Mock draft season is upon us and that means our mock draft roundup is back!
What we do every week is track the mainstream outlets mock drafts and aggregate how many times a player gets selected. Last season, we tallied up 173 mock drafts and only 10 of them were on offense. This season could end up being much of the same.
We will track them and try to determine trends and patterns, along with giving my own analysis on how they could fit with the Minnesota Vikings
Utah CB Clark Phillips III
Nov 12, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III (1) warms up prior to a game against the Stanford Cardinal at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Phillips III is a slightly undersized cornerback at 5’10” tall, but he plays bigger than that. With experience both in the slot and on the outside, Phillips III can come in and make an impact on day one without having to pigeon hole him into one spot.
Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski
Oct 22, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (77) prepares to block against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Honestly, getting Skoronski anywhere outside of the top 15 is a pipe dream, but getting him on the Vikings would be an excellent addition. Skoronski is going to be put through the wringer in terms of measurables, as he is going to measure in with short arms like his former teammate Rashawn Slater did. Skoronski is the best technician in this offensive line class and someone that you won’t bulldoze at the point of attack. He makes sense for the Vikings only if they plan to play him on the interior, as they are set at tackle for the next decade.
BYU OT Blake Freeland
Sep 29, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars offensive lineman Blake Freeland (71) before playing against the Utah State Aggies at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
This pick doesn’t make sense at all. Freeland is a large, raw offensive line prospect that is a tackle only. Freeland needs a lot of technique work and development and, considering a starting tackle isn’t a need for this team, the pick doesn’t make sense.
South Carolina CB Cam Smith
Sep 24, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Cam Smith (9) celebrates an interception against the Charlotte 49ers in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
This is a fun pick for the Vikings. Smith is in a similar mold to Andrew Booth Jr.: quick and explosive trigger with ball skills. He can do a little bit of everything, including playing inside and out. The quickness will likely be what attracts general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to him, as it was a common theme this offseason.
Arkansas EDGE/LB Drew Sanders
Nov 5, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks linebacker Drew Sanders (42) tackles Liberty Flames quarterback Johnathan Bennett (11) in the second quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
A player that fits into the body mold of Anthony Barr, Sanders presents a player that can be put just about anywhere from a pass rusher in a 3-4 to what Barr did for Zimmer for eight years. As a pass rusher, Sanders is explosive and shows some real power. He needs a lot of refinement, but the profile is there.
Oklahoma LT Anton Harrison
Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison (71) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Oklahoma won 45-13.
Ou Vs Utep
Another tackle gets sent to the Vikings from an analyst who likely scoured Madden grades to see if the Vikings could use an upgrade. Harrison is a very talented, but raw player who has the toolset to thrive on the outside in the NFL. Unlike Freeland, Harrison might be able to make the move to the inside, but I’m not sold on that whatsoever.
Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba fends off Utah cornerback Micah Bernard as he races to the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter of the 2022 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The idea of taking a wide receiver is one that I am fully on board with. Taking Smith-Njigba is a quality pick, but not my first choice. He currently ranks as my WR7 behind the likes of Rashee Rice, Kayshon Boutte, Zay Flowers and Josh Downs. Reason being is that he isn’t athletically dominant in any one area. He makes up for it with excellent savvy and understanding of how to play the wide receiver position.
Texas A&M S Antonio Johnson
Nov 26, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; LSU Tigers running back Noah Cain (21) and Texas A&M Aggies defensive back Antonio Johnson (27) in action during the game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the LSU Tigers at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Taking a safety in the first round just one year after taking Lewis Cine at 32 is quite a gutsy idea, especially when it’s not a premium position. What Johnson does bring at the position is versatility. He can play in the slot, in the box and over the top. I think the versatility paired with (potentially) moving on from Harrison Smith could present an opportunity to make the selection.
Syracuse CB Garrett Williams
Sep 17, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver TJ Sheffield (8) is pushed out of bounds by Syracuse Orange defensive back Garrett Williams (8) in the fourth quarter at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Williams was a great player for Syracuse when he was healthy. He suffered a torn ACL in October so we won’t have any athletic testing on him. It’s also why he could end up sliding in the draft in a similar way to how Andrew Booth Jr. did last season. I think this is a little too rich for Williams, but his length and how he plays cornerback would be incredibly appealing for the Vikings on a trade down.
SMU WR Rashee Rice
Oct 22, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs wide receiver Rashee Rice (11) warms up on the field prior to a game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
This is one of my favorite picks from this week. Rice is currently my fifth-ranked receiver in this class and would be a great complement to Justin Jefferson. Rice is a big, physical receiver that has great straight-line speed to stretch the field. You want to have a basketball team in your wide receiver room and Rice is a great stretch-four.
Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon
Nov 6, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Devon Witherspoon (31) celebrates a win against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the fourth quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Witherspoon has been a really fast riser up boards over the last month or so. The Illinois defense was tremendous this past season and a big part of that was Witherspoon. He has excellent instincts with the ability to drop the hammer when necessary. Pair that with his excellent coverage skills and it’s no surprise that he is a popular choice for many teams in the first round.
Boston College WR Zay Flowers
Nov 12, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston College Eagles receiver Zay Flowers (4) runs for a touchdown during the second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Eagles won 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Flowers is one of my favorite players in this class. A receiver that has been often compared to Emmanuel Sanders, what Flowers lacks in stature he makes up for with explosiveness, route running and physicality. Adding a player that can do it all would be an excellent asset to the Vikings offense.
Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez
Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez hauls in an interception as the No. 9 Oregon Ducks take on the No. 21 Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.
Ncaa Football Uo Vs Osu Rivalry Game University Of Oregon At Oregon State
Gonzalez is going to be a popular pick from pick 10 to about pick 30. His size and ball skills profile are going to be very intriguing across the league. While Gonzalez will likely be gone by this point, this would be a home run for the Vikings.
After one week, analysts don’t know who to mock to the Vikings.
S Antonio Johnson
CB Clark Phillips III
OT Peter Skoronski
OT Blake Freeland
CB Cam Smith
EDGE/LB Drew Sanders
OT Anton Harrison
WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
WR Rashee Rice
CB Devon Witherspoon
WR Zay Flowers
CB Christian Gonzalez