The Minnesota Vikings surprised many when they traded away their first round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford. However, the Vikings offense struggled mightily, even with the addition of Bradford. The Vikings finished the season ranked 28th in total offense behind their 3rd ranked defense. This shows that Minnesota has the defense to make a super bowl run but they MUST strengthen their offense. Showing to be committed to improving their offensive line, they recently signed tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers. Also adding running back Latavius Murray to possibly replace recently released Adrian Peterson. Minnesota is obviously trying to improve the offense. But who should the Vikings draft?
Round 2 – Pick 48: Pat Elflein, Center/Guard from Ohio State
The Vikings have added players to try to improve the offensive tackle spots. But they desperately need a center and right guard to solidify their offensive line. Elflein was the Remington award winner, which is given to the nation’s top center. He is also a durable player where the Vikings could use him at guard if someone goes down with an injury. To add a player that is consistent both in pass blocking and run blocking is exactly what the Minnesota Vikings need.
Player Comparison: Nick Mangold
Round 3 – Pick 79: Ethan Pocic, Offensive Lineman from LSU
Pocic is considered by some to be the most durable lineman in this year’s draft. This explains why I have him labeled as an offensive lineman for his position. He has the size (6’6″ 310 pounds) to play any position on the line of scrimmage. Now, his strength needs some work but he has strong hands and stays engaged with defenders. He also does extremely well at getting to the second level picking up linebackers to allow running backs to spring free for big gains. He would be a solid 3rd round choice that could give the Minnesota Vikings depth.
Player Comparison: Rodger Saffold
Round 3 – Pick 86: Amara Darboh, Wide Receiver from Michigan
The Vikings do have some talent at wide receiver with players like Diggs and Thielen. But they definitely need more help on the outside if they really want to boost their offense. Especially after losing Cordarrelle Patterson, who was very valuable in the return game. Darboh is a big body receiver who really burst onto the scene after his combine and senior bowl performances. However, he does need to work on improving his quickness. But he has the size and the hands to be a legitimate player at the next level.
Player Comparison: Mohamed Sanu
Round 4 – Pick 121: Kendell Beckwith, Linebacker from LSU
The Minnesota Vikings lost a valuable leader on defense in Chad Greenway to retirement. So it should be safe to say they must find a replacement or even depth at inside linebacker. Beckwith has struggled with injuries but has good read and react capabilities. Does very well at taking good angles to stop rushers from getting outside and turning upfield. He could possibly be a starter in Minnesota’s 4-3 defense. The question is, can he stay healthy and remain on the field?
Player Comparison: Manti Te’o
Round 4 – Pick 129: Brad Kaaya, Quarterback from Miami
At one point many experts believed Kaaya would be the top quarterback in this year’s draft. But after an inconsistent season and a mediocre combine, he has fallen to a projected 4th round pick in many mock drafts. Kaaya has the size and ability to make any throw you need him to make. The question is, can he make the throws consistently? With Kaaya, he just needs proper coaching and then he has the potential to be a very good quarterback at the next level.
Player Comparison: Josh McCown