Sure …. re-drafts are pointless and only throw salt in the wounds of a pick that has ‘yet’ to pan out. Also, with only 1 year into a draft class it is far from time to consider anyone a bust or a crappy pick. BUT. I love redrafts, I love playing the what-if game even if it is only a year old draft class.
So, I dove butt first into the draft class of 2019 and made a few changes based off of year 1 performances and what the Minnesota Vikings might have done differently know what they know now.
So take in my full 7 round re-draft of the Vikings below.
Original Pick: No. 18 overall | Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State
Re-Draft Selection: Elgton Jenkins, G, Mississippi St.
Analysis: It’s not that Bradbury didn’t have a solid rookie season, it is more that Jenkins was damn near dominant as a rookie guard for the Packers playing in all 16 games and starting 14 of them. We all know the pain points we have on the offensive line specifically at left guard and this would have squashed this issue for the next 7+ years. Sure that would have still left a hole at the center position, but guys like Jenkins come around only so often.
Original Pick: No. 50 overall | Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
Re-Draft Selection: AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Analysis: This one was painful, since Irv Smith more than proved his worth as the Vikings 2nd round pick last year. But …. sometimes there is just a better player. AJ Brown knocked the socks off the NFL in his rookie season putting up over 1,000 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns for the Tennessee Titans. He was a homerun type receiver and the thought of him lined up with Diggs and Thielen gets my VERY excited. We watched as the Vikings played musical chairs at the 3rd receiver this year (yes Bisi was a pleasant surprise), and getting Brown in round 2 would have put an instant halt to that. Irv was good, but I don’t think he really helped elevate this offense to the point that Brown could have.
Original Pick: No. 102 overall | Alexander Mattison, RB, Boise State
Re-Draft Selection: Maxx Crosby, DE, Eastern Michigan
Analysis: Mattison turned out to be quite the find in round 3. Many questioned the selection as some had him as a mid to late round prospect. He proved everyone wrong with a hell of a rookie season. That said, Maxx Crosby’s 10 sacks and pure dominance at times, make this an easy choice. Imagine tossing him in with the likes of Hunter, Griffen, Odenigbo & Weatherly. Yeah it might have been a big crowded, but damn it you can never have enough defensive lineman.
Original Pick: No. 114 overall | Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma
Re-Draft Selection: Michael Jordan, G/C, Ohio St.
Analysis: I’m still baffled at the lack of production from Samia as a rookie. He went through the year as mostly a healthy scratch. Fact is he just wasn’t ready, and when your team is struggling at guard and you still can’t get a sniff of the field, it more than proves he needs some time. Jordan on the other hand was thrown to the wolves. Sure, he had his ups and downs as well as a rookie, but he managed to start 9 games and play in 13. Jordan offers the versatility to play multiple spots and showed enough where I would throw purple on him in a second with our 4th round pick.
Round 6 (4 total selection)
Original Pick: No. 162 overall | Cameron Smith, LB, USC
Re-Draft Selection: Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn
Analysis: AJ Brown and Darius Slayton? Yes, please. Lets face it, Cam Smith at this point looks like a special teamer at best, i’m still chapped they got fancy and traded back, when my hunch is they were hoping to take Blake Cashman only to get sniped by the Jets. Slayton had quite the season with the Giants racking up 48 rec., 740 yards and 8 TDs, all while playing on a very suspect offense. Getting the former Auburn Tiger would have helped shore up this receiver corps for years to come and be the tops in the league at the position.
Original Pick: No. 190 overall | Armon Watts, DT, Arkansas
Re-Draft Selection: Armon Watts, DT, Arkansas
Analysis: I can hang with this pick, Watts showed enough in preseason that he can be a disrupt’er on the defensive line. Look for him to get a MUCH bigger look in his 2nd year. Vikings need all the depth they can find in the middle of the defensive line, Watts is someone that could come in year 2 and push for not only playing time, but a starting spot.
Original Pick: No. 191 overall | Marcus Epps, DB, Wyoming
Re-Draft Selection: Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina
Analysis: Pretty rare you see a 6th round offensive tackle get 9 starts. He was part of the crew that helped Christian McCaffery rack up over 1,000 yards on the ground and in the air for the Panthers. The bigman from South Carolina really opened eyes, and got only better as the year went on. While he probably wouldn’t have beat out Riley Reiff as a rookie, he would have helped eliminate some question marks on the Vikings suspect offensive line for the future.
Original Pick: No. 193 overall | Olisaemeka Udoh, T, Elon
Re-Draft Selection: Kerrith Whyte, RB, Florida Atlantic
Analysis: This draft class took a big hit when I opted to not keep the Mattison pick. Fact is the Vikings needed help at the running back spot and grabbing someone in the 2019 was a bit of a must. In this case I go with the playmaker in Whyte, while he doesn’t have the bruising ability of a Mattison, he is a playmaker who can take it to the house and also adds value as a kick returner.
Round 7 (4 total selections)
Original Pick: No. 217 overall | Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
Re-Draft Selection: Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
Analysis: Anyone who has listened to our weekly podcasts, might be a tad shocked with me keeping Boyd. Yes, Boyd had some rough games early and at times was almost unwatchable. But damn it, I gotta give credit where credit is due. He got MUCH better as the year went on, to the point where I wasn’t crapping my pants when they put him out there. I think Boyd showed enough improvement to more than hold down his selection. He will continue to add depth moving forward and push for more playing time.
Original Pick: No. 239 overall | Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon
Re-Draft Selection: Andrew Wingard, S, Wyoming
Analysis: Wingard was one of my late round draft crushes last year, and when he went undrafted I was banking on the Vikings doing the right thing and snapping him up ….. well unfortunately he ended up a Jaguar. So i’m making things right by grabbing him for the Vikings in the last round. Wingard proved to be one hell of a steal for the Jags, a special teams demon who also added quality depth at the safety position, ending the season with 28 tackles, 1 sack, and a forced fumble.
Original Pick: No. 247 overall | Olabisi Johnson, WR, Colorado St.
Re-Draft Selection: Olabisi Johnson, WR, Colorado St.
Analysis: You don’t think i’m really gonna swap out Bisi do you? What a find the Vikings made with this guy. Not only did he make plays, but he elevated himself from a guy that is fighting for a spot on the roster to a solid #3 receiver. While he would have been bumped down the depth chart with AJ Brown and Slayton, he would have rounded out a pretty stacked receiving corps.
Original Pick: No. 250 overall (compensatory) | Austin Cutting, LS, Air Force
Re-Draft Selection: Austin Cutting, LS, Air Force
Analysis: Not much to say on this one. He bumped a fan favorite in Loeffler, and rightfullys so. With everything we saw in Cutting he will be the Vikings longsnapper for the next 10 years.