Dale Money | March 4th, 2020
Don’t expect the Vikings to be much of a player in free agency, as they are currently $700 thousand dollars over the cap, this according to Spotrac. With certain players they are going to want to re-sign and not a ton of cap space to spend, it’s going to take a lot of number crunching in order to get this all figured out.
You can expect some cuts, contract restructuring, and perhaps some player trades before all is said and done. Notable players like Trae Waynes, Everson Griffen, and Anthony Harris could all be moved in order to free up salary, along with giving Minnesota, some much-needed draft picks.
As we take a look at some of the team’s needs heading into April’s draft. Edge rusher, offensive tackle, cornerback, and defensive line are all positions that will need to be addressed.
To help with this mock draft, I used the Fanspeak mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 25: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
With the Vikings not having much in the way of salary cap, re-signing one of their top corners in Waynes seems highly unlikely at this point. The loss of Wayne leaves a glaring hole at the cornerback spot. Henderson would be fine with the first selection. He has decent size for a corner at 6’1″ and 202 lbs, along with lightning-quick reflexes with which to chase down opposing quarterbacks when on corner blitzes. In Henderson’s three seasons as a Gator, he would collect 93 tackles and four sacks.
Round 2, Pick 58: Tyler Biadasz, OT, Wisconsin
The Vikings offensive line performed pretty well in 2019 when you consider they would only give up 28 sacks, as opposed to the 40 sacks from two seasons ago. There has been talk that left tackle Riley Reiff could be a cap casualty, letting him go would save them $10.9 million dollars. Just a Junior, Biadasz was the backbone of one of the top offensive line’s in back to back years. A player that takes care of business when it comes to handling his assignments. Biadasz has been very durable during his time at Wisconsin, having started 41 games in three seasons.
Round 3, Pick 89: Rashard Lawrence, DL, LSU
Linval Joseph is one player that could be cut loose due to salary cap restraints, this would shave just over $10.4 million dollars in salary and would leave $2.4 million in dead money. Joseph was the backbone of the Vikings 13th ranked run defense, by blocking up run lanes. Adding Lawrence and placing him opposite Shamar Stephens would fill the need left by Joseph. Lawrence not only brings the physical tools, but he has a vocal voice that is much revered among his fellow teammates. Has the ability to erupt off the line of scrimmage, using his size and hands to push back blockers.
Round 3, Pick 106: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
Anae has an array of pass-rushing skills in which to handle, opposing offensive lineman and get after the quarterback. Last season at Utah, he contributed an eye-popping 13 total sacks and 14 tackles for a loss. In his last three seasons as a Ute, Anae was good for at least seven sacks or more. Anae doesn’t have the biggest arms for an edge rusher but has been able to get the job done.
Round 4, Pick 132: Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
Stefon Diggs’ future with the Vikings is still up for debate. Although, regardless of the all the brouhaha regarding Diggs’ social media back in February, the club has said they do not intend to move him. Breaking up a receiving duo such as Diggs and Adam Thielen would be shooting themselves in the foot, and they know it.
With Duvernay you’re getting a player, that is not only fast as a deer, but also possesses some of the surer hands among this cast of receivers. Consider, he would only drop one ball in his four years at Texas. Duvernay seems to have done himself a great service, by showing up to the Combine. In the 40 yard dash, he not only ran the fifth-fastest time among the draft-eligible receivers but also caught every ball in the pass-catching drill.
Round 6, Pick 205: Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
Minnesota adds their second corner in the draft, by selecting Pride Jr. Pride’s performance at the senior bowl, proved to be a great investment. Not only would he have some great practices. But in the senior bowl, he would have a 33 yard pick off with a minute left in the third quarter. That interception would set up a Joshua Kelly touchdown on the nine-yard line. He is now looked at as one of the more underrated corners, in the draft. Prides elite speed and athleticism are pro-ready. However, he doesn’t have the best strength, which could hurt Pride as he moves forward into the NFL.
Round 7, Pick 220: Simon Stepaniak, G, Indiana
A fifth-year starter at Indiana, Stepaniak would, unfortunately, end his college campaign on a very sour note. As he would tear his ACL during practice, leading up to his teams Gator Bowl appearance back in December. Stepaniak is expected to be ready to go full force come mid-July. He has the size and strength to take on opposing double teams. Has really good upper body strength. Although he isn’t quite healthy yet, Stepaniak showed off some of his unreal strength at the Combine, lifting the second-most reps among offensive lineman.
Round 7, Pick 240: Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia
Kirk Cousins has one more season left on his current multi-year deal,before he becomes a free agent. However, Perkins isn’t being selected as a potential future replacement. Although, it can’t hurt at this point in the draft to select a player that can potentially give Sean Mannion, some healthy competition at the backup position. Perkins had a very impressive showing in the Orange Bowl against Florida, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns with just the lone interception.
Round 7, Pick 251: Charlie Woerner, TE, Georgia
Woerner isn’t being drafted as an offensive tight end, in his four seasons at Georgia. He would contribute, under 400 yards receiving on 34 receptions and a touchdown. Woerner is being chosen purely for his run blocking.
Round 7, Pick 254: Trevis Gipson, EDGE, Tulsa
They wrap up the draft with their second edge rusher, Gipson was another player that would help himself in the Senior Bowl. Gipson last two years at Tulsa, were by far his best, as he would combine for 24 sacks and 95 total tackles
Questions and comments?
Follow Us on Twitter @thescorecrow
Follow Us on Reddit at u/TheScorecrow
Follow Us on Facebook at The Scorecrow
Follow Us on Instagram at The Scorecrow
Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Follow Dale Money on Twitter @packerd_00
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images