INMAN: 5 Potential Vikings Targets From the Senior Bowl

Photo Credit: Chuck Cook (USA Today Sports)

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TOP 40 PLAYERS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS NEEDS & TARGETS
POSITIONAL TOP 5 RANKINGS & VIDEO BREAKDOWNS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS DRAFT TRENDS
INMAN: NFC NORTH WORST CASE DRAFT SCENARIOS
SENIOR BOWL CENTRAL (PODCASTS, VIDEOS, ARTICLES)
INMAN’S MOCK DRAFT COLLECTION

The Senior Bowl can be an outstanding time for teams to get a jump start when it comes to getting a real taste of draft prospects up close and personal both on and off the field. While every Senior Bowl week has its share of winners and losers, there’s plenty more that goes on behind the scenes as teams do their best to sit down with nearly all 110 players attending.

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The Minnesota Vikings specifically have always been keen on drafting Senior Bowl prospects, from early-round locks like Harrison Smith to late-round gems like Shamar Stephen and Jerick McKinnon. It was obvious from the moment the players took the field during during their first practice that this draft class itself would be stout inside the trenches.

Let’s take a peek at five Senior Bowl players who impressed me the most for the Vikings offensive and defensive schemes.

5) Daylon Mack, IDL, Texas A&M

After losing Sheldon Richardson to free agency the Vikings find themselves in a tough predicament on draft night. With far bigger needs on the offensive line Rick Spielman may be forced to rely on the depth at the defensive tackle position.

Enter Mack, who made a wise decision returning for his senior season as coaches helped unlock his former five-star recruiting background. Mack will get pushed down the boards due to his inability to get after the passer, but is an anchor to move at 320 pounds and shows outstanding explosion off the ball, a rare combination for Andre Patterson to work with.

Round Projection: 4th Round

Roster Projection: Sub-package (goal line) contributor, backup and eventual replacement to Linval Joseph.

4) Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky

Mike Zimmer got an extra look at Johnson down at his Kentucky pro day after his rare size, speed and length garnered his attention in Mobile, Ala.

Johnson showed up at the combine with outstanding arm length and wingspan while standing at 6’2” and weighing 213 pounds. He may not possess the smooth hips or technical refinement to his coverage skills, but Zimmer has made a living off developing physical cornerbacks his entire career. I’m not going to bet against him now.

Round Projection: 4th Round

Roster Projection: Needed depth after eventual Trae Waynes departure

3) Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College

There’s no bigger need for the Vikings than both offensive guard positions. Poll majority of draft scouts for the best pure guard in the entire class and you’ll find the name Lindstrom show up at the top.

This college standout has loads of experience inside after starting 49 straight games at right guard for Boston College, and whether it was done at the Senior Bowl or his pro day scouts alike agree that Lindstrom is every bit the clean and talented prospect his tape suggests.

Round Projection: Late First Round

Roster Projection: Starting right guard as soon as the ink dries

2) Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas

I flew into Mobile with a draft crush on Omenihu, and I flew back home ready to get down on one knee for this ultra versatile Longhorn. With his great power and length, he is pro-ready against the run while favoring a 4-3 base defense — heaven to Mike Zimmer’s ears.

My personal draft crush since the January tape, I’ve watched Omenihu rise throughout the process, planting himself as one of the best players at the Senior Bowl after coaches got a first-hand look all week.

Between his long arms, power, match in Zimmer’s 4-3 base and his rare versatility between DT and the edge, Omenihu is an absolute dream pick both schematically and from a value standpoint at 50.

Draft Projection: Picks 30-50

Roster Projection: Think big picture as he makes sense to be the eventual replacement for Everson Griffen, given his prowess both inside and out after sitting behind some of the league’s best.

1) Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State  

Not many impressed me more than Risner down in Mobile, where he displayed a new level of toughness and physicality to his game. A bonafide day one starter, Risner showed me a bruising strike at the point of attack in combination with a brand of aggressiveness I want on on my offensive line.

Not to mention, Risner aced his interviews and off-field tests with flying colors, reiterating that although he isn’t a perfect prospect on the field, you can check the box on his character and intangibles.

Round Projection: Mid-to-Late First-Round Pick

Roster Projection: Tackle or guard, either way he’s a day one starter who can play the next 10 years

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE
ZONE COVERAGE DRAFT GUIDE

TOP 40 PLAYERS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS NEEDS & TARGETS
POSITIONAL TOP 5 RANKINGS & VIDEO BREAKDOWNS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS DRAFT TRENDS
INMAN: NFC NORTH WORST CASE DRAFT SCENARIOS
SENIOR BOWL CENTRAL (PODCASTS, VIDEOS, ARTICLES)
INMAN’S MOCK DRAFT COLLECTION

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