My first attempt at a 2016 mock draft was not at all popular with you fine readers. Based on the poll, I’d have given a concession speech by now if this were a political race.
This time around, however, I let tight end Hunter Henry slip by the Vikings (selected two spots later) and I believe I’ve got the Vikings selecting someone that will be a little more appealing to the masses.
DARRON LEE, LB, OHIO STATE
Time will tell just how much Draft Weekend flexibility Rick Spielman buys himself during free agency, but I suspect the list of dire needs to reduced greatly by May. That opens Spielman up to not force any picks, not force any trades that don’t give his team appropriate value, and select players how they fall on his board.
Lee was one of the top standouts at the NFL Scouting Combine and posted numbers ranking near the top of all linebackers in each category. As Draft Season pointed out for us, his 40 yard dash time was actually faster than most of the wide outs that ran in Indianapolis.
Athletic testing aside, Lee has been a playmaker for the Buckeyes that could really add some range and explosiveness to Mike Zimmer’s defense. He would project as a weakside linebacker for the Vikings, a position of relative need, and could step in as a rotational upgrade from Day One.
Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, and Lee would make one heck of a young starting trio of linebackers.