It was a wild Day 2 at the NFL Draft for the Minnesota Vikings.
Minnesota entered the day with eight picks, traded up twice, then traded down twice and wound up with seven picks on Day 3.
Here’s how it went down live at Winter Park.
The Green Bay Packers kicked off the second round by drafting a defensive player for the sixth consecutive year, taking CB Kevin King from Washington. King was overshadowed by fellow corner Sidney Jones on his own college team, but Jones tore his Achilles at his Pro Day, making King a hotter commodity. He is incredibly athletic and has good speed but struggles in press coverage.
The Packers are still trying to improve their secondary, which was a league worst last season. They signed Davon House in free agency to compete for a job, and the addition of King gives them another young piece to mold.
The Seattle Seahawks continue to hoard picks by trading back with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who took T Cam Robinson from Alabama. He is just the third offensive linemen taken so far.
Most importantly to Vikings fans, the pick wasn’t Forrest Lamp, who is considered the top guard on the board. The longer Lamp stays available, the better the chance a quality guard remains on the board at Pick 48. However, when the run on guards begins, they could go quickly. Many of the teams early in the second round need offensive line depth.
The Seattle Seahawks just took DL Malik McDowell out of Michigan State, a guy the Vikings had met with. It’s possible that meeting was more to vet McDowell based on his alleged poor work ethic in college as opposed to earnest interest, but with Sharrif Floyd’s health in question, the Vikings should be in the market for a defensive tackle at some point.
From my vantage point, defensive line feels more like a Day 3 need, considering the Vikings still have Shamar Stephen, Linval Joseph, youngster Toby Johnson and three guys in Everson Griffen, Brian Robison and Datone Jones who all have flexibility.
Arizona’s secondary just got even fiercer with Washington safety Budda Baker. Draft analyst Luke Easterling joined “The Draft Rap” two weeks ago and raved about Baker, and he’s not the only one to do so. Baker, while a bit undersized, could be a great pro player.
After the Buffalo Bills took WR Zay Jones, the San Di— … ahem … Los Angeles Chargers selected Forrest Lamp. It was always a pipe dream that the Vikings would land the Western Kentucky product, but it may create some desperation if they feel their no. 2 guard option is about to go off the board. The wheels are spinning in the Vikings draft room.
There is a definite drop from Lamp to the next best guards. He is technically sound and always in the right place. He has positional flexibility and profiles similarly to Zack Martin or Cody Whitehair. This is a great pick for San Di— … argh … Los Angeles.
We are now in the 40s. The Carolina Panthers are on the clock after the New York Jets took S Marcus Maye. From a safety standpoint, Obi Melifonwu remains on the board if the Vikings would like to add a safety, though Minnesota hasn’t drafted a safety in the first two days since 2012 with Harrison Smith.
There’s the big move. The Vikings have traded up and reportedly taking RB Dalvin Cook. Whoa. (Note: It’s not Joe Mixon.)
The Vikings surrender a fourth-round pick and their 48th pick to get Cook, though Rick Spielman noted that fourth-round picks are less valuable this year because of the number of compensatory picks at the end of the third round.
Cook is 5-foot-11, 215 pounds. He rushed for over 1,000 yards each of his three years in school. He is Florida State’s all-time leading rusher.
Just a note, Arif Hasan will be publishing a quick-hitter on Cook, which will be updated once we hear from Cook via conference call.
There is now a break of over 30 picks before the Vikings select again.
The Cook pick says that Minnesota is comfortable waiting on offensive line until the third round (or later). Spielman made a point of noting the great middle-round depth at certain positions and how it may be better value to wait on certain positions if there is a wealth of talent available. The case could certainly be made that quality linemen will be available in the next round.
Taking a running back is certainly a best-player-available type pick, rather than filling an immediate need. Minnesota now has a three-headed monster between Cook, Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.
The pace of the second round has slowed considerably. The Chicago Bears just took Division II tight end Adam Shaheen, which is unlikely to inspire the fans that were already upset with the trade-up to get QB Mitch Trubisky last night.
Meanwhile, the unprecedented run on tight ends continues. That’s FIVE taken through 45 picks — outpacing offensive linemen.
The Cincinnati Bengals have taken RB Joe Mixon with the pick they acquired from the Vikings. That’s interesting. Clearly the Bengals were comfortable acquiring the additional fourth-round pick and taking on the PR risk that Mixon presents. The Vikings, on the other hand, were willing to give up a fourth to get somebody other than Mixon — somebody who also has legal issues in his past.
