After a nerve-wracking Day 1 that saw the Minnesota Vikings move down from pick 14 to 23 and still somehow land Christian Darrisaw, they find themselves in a good spot heading into Day 2, where they have four third-round picks.
Minnesota doesn’t have a second-rounder because of the Yannick Ngakoue trade. Still, Rick Spielman has already talked about potentially using his stockpile of picks to move up on Day 2. “We have more than enough ammunition to move up into the second round,” he said.
While drafting Darrisaw is an excellent start to this draft, there is still plenty more work to be done, and Spielman tends to do some of his best work on the second day of the draft. Dalvin Cook, Brian O’Neill, Eric Kendricks, and Danielle Hunter were all Day 2 selections by Trader Rick.
Who should they be targeting tonight? Let’s take a look.
Carlos Basham, Wake Forest, DE
The Vikings have already emphasized their desire to fix last season’s abysmal defensive line in free agency with the addition of Dalvin Tomlinson to pair Michael Pierce in the middle. While Danielle Hunter will be returning from injury, they currently have no surefire counterpart to play across from him.
The Vikings could trade up into the second round and land Wake Forest defensive end Carlos (Boogie) Basham. He projects well as a left defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, which is exactly what the Vikings need.
Basham has great power as a pass rusher, which he uses in conjunction with his superb technique and length to clear out opposing blockers. While he might not be the fastest player, he uses his strength to create pressure and get to the quarterback.
He is also stout in the run game, where he shows excellent block integrity and proves to be hard to move for opposing lineman who try to clear out the lanes.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame, LB
When Anthony Barr restructured his deal, the Vikings saved money against this season’s lowered cap, but Barr also made himself a free agent next season. Minnesota already came close to losing him before when he spurned the New York Jets at the last minute to return to the Twin Cities, but they might not be able to convince him to stick around this time.
Owusu-Koramoah could be the perfect potential replacement as the Vikings look forward to life after Barr. He is adept at dropping back in both man and zone coverage, and he can even cover the smaller slot wideouts.
He is also a great blitzer and can win off the edge with his explosion of speed and length. He would be great for when the Vikings dial up extra pressure in passing situations.
Rondale Moore, Purdue, WR
Rondale Moore is another potential player the Vikings could look to move up for. When the explosive receiver from Purdue is healthy, he is potentially the best wideout of this class. His athleticism is reminiscent of Percy Harvin in his prime.
So why is he still on the board? He has an injury history that includes finger surgery and multiple hamstring injuries and is a bit undersized, standing just 5’9”, 181 lbs. Moore can do it all, whether as a pass catcher or a returner. He offers a level of explosiveness that the Vikings would welcome to pair with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
If the Vikings want to upgrade their offense, they should look into adding a WR3 with major upside and real home-run ability like Moore.
Quinn Mienerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater, OG/C
Despite taking a step in the right direction by selecting Christian Darrisaw, we can’t just act like all of a sudden Minnesota’s offensive line is ready to go for next year. In fact, a majority of the problems came from the interior, where Garett Bradbury, Ezra Cleveland, and Dakota Dozier got bullied every week.
Despite hailing from a D-III school, Mienerz isn’t afraid of anyone and never backs down to competition. His stock soared during the Senior Bowl, where he bullied some of the best defensive linemen in the nation, overpowering them with ease.
Adding him would help the Vikings out in pass protection, an area where the interior struggled mightily last season. By taking him, Minnesota would solidify the offensive line with two quality picks early.
Azeez Ojulari, Georgia, DE
If the Vikings want their shot at a top-end prospect with high upside, they likely will have to trade up into the second round to acquire one because of the late run of edge rushers last night. Azeez Ojulari is one of the few first-round talents at edge who slipped to Day 2.
Ojulari is a slightly undersized pass rusher who can play both as a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end and a standup edge-rushing linebacker. He has a variety of pass-rushing moves at his disposal. He also can bull rush opposing lineman with a good amount of success. Ojulari is no slouch in the run game either, as he constantly sets the edge.
If Zimmer and Speilman both want another solid edge rusher to complement Hunter and revamp the defensive line, then they will have to trade up to land someone of Basham and Ojulari’s caliber.
Jevon Holland, Oregon, S
With Harrison Smith aging and on the last year of his deal, and Xavier Woods signing just a one-year contract, the Vikings will probably need to look to grab a safety who can provide them with a long-term option.
Jevon Holland is a do-it-all kind of safety and is likely the second-best on the board at that position behind Trevon Moehrig, who will probably be selected within the first 10 picks today. Holland has the ideal mix of size and fluidity that allows him to both patrol deep, almost playing center field, and also match up well with slot wideouts and tight ends.
Holland also has excellent ball skills that allow him to pick off opposing receivers whenever he is in proximity. He has the skillset to start right away, but he could sit behind Woods and Smith and fill in long-term or in place of an injury.