A lot has happened in the last month or so since I’ve updated my 2016 NFL Mock Draft (such as, you know, free agency) and I am feeling less comfortable with the 23rd pick each time I look at how the first round plays out in various simulations… including mine.
In my two previous versions I mocked the Vikings tight end Hunter Henry and linebacker Darron Lee. I would still be satisfied with either of these prospects joining the Vikings, and both are available when I selected this time around, but I really want to see that grand slam of a pick fall into Spielman’s lap in 2016. I feel like this nearly happened in my mock, but the Houston Texans prevented Laquon Treadwell from sliding all the way to the Vikings.
Treadwell would have been a tremendous value (and might be worth moving up for), but I was still able to add a wide out to Norv Turner’s arsenal in this version of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft.
You can see how the board fell by browsing my entire 2016 NFL Mock Draft.
I toiled over this selection plenty, but in the end I couldn’t resist adding the deep threat option that is Notre Dame wide out William Fuller. Speed is the first thing to jump out at you when watching Fuller take the field, and he is well known for getting behind a defense, but he is also talented enough as a ball carrier to haul in a short toss and make some magic.
There are concerns about drops that will make some Vikings fans cringe and such a selection would surely draw comparisons to Troy Williamson, but I don’t see Fuller having the same problems adapting to the NFL as Williamson had.
Instead, Fuller could be rightfully considered a bit of a “project” prospect in need of some development. This might not be a horrible scenario for the Vikings, however, as they might be willing to give Cordarrelle Patterson another legitimate chance within the offense at the beginning of the 2016 season allowing Fuller (also nicknamed “Flash”) to ease his way into playing time.
At any rate, the Rick Spielman bought himself a lot of flexibility during free agency, but the departure of Mike Wallace has yet to accounted for and the Vikings could certainly use a speedy, young wide out that is eager to make his mark on the NFL.