Saturday, August 29, 2020

Minnesota Vikings NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 2.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Minnesota Vikings from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Vikings:

Rotoworld - Thor Nystrom (8/21)

19. Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

The third straight Crimson Tide player off the board, and fifth already in this mock draft. The Vikings plan to go another season making heavy use of Kyle Rudolph/Irv Smith, leaving the Purple in two-receiver sets more than just about any team in the league. If Rudolph's time with the team expires after this coming season, Minnesota may dovetail strategy to cater to more modern offensive machinations, grabbing another receiver to revert back to a three-receiver base. Smith has shown versatility in winning from various spots on the field with a mix of polish, strong hands and shakability. He led Alabama's insane receiving corps in yards last season, and has dropped only three of 112 catchable targets over the past two years.

PFF - Mike Renner (8/19)

21. Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, Florida State

Long, athletic projects on the edge have been the Vikings' M.O. From a pure tools perspective, Kaindoh compares very similarly to Gregory Rousseau. Listed at 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, Kaindoh has rare flexibility for a man that size and can forklift opposing offensive tackles. He's simply yet to have the production close to Rousseau's, with his career-high 69.5 pass-rushing grade coming in an injury-shortened 2019 season.

The Draft Network - Kyle Crabbs (8/19)

19. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

The Vikings added Justin Jefferson this year in the first round, but this wide receiver room needed help before the team traded away Stefon Diggs this season. Bateman can play a vertical game to compliment Kirk Cousins' playing style and he'll be right at home staying in-state.

Pro Football Network - Oliver Hodgkinson (8/16)

23. Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

Although Justin Jefferson was one of the Minnesota Vikings first-round selections in 2020, adding further wide receiver depth for Kirk Cousins may prove to be the Vikings' early-round direction once again. With a lack of depth and performance from the interior line, there should also be a consideration there. On the defensive side of the ball, Anthony Harris could test free agency, leaving a need at the safety position.

Tyler Linderbaum's athletic ability and a skillset defined by a history of wrestling success is difficult to ignore. As a former defensive tackle, he is relatively inexperienced at the center position. However, he started every game at the position in 2019. His wrestling background gives him the ability to simply move his man out of the way, while he has the pure strength to anchor down in pass protection.

ESPN - Todd McShay (8/12)

21. Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

Defensive tackle is a bigger need -- though 2020 opt-out Michael Pierce will be back next season -- so Shelvin or USC's Jay Tufele could be the choice for Minnesota. But Holland, who I mentioned as a reach earlier in this mock, now becomes a great value at No. 21 overall. And he fills a hole, with Anthony Harris on an expiring contract and Harrison Smith turning 32 in February. Holland, the top safety on the board, has nine interceptions over the past two seasons, displays strong open-field tackling ability and shows some pop in the punt return game. He high-points the ball and attacks it, a skill set that would help keep the Vikings among the elites in interceptions (tied for third in 2019 with 17).

The Draft Network - Jordan Reid (8/10)

19. Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

Lacking depth in the trenches on both sides of the ball, this pick comes down to being between an interior offensive lineman or a defensive tackle. Still finding ways to solidify their guard spots, the team enters next season with a player that's been a disappointment in Pat Elflein and Dru Samia–the team's fourth-round selection in 2019. While all of his experience has come at center, Humphrey has the smarts and awareness to play either guard or center as Rick Spielman continues to attempt to build the interior offensive line in front of Kirk Cousins.

Pro Football Network - Matthew Valdovinos (8/9)

23. Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

The best value in the first round in this mock draft, Humphrey is my 8th overall prospect and the Vikings take him here at 23. He's as well rounded as linemen come. An elite run blocker and very good pass protector, Humphrey lacks elite athletic ability but his floor is incredibly high. Humphrey has spent his entire career playing center for Oklahoma and projects best to that spot in the NFL, but he can also play guard, which is likely where he'd play in Minnesota.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (8/3)

19. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

The Vikings roster is as thin as it's been in recent history, but no position lacks depth and quality at this point quite like the defensive line, especially at defensive end. The pairing of Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen is no more and Hunter needs a running mate.

Hutchinson has terrific size, fluidity, length, and power while playing the game with relentless effort. He's capable of providing the Vikings' defensive line with a much-needed answer.

Previous update: Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft Roundup 1.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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