The Browns have finally stopped teasing with their potential for selecting a quarterback, this time actually taking one in Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer—some evaluators’ QB1, though generally considered QB4 by the consensus of experts, ranking 40th overall in the Consensus Big Board.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken another safety off the board in Justin Evans, leaving Obi Melifonwu curiously still available. The Denver Broncos may have overdrafted an edge rusher in a deep edge draft with DeMarcus Walker and Washington did the same with Ryan Anderson, despite already having an incredible pass-rush unit, especially with picking Jonathan Allen earlier on.
A thin linebacker class gets even thinner, as the Miami Dolphins select Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan. A lot of Vikings fans saw him as a potential selection at 48 if all of their top options at offensive line or running back were gone. It will be tough for the Vikings to find a Greenway replacement as this draft continues, especially without their second fourth-round pick.
The New York Giants demonstrated their consistent love of nose tackles by selecting Dalvin Tomlinson from Alabama. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions picked up slow-running Teez Tabor from Florida. There are still a number of cornerbacks to be had later on in the draft for the Vikings to fill out their depth chart if need be, but defensive tackle will be tougher, especially if Caleb Brantley is off their board for character reasons.
The Raiders took advantage of a falling safety in Obi Melifonwu, from UConn. If the Vikings are still inclined to select a safety, there’s Desmond King from Iowa, Eddie Jackson from Alabama or Josh Jones North Carolina State.
The draft has been slow going, but the most recent picks from the Texans and Seahawks have implications for the Vikings. They took Zach Cunningham and Ethan Pocic, respectively. That might be it for day-one starting-quality linebackers in the draft, unless someone surprises. At center, that leaves Pat Elflein as the only highly-regarded prospect before getting into longshots like Jon Toth from Kentucky or Kyle Fuller from Baylor.
Three prospects with impressive size for their position go back-to-back-to-back. After Seattle’s selection of Ethan Pocic, the Chiefs took Villanova defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon. Soon after, the Dallas Cowboys took Chidobe Awuzie from Colorado, a late-riser in the process who also played with some impressive teammates in his college secondary.
For all the hesitancy that teams showed taking a safety in the first round, they certainly seem to be flying off the board quickly here in Day 2. The Packers have taken Josh Jones from North Carolina State, and the Steelers will select receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC.
The Buffalo Bills have added to the offensive line squeeze by selecting tackle/guard Dion Dawkins from Temple. With so few offensive linemen left, the Vikings are going to have to hope that someone like Dan Feeney or Taylor Moton falls to them in the third.
Failing that, they could target Nico Siragusa, Dorian Johnson or Isaac Asiata, though they would likely be consolation prizes.
The run on offensive linemen is real. The Carolina Panthers have taken Western Michigan tackle Taylor Moton. Soon afterwards, the Browns snagged defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi while the San Francisco 49ers have selected cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.
It looks like the Vikings were correct to pounce on a running back after it seems like the last of the favorites at the position have gone, with the Saints’ selection of Alvin Kamara from Tennessee hitting the wire.
After a run on offensive linemen, the Vikings seemingly had enough. They traded up to pick 70 with the Jets and have selected center Pat Elflein from Ohio State.
Minnesota gives up a fifth-round pick to snag Elflein, who provides flexibility. He can play center or either guard position. And for what it’s worth, Mike Mayock loves him. Here is the first report from Arif Hasan.
One pick after Elflein, the Chargers took Dan Feeney of Indiana, essentially ending the run on offensive linemen. There were five selected between picks 58 and 71. The Vikings had to strike if they were going to get one of their guys, and they appear to have done so just in time. Elflein will be the second Buckeye on the line along with Alex Boone and also possesses the same type of natural leadership.
We’ve now had five consecutive defensive players off the board, including Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley, a prospect that many connected to the Vikings. Having gone offense with the first two picks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Vikings go defense with Pick 3.
Alabama’s Tim Williams gets picked by the Baltimore Ravens. Crimson Tide players are getting picked every tenth selection. And they LOST the championship game!
Having the draft in Philly is awesome. Love the passion.
Oh, and another Crimson Tide got picked. What’s new?
Vikings have traded their second third-round pick, no. 86, to the Kansas City Chiefs. So 48, 79 and 86 have turned into 41, 70 and (likely) 104. The draft is crazy.
