Minnesota Takes Their Shot at a QB and Beefs Up the Trenches

Nov 18, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) leaves following the victory in opposition to the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports activities

The 2023 school soccer season is within the books, that means we’re rapidly approaching NFL Draft season.

For the primary time within the 2024 Draft cycle, we’ll be going via a Vikings mock draft, choosing prospects for every of their eight choices on this spring’s draft. Trades will are available later mock drafts, however for now, we’re protecting it easy and simply sticking with the unique picks. Please notice that the draft order is predicated off NFLMockDraftDataBase.com.

R1, P21: Washington QB Michael Penix

Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) throws the ball in opposition to the Oregon Geese within the second half of the Pac-12 Championship recreation at Allegiant Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities

Now’s the time for the Vikings to go after their QB of the longer term. Assuming the Vikings land with a choose within the early 20s, they may both commerce up for probably the greatest prospects within the class or stand pat and nonetheless land a first-round caliber QB.

Michael Penix has all kinds of arm expertise, however his damage historical past might trigger some NFL groups to be cautious of him. He was a former observe athlete in highschool and has all kinds of velocity that permits him to create performs together with his legs whereas his ridiculous arm energy makes him one of many extra intriguing QB prospects on this draft.

It’s a giant danger for the Vikings to take an opportunity on a participant who missed time in each season from 2018-2022, however Penix has the traits of an NFL participant if he can keep wholesome.

R2, P52: LSU DT Maason Smith

Vikings Mock Draft
Sep 4, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Louisiana State Tigers defensive sort out Maason Smith (0) celebrates a play throughout the first half in opposition to the Florida State Seminoles at Caesars Superdome. Obligatory Credit score: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports activities

The Vikings have to discover a youthful playmaker at both EDGE or DT on this draft early on, and Maason Smith is an absolute freak who can instantly impression an NFL protection.

Smith stands at 6’6″ and weighs 315 kilos. His brute pressure in the course of LSU’s defensive position wreaked havoc on opposing offenses all season, and his skill to cease the run ought to make him a top-75 choose in subsequent spring’s draft.

Even higher, Smith is a freak athlete, virtually on par with that of a Jordan Davis or Jalen Carter. He ought to be capable of run effectively under 5 seconds within the 40-yard sprint on the mix, and his closing burst permits him to wrap up performs commonly.

R4, P121: Clemson RB Will Shipley

Nov 18, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers working again Will Shipley (1) runs the ball in opposition to North Carolina Tar Heels defensive again Will Hardy (31) throughout the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports activities

The Vikings want extra manufacturing out of the working again place, however they will must marry the abilities of no matter prospect they choose alongside these of Alexander Mattison.

Will Shipley isn’t essentially the man to bowl over defenders between the tackles, however he can create yards in a rush each on display passes in addition to outdoors zone schemes. The Clemson product has glorious velocity and has pure receiver fingers giving him the flexibility to be on the sphere in many various conditions.

R4, P127: Colorado State EDGE Mohamed Kamara

Colorado State’s Mohamed Kamara (8) reacts throughout a school soccer recreation in opposition to CU at Folsom Subject on Saturday, Sep. 16, 2023, in Boulder, Colo.

With all three of Marcus Davenport, Danielle Hunter, and D.J. Wonnum getting into free company this offseason, the Vikings might use extra depth at EDGE subsequent season.

Mohamed Kamara doesn’t have the look of an elite pass-rusher, standing at simply 6’1″, however he has lengthy arms to make up for a few of that measurement drawback and shows terrific velocity and energy on the place. If Brian Flores stays the Vikings defensive coordinator subsequent yr, that is the kind of uncooked prospect that he can discover a function for.

R5, P158: Auburn CB Jaylin Simpson

Auburn Tigers defensive again Jaylin Simpson (36) celebrates earlier than being known as for defensive go interference name throughout the first quarter as Auburn Tigers tackle New Mexico State Aggies at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.

The Vikings have gone with some smaller CBs with nice athleticism lately (Mekhi Blackmon, for instance), and Jaylin Simpson falls into an identical class. He might solely be 6’1″ and 180 kilos soaking moist, however the Auburn product has 4.4 velocity and lays some completely brutal hits within the secondary. His ball expertise have been on full show throughout 2023 as effectively, recording 4 interceptions.

R5, P160: Iowa IOL Connor Colby

Iowa offensive lineman Connor Colby (77) blocks in opposition to defensive lineman John Waggoner (92) throughout the Children Day at Kinnick NCAA soccer apply, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa Metropolis, Iowa.

220813 Ia Children Day Fb 082 Jpg

For as soon as, the Vikings offensive line isn’t essentially an enormous want heading into 2024. 4 of the 5 starters from their 2023 line will stay underneath contract for a number of years, and there’s a stable probability that Dalton Risner will return on the left guard spot.

Nevertheless, further depth on the guard spots is rarely a nasty factor, and Connor Colby provides constructive traits in each his measurement and athleticism on the place. He was a masterful run-blocker at Iowa and may supply some further safety for the Vikings.

R6, P178: Texas A&M WR Moose Muhammad

Sep 2, 2023; Faculty Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies broad receiver Moose Muhammad III (7) runs the ball throughout the fourth quarter New Mexico Lobos at Kyle Subject. Obligatory Credit score: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports activities

Minnesota has some stable depth on the WR spot, however they may nonetheless use a speedy downfield risk of their offense. Maybe Jalen Nailor can nonetheless turn into that man, however we haven’t seen a lot of him with the offense in 2023.

Moose Muhammad has been taking part in that actual function within the Texas A&M offense, particularly in 2022 when he averaged 16.1 yards per reception. He has a knack for hauling within the deep passes and has the wiggle to evade tacklers downfield.

R6, P187: Florida State LB Tatum Bethune

Oct 21, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles linebacker Tatum Bethune (15) and defensive lineman Patrick Payton (11) rejoice a cease throughout the second half in opposition to the Duke Blue Devils at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports activities

Tatum Bethune could be the yin to Ivan Tempo’s yang within the Vikings protection. Tempo thrives as a blitzer, however he doesn’t supply a lot when it comes to go protection but. Bethune is a incredible protection linebacker, seemingly at all times discovering methods to stay to his receivers in each man and zone protection schemes.

As Roster Reinforcements Arrive, Vikings Spring a Leak Along the Offensive Line

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The Faculty of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing concerning the NFL, Josh enjoys working, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Take a look at his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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