Vikings Mock Draft 2.0
Let's take another stab at this.
11. Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton: Hamilton draft stock has slid the most of any draft prospect out there; and the reason is because of his “slow”, 4.59 40 yard dash time. Harrison Smith isn’t getting any younger and the free safety position in Minneapolis has been vacant for a few years. Adding Hamilton will be an immediate injection of youth to a shaky secondary. Personally, I think this is a steal.
46. UConn DT Travis Jones: The Vikings lost Michael Pierce in free agency and replaced him with a good, yet injury prone Harrison Phillips. Jones has had a great Senior Bowl and combine that has shot him from a 4th round talent to a 2nd rounder. With his 6’4, 330 pound frame, he’d be an immediate plug and play guy for the Vikings to free up Smith, Hunter, and Wonnum.
77. Kentucky OL Darian Kinnard: The middle of Minnesotas offensive line has been shaky to say the least and adding Kinnard to play guard in place of Dozier or Cole would be ideal. Kinnard posted a PFF grade of 91.1 in 2021 in a loaded SEC. Another steal here that the Vikings will utilize.
156. Washington St CB Jaylen Watson: Corner is probably the Vikings biggest need, but with Sauce and Stingley coming off the board before Hamilton, they’ll wait till day three and take Watson. In 2021, Watson made 31 tackles, recovered 4 fumbles, and picked off 2 passes for Washington State. This could be a guy that rotates in around mid year, but gets to learn under Patrick Peterson.
184. UAB DE Alex Wright: Before signing Za’Darius Smith, edge was a huge need. Now they don’t need to burn a pick early on, on a player like Jermaine Johnson or George Karlaftis. Wright is a monster. He’s 6’7 and recorded 6 sacks with 45 tackles last season for the Blazers and could easily compete for a rotational slot with Patrick Jones or D.J. Wonnum in 2022.
191. Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton: Tyquan Thornton is a speedster. The Baylor pass catcher ran a 4.28 40 at the combine and adding him as wide receiver three or four would make for big play opportunity when teams least expect it. While defenses focus on Thielen and Jefferson, Thornton could take the top off an opposing secondary with ease; he did catch 10 touchdowns at Baylor in 2021.
192. Tennessee G Cade Mays: Getting later in the draft, you’re searching for either practice squad guys, or rotational sleepers and Mays could be a rotational guard for the Vikings. Mays has a bigger frame for a guard which can puts him ahead of other Viking interior offensive lineman on roster; Wyatt Davis, Kyle Hinton, and Chris Reed.
250. Clemson LB Baylon Spector: This past season, Spector was a bright spot on a dim Clemson squad as he recorded 74 tackles and 2.5 sacks. If taken at this pick, this late, he’ll probably be used as a special teamer or kept on the practice squad and elevated if injuries arise.