It’s time to talk draft Minnesota Vikings fans . . . draft picks, rounds, team needs, and prospects to watch.
by Nat L. Faybian • Senior Writer • @natlfaybian • nlfmockdraft.com • March 11, 2019 • Updated: April 8, 2019
Kirk Cousins seems to be a polarizing personality. One one hand, fans will point to his personal accomplishments. In the 2018, Cousins threw for over 4,000 yards and set the team’s single-season completion record. His detractors will say, “Yes, he threw of a lot of yards, but the Vikings missed the playoffs and went 1-6 when playing against good teams last year.” So, the question seems to be, can GM Rick Spielman add enough complimentary players to help Cousins lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl – where they haven’t been since 1977?
2019 draft picks
*Minnesota has three Compensatory Picks.
- Offensive Tackle
- Offensive Guard
- Outside Linebacker
- Tight End
- Defensive Line depth
Probably the first thing they’ll need to fix is the run game. Minnesota ran for season-low 14 yards against Buffalo and 22 against the Chicago Bears. QB Kurt Cousins threw for 4,000 yards last year, the symptom of a poor running game. So adding some driving block linemen would be a good place to start. Hopefully, speedy Davlin Cook lives up to his potential in 2019. Adding a short-yardage back that can get the tough yards between the tackles would be a good option. A good fit might be Temple’s 220-pound running back Ryquell Armstead. Armstead found his way to the end zone 13 times last year.
Like all teams, the Vikings would benefit by adding to their pass rush. In fact, since the first round is really loaded with defensive players, they might take one here or trade down if they wanted to go OL. Adding an pair of athletic linebackers would also be on the list.
Prospects to watch
Jachai Polite, DE, Florida
Polite has a quick first step; he gets the edge, and bends the corner easy enough. He’s got long arms to swat the ball, and closing speed to make the sack. Only a junior, Polite had a break-out season in 2018 with 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. He also had four passes defended and forced six fumbles. Once considered a mid-first round pick, Polite saw his stock drop after a series of poor interviews at the Scouting Combine. However, since then, Polite has been working hard to amend his ways.
Dru Samia, OG, Oklahoma
Samia is an intense player, the kind that can spark a team. He plays inspired, strong, and energetic. And with the Vikings needing to get their run game on track, a fiery player on that OL would be a good thing.
Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple
Temple’s Ryquell Armstead has received a fair share of attention leading up to the draft. He’s a big back with a nose for the end zone. Scouts love his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Calvin Anderson, OT, Texas
Anderson transferred from Rice to Texas. The move was prompted by his desire to get ready for the NFL. At Rice, he started 36 games and never missed a snap. Anderson is known for being a smart player with a nasty streak.
Players to Watch: TE Andrew Beck, Texas; OG Nate Davis, Charlotte; OT Donnell Greene, Minnesota; TE Josh Oliver, San Jose State; RB Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska; OG Bunchy Stallings, Kentucky; and OLB Sione Takitaki, BYU.
General Manager: Rick Spielman | Head Coach: Mike Zimmer | Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Stefanski | Defensive Coordinator: George Edwards
Recent Top Draft selections:
2018: R1 Mike Hughes CB | R2 Brian O’Neill OT
2017: R3 Pat Elflein OC | R4 Jaleel Johnson DT
2016: R1 Laquon Treadwell WR | R3 Mackensie Alexander CB
2015: R1 Trae Waynes CB | R3 Eric Kendricks LB