.

Safety has been brought up as a position the Vikings are in need of but Anthony Harris has proven to us that he can start alongside Harrison Smith. They also have some depth with Jayron Kearse, who also plays a bulk nickel role. Day-2 picks could be utilized much better in other areas.

Finally, do the Vikings try to get Kirk Cousins another weapon ton offense? Offensive skill positions are probably the most abundant and least picked through, heading into day 2. The Vikings have arguably the best WR duo in the league with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen (who are both locked up to long term contracts). A healthy Dalvin Cook looks like a man who can compete for rushing titles year in and year out but his back-up role is as wide-open as is the 3rd WR slot. There’s definitely enough talent available in the 2nd and 3rd rounds to fill those needs.

The biggest question mark of the day, though: Can Mike Zimmer go 2 full days without drafting a cornerback?

If the top 3 CB’s still on the board right now, are there when we pick at 50, then HELL NO! Zimmer would pull the trigger on those guys faster than he fires kickers on a casual Monday.

Day two should be a fun ride.

Clem Clemans | Minnesota Sports Fan

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