This feels like Spielman trying to recoup some of what he lost in his first two trade-ups. Wouldn’t be surprised if he still finds a way to net additional picks once all three days are complete.
Here’s the Elflein Report from our guy Luke Inman:
“Pat Elflein is as clean a prospect as they come with outstanding technical skills that will help him transition seamlessly into the pros. While he doesn’t have the best athletic skill set, Elflein makes up for it by using great power through leverage. The Rimington Award winner for the nation’s best offensive lineman, Elflien was a consensus first-team All-American as well, earning the respect from his opponents and coaches throughout the nation.
The fact Elflein can play any interior spot means he’s likely to start out at the right guard position before taking over for veteran Joe Berger at the center spot in 2018 and beyond. With the additions in free agency and the selection of Elflein, the Vikings have made dramatic upgrades, turning a serious weakness into a strength up front in the trenches.”
There goes Davis Webb to the Giants, the guy who left Texas Tech because of some guy named Pat Mahomes II and impressed at California. Unlikely he plays a lick this year in New York with Eli Manning at the helm.
A number of quickfire selections have been made; after the Vikings traded down from pick 86 with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kareem Hunt flew off the board, followed shortly by DT Eddie Vanderdoes with the Oakland Raiders. His versatility to play either three-technique or nose tackle should come in useful for them.
The Cowboys selected Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis to supplement their secondary and the NFC West Seahawks and Rams did the same with cornerback Shaquil Griffin of UCF and safety John Johnson from Boston College.
The Green Bay Packers beefed up their depleted defensive line with Montravius Adams from Auburn. He was a player we didn’t like very much at the Senior Bowl, and Vikings fans may hope he continues to be unimpressive in the NFL.
The Seahawks have continued stocking their secondary with the bevy of picks they have late in the third, this time selecting safety Delano Hill from Michigan. Not many safeties left for the Vikings to take advantage of.
The Detroit Lions pick a #drafttwitter sleeper favorite in Kenny Golladay, a fast tall receiver that should complement their currently YAC-oriented passing game led by Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Golladay wasn’t well-rated by most boards, however, and ranked 200th on the consensus board.
Besides that, the Miami Dolphins have scooped up the 57th-ranked Cordrea Tankersley to pair with 58th-ranked Raekwon McMillan on their defense.
Missed this earlier: among the run of defensive backs in the 90s, Pittsburgh had added some relief to their beleaguered secondary with Cameron Sutton from Tennessee, a player who seemed to be ranked higher in the preseason of 2016 than after the year was over.
Chad Williams (known to Senior Bowl attendees as Chaaaad Williams) from Grambling State impressed enough in the postseason to inspire another small-school receiver pick from the Arizona Cardinals, this time more likely to play outside than Pittsburg State receiver John Brown. Their track record at the position (aside from Minnesota native Michael Floyd) means he may be one to watch for fantasy football mavens.
The Tennessee Titans have dipped into the well of tight end talent in this draft, grabbing Jonnu Smith from Florida International. Smith has a fairly inspiring story of coming back from having boiling water thrown on him before the season started.
This still leaves very talented tight ends like Bucky Hodges, Jake Butt, Jordan Leggett and George Kittle on the board.
It took a bit to find information on who the Eagles had picked (and later picks had already leaked), but we finally found out with Rasul Douglas from West Virginia going at pick 99. A productive and long cornerback with only one year of experience, it will be interesting to see if he can contribute right away.
The Vikings pick nears and as it happens, more cornerbacks fly off the board. After the Eagles pick Douglas, the Denver Broncos select small-school CB Brendan Langley from Lamar.
With Seattle selecting Nazair Jones, a DT from North Carolina, it must alarm the Vikings to know there are fewer defensive tackles on the board than perhaps any other position. Jaleel Johnson, Caleb Brantley and Carlos Watkins are all there.
The Vikings are on the clock. The Saints selected an athletic and productive pass rusher in Trey Hendrickson.
Aaaaand the Vikings are no longer on the clock. The Vikings have traded down once more with the 49ers, for the second pick of the fourth round. That gives them three fourth-rounders. Should be an exciting day tomorrow.
The 49ers decided to waste that pick by selecting quarterback C.J. Beathard.
The Buccaneers conclude the third round by picking LB Kendell Beckwith, and with that, Day 2 is complete.
Thanks to all who read. Be sure to check out our complete scouting reports on Cook and Elflein (links above or on the homepage). Back with you tomorrow!