How did they pick for the Vikings?
The 2021 NFL Draft is just one week from tomorrow, and we’re going to be seeing more and more news about the proceedings as the day approaches. As I’ve said a couple of times before, we don’t spotlight a lot of individual mock drafts, preferring to compile everything into our Mock Draft Database instead, but some of them are worth taking a look at.
One of those lies behind the great E$PN paywall, where Mel Kiper. . .dramatic pause. . .draft expert and Todd McShay have put together a three-round mock that saw them alternating selections. Most mocks stop at one round, so it’s nice to see one that goes beyond that.
Weirdly enough, McShay ended up making all three picks for the Minnesota Vikings in this mock, so let’s take a look at who he picked for the purple, shall we?
McShay started by addressing the offensive line at #14 with the selection of USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. Per the projections at ESPN, there’s a greater than 87% chance that Vera-Tucker would be available at the 14th spot.
There are holes all over the Vikings’ line, and Vera-Tucker has versatility — though his best fit is at guard. He’s a strong blocker at the second level, which will help open lanes for Dalvin Cook in the running game.
From there, we’ve got the loooooooooooooooooooooooong wait until the Vikings pick again at #78, where he has them selecting Houston defensive end Payton Turner.
Minnesota’s 23 sacks ranked in the bottom five in 2020, and Turner has the strength to drive back blockers and get to the QB. He’d likely play a rotational role early in his career but should develop into a reliable starter.
With their final pick, the 90th overall choice that they got from the Baltimore Ravens, McShay stays on the defensive side of the ball with Georgia safety Richard LeCounte.
Anthony Harris signed in Philadelphia, and Harrison Smith is 32 years old. LeCounte has closing burst and ex-receiver ball skills.
That’s not a bad collection of picks from McShay, IMO. But, just for fun, I wanted to put together a mini-mock of picks of guys that were still available at the Vikings’ picks at all three spots to compare the two. So, here’s an alternative to take a look at.
- #14 – Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
- #78 – Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
- #90 – Ar’Darius Washington, S, Texas Christian OR Hasmah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State (both were still on the board at #90)
What do you think of McShay’s picks for the Vikings in the three-round mock that he and Kiper put together? Do you think that the mini-mock I’ve proposed is better or worse?