The Vikings were one of the biggest winners on night one of the NFL Draft. They made a trade, which at the time had Mr. Joe Johnson sweating on his couch, to move back to No. 23 in exchange for two third-round picks. The move proved to be a genius one as the Vikings were still able to land OT Christian Darrisaw, anyway. That is the guy they more than likely would have taken at 14 given how the chips fell.
With that trade, the Vikings are now poised to make an aggressive trade to get into the second round tonight. They currently have four(!!) third-round picks as well as three fourth-rounders. There is plenty of talent to be had as well with guys such as Trevon Moehrig, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Azeez Ojulari, and Elijah Moore falling all the way out of the first round. That said, if the Vikings do want to move into the second round (multiple reports say they do), where should they go and who should they target?
The Draft Position
A lot of times, teams just fire from the hip on days two and three hoping to land prospects with high potential. This is a little different, though. The first half of this second round especially, there will be plenty of guys going that can have immediate impact. The Vikings should try to find a way to position themselves somewhere in that 33-45 range. If they can do that, they should be guaranteed to get a quality prospect.
The Player Position
The Vikings can go in a lot of different directions here. Obviously, this very much depends on where they actually end up and who is taken above them. Getting to No. 33 eliminates this obstacle, but it would require at least three of their third-rounders and possibly more. Spielman may not think it is worth that especially given how well last night worked out.
There are three prospects here that make a lot of sense