Geoff Nichols Final Mock

 

2 (38) *Via JAX – Jabrill Peppers (S/OLB Michigan): The Vikings move up the board trading 2(48) and 3(86) in exchange for 2(38) and 5(148). The Vikings have an apparent love for Peppers and make the move up the board early in day two to secure their guy. From a pick perspective the Vikings net even in a trade with the Jaguars and cover off multiple needs with a single player in Peppers. The Vikings have toyed around with adding an athletic S/OLB combo over the past few years and finally pull the trigger. Peppers has the ability to play LB in the base defense and be moved around as a chess piece in Zimmer’s scheme. He has the ability to blitz but also the ability to cover both TE’s and slot receivers. That type of versatility really opens up what you can do with Anthony Barr on the strong side and even Harrison Smith on the back end. Aside from filling a needs on the defensive side of the ball, Peppers is an elite kick and punt returner and can also be a strong gunner. Lastly, he brings an electric attitude with him and swagger, something I personally believed was missing from the Vikings defense a season ago.

2 (48) –Traded to Jacksonville for 2 (38) & 5 (148)

3 (79) – Ethan Pocic (C/OG LSU): Keeping their first selection in the 3rd round the Vikings pick up a versatile piece, adding depth to the interior O-line. Pocic was a swiss army knife for LSU and got regular snaps at both center and guard. In the NFL he can be a day one starter at RG but likely projects as a center moving forward. On the field Pocic is a smart player who will be successful in a run first attack. In the running game he is agile and gets downhill effectively to finish his blocks. He will need to continue developing as an anchor in pass protection but does enough to keep quick defenders from going through him. In 2017 Pocic likley would be the starting RG after a camp competition with Jeremiah Sirles. In 2018 he could slide over to center to replace the aging Joe Berger.

3 (86) *Via MIA – Traded to Jacksonville for 2 (38) & 5 (148)

4 (120) – George Kittle (TE Iowa): Watching Kittle’s tape a few weeks back he just look like a future MN Vikings. Behind Kyle Rudolph the Vikings don’t have much depth at TE, which limits their creativity. Kittle is a strong and willing in-line blocker within the formation. As a receiver he pressures the slot but has the athleticism to gain seperation on curls underneath. Iowa used him around the field and tried to find the best matchup to use him as a PF in the end zone. Kittle has the skills to take snaps immediately and would allow Pat Shurmur to isolate Kyle Rudolph on slot CB and LB’s. This not only will improve the Vikings red zone offense, it will open up the Vikings interior passing game as well.

4 (128) *Via MIA – D’Onta Foreman (RB Texas): Early in the draft process many thought Foreman could hear his name called in the 2nd round after a successful collegiate season with Texas. Over time other backs seemed to have overtaken him, but that is the nature of being in the draft deepest position. Foreman is a bowling ball between the tackles and is “sneaky fast” in the open field. Early in his career Foreman will likely be a 2-down player as he develops into an NFL level pass protector. He has the body and size to learn this role quickly if it is focused on. Once he can be a dependable player on 3rd down he can develop into the Vikings 3-down workhorse. Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon will likely carry a majority of the load in 2017, but nothing is set in stone after that.

5 (148) *Via JAX – Tanzel Smart (DT Tulsa): The signing of Datone Jones as a 3-tech during free agency has proven to be a good value for the Vikings due to Floyd’s struggles rehabbing his knee. This pushes the need for an interior lineman down the board a bit in my mind. Jones will likley rotate with Shamar Stephen and Tom Johnson but another 3-tech would be a nice depth add in the middle to later rounds. Smart has the quick feet you look for in a 3-tech but will need NFL level coaching to improve his ability to shed blocks and finish in the backfield. There is no better place to do that in MN when you’re not pressured to be on the field day 1. Smart can develop and play periodically if needed before filling Tom Johnson’s role after this season.

5 (160) – Damien Mama (OG USC): Some may be surprised to see another OG in this years class over an OT, but this move secures the Vikings depth on the interior line moving forward. In 2018 if Pocic moves to C there is a potential opening at RG. Damien Mama is not a player who is ready to step in and start on day one but could be ready by the beginning of the 2018 season. The Vikings have not been proactively filling their O-line needs and this would be a great time to start. Mama struggled with weight issues during his time at USC but has greatly improved his conditioning. On the field Mama projects as a run mauler due to his size and heavy hands. In pass protection he has the size to anchor but will need to greatly improve his footwork to counter pass rushers initial moves. Although Mama shows the heavy hands needed at OG he needs to be more consistent with his placement and simply be quicker to prevent pass rushers extending into his chest and redirecting him. With a year of development under his belt there is a good chance he could make an impact in the future.

6 (199) – Channing Stribling (CB Michigan): Zimmer loves his DB’s and another developmental corner is needed on the roster. There is only one year of tape on Stribling but he has the size/length teams covet in their outside DB’s. On the field Stribling is an aggressive corner who likely need to develop off-man and bump and run skills. Long-term this will be better for him as he learns to keep his hands off DB’s. To be successful in the NFL and coach will need to reel in Stribling’s aggressive nature and teach him to follow his instincts. At this point in the draft you take physical attributes (size/speed) that cannot be taught and hope the coaching staff can develop a player.

7 (232) – Stacy Coley (WR Miami): The losses of Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson have done a bit of work on the Vikings receiving depth and they will draft a player at some point over the weekend. Coley isn’t a clean off the field prospect and is a one-trick pony which pushes him to the drafts last frame. On the field Coley has one speed, fast, and is a vertical threat by nature. Since the loss of Mike Wallace the Vikings haven’t been able to stretch the field and need someone capable of pulling a safety with the down the sideline. To stick on a roster long-term Coley will need to develop a more comprehensive route tree to work underneath, but his deep speed could be worth a roster spot in 2017.

 

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17 thoughts on “Geoff Nichols Final Mock

  • April 27, 2017 at 11:45 am
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    One. Career. Pick.  That’s taking about big risk for one career INT. I’d personally prefer Obi.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm
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    Exciting possibility. Gives us great return potential and a real ass kicker in pursuit. But I don’t like what he offers as a deep safety. He’d be a bit of a target there I think. I like Peppers, but I’d prefer Obi too. And I do NOT like the idea of trading up for anyone. I want to keep all those picks. Maybe even add one more. 

    Really nice middle rounds with Pocic, Foreman, Kittle and Mama. 

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  • April 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm
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    I think the Vikings would really like to get that hybrid S/OLB player and Peppers fits the bill.  I think he could be a stud in Zimmer’s defense.  I love the middle of the draft, especially the Pocic, Mamma scenario.  Good job Geoff.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 1:10 pm
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    I know nothing about the college game but I like this draft!  How’s that for an endorsement!

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  • April 27, 2017 at 1:55 pm
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    We would certainly have the highest drafted secondary in the league

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  • April 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm
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    JimmyinSD said
    We would certainly have the highest drafted secondary in the league  

    In the words of Bill Pacells, “You need to be the best at something” 

    Reply
  • April 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm
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    MaroonBells said
    Exciting possibility. Gives us great return potential and a real ass kicker in pursuit. But I don’t like what he offers as a deep safety. He’d be a bit of a target there I think. I like Peppers, but I’d prefer Obi too. And I do NOT like the idea of trading up for anyone. I want to keep all those picks. Maybe even add one more. 

    Really nice middle rounds with Pocic, Foreman, Kittle and Mama.   

    I would love to keep the middle round selections as well if possible. Trading up for a player like Peppers is justifiable though since he fills a number of different holes with a single picks. 

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  • April 27, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Peppers would not surprise me, but it’s quite a gamble. He might not evolve into a productive defensive player, AND he might be a suspension problem – won’t he enter the league as a one-strike player after the failed combine drug test? I guess I feel open to a player with one big flag, but Peppers has two.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 2:21 pm
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    Zim would be like a kid in a candy store w/ a Peppers selection, he could use him like the Cardinals use the Honey Badger! Would be fun to watch…snack vikingflag

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  • April 27, 2017 at 2:59 pm
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    Jor-El said
    Peppers would not surprise me, but it’s quite a gamble. He might not evolve into a productive defensive player, AND he might be a suspension problem – won’t he enter the league as a one-strike player after the failed combine drug test? I guess I feel open to a player with one big flag, but Peppers has two.  

    Teams did background work on his drug test and it ultimately won’t be a big deal. He’ll enter in the league with a strike but he never had a single substance problem at Michigan and truly has a history of cramping. From what I’ve heard many teams believe his story. As for the position he’ll play… the defensive coordinator is key. If you can use him as a chess piece he could be a star. If you go into this thinking you’re going to play him at a single position, that isn’t his thing. Zimmer would know how to use a player like him. 

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  • April 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm
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    Fun mock, and it would be hard to be upset at this draft haul.

    Devil’s advocate:  Couldn’t Harrison Smith be used as the S/OLB for our defense if we took a pure FS, like Budda Baker or Obi Melifonwu?  I think I’ve read that Zim would like to move Smith around more, but we don’t have that pure FS that doesn’t need scheme help.

    That way, we wouldn’t have to trade out of the third.  We might end up with a better RB than Foreman.  Or a better TE than Kittle.

    And I hope we take a kicker or punter late.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm
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    NFL Draft Guru said

    Teams did background work on his drug test and it ultimately won’t be a big deal. He’ll enter in the league with a strike but he never had a single substance problem at Michigan and truly has a history of cramping. From what I’ve heard many teams believe his story. As for the position he’ll play… the defensive coordinator is key. If you can use him as a chess piece he could be a star. If you go into this thinking you’re going to play him at a single position, that isn’t his thing. Zimmer would know how to use a player like him.   

    Do you think there could be some legitimacy to the fact that his combine was more extensive because he was performing at multiple positions and multiple days. It sounds like this was a one time thing.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm
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    I watched every Michigan game Peppers played, and I’m still torn on him. Played balls out all the time, but his stats just weren’t eye popping. On the other hand he played so many positions (9) if I’m not mistaken, I think he never found an identity. What scares me a little about him is his absolute reckless abandon. My fear is that much like Harvin, he will have a shortened career the way he throws himself around. 

    I like the rest of the picks, but would have spent the necessary pick(s) to get a weapon at both punter and kicker. Not popular to spend draft picks on those positions, but given our troubles in the red zone, and overall question marks on offense we may have to convert long 3’s more often than we would like. We need weapons that are money there.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 4:39 pm
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    I’d be throwing heavy object around the house if this draft happened.  LOL  Two issues/major issues I’d have with it. 

    1. IMO we can not pick D first again.  The offense NEEDS some weaponry and depth far more than the D does.  A play toy for Zimmer on D, should not be priority when we have so many holes on offense.  We aren’t going to get an impact scorer until the end of 4th round, when we have/had an anemic scoring offense and limited depth in key positons?  With either the 1st or 2nd pick we have to get a either a RB or WR, IMO.  Otherwise we should have zero right to complain about Sam not scoring enough or the OC and a weak offensive attack/game plan, etc.  We’ve given the D weapons 3 years straight.  We’ve given the Offense Treadwell.  And now the best we can do is Foreman and Kittle in the 4th?  Unacceptable!  We need to do better than that for our offense.  It doesn’t matter how good your defense is if your offense can’t score points.   

    2. Mama in the 5th – NOT A FAN AT ALL. 🙂  IMO his major problem can’t be coached up.  He’s ungodly slow.  Rich Eisen (NFL Network) just about matched his 40 time wearing a suit and tie. (5.84 to 5.94)  Another 10 yards and I think he would have caught him.   24 1/2″ vertical!  8′ broad jump!  You could time his 3 cone drill with a freaking sun dial!  In time, he could maybe be coached up to be a ok in-line blocker, but he will never be able to be effective on plays where he’s required to pull.  Last I checked, the Vikings pull their guards quite often on running plays.  I know we need depth on the line, but I don’t see Mama as being it.         

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  • April 27, 2017 at 6:56 pm
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       well safeties and TEs are the most challenging positions to play and to find true talent at…. fuck QBs,  they are a bunch of pussies. cool

    seriously though, I dont like the trade up in this draft,  and I dont like not getting the kicker in the 5th.  I want to see 2 OL in the top 4 picks with the other going RB and TE.  I also want to see us take that K in the 5th as it sounds like he wont be there in the 6th.  If we can get this O fixed we have a damn good team even without fixing the small issues on D… sooner or later the D is going to have to learn to get by with some late rounders and cheap FAs themselves.

    Look at our starting D by draft position.

    Waynes-1st round      BROB-4th  FLoyd?-1st  Linval-FA$$$  Griff-4th       Rhodes-1st

                      Mack Alex-2nd          Kendricks- 2nd     Barr – 1st

     

                      Dejo- FA                    Hitman- 2nd

     

    thats nuts in terms of draft value considering of those 7 first or second round players only 1 is off his rookie deal. 

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  • April 27, 2017 at 8:19 pm
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    Peppers, pocic, kittle, and foreman would be a homerun for me

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  • April 27, 2017 at 9:44 pm
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    Not a fan of moving up at all and if we did it would have to be for an OL.  

    I am not a fan of the guru draft above but then again what do I know 🙂

    Reply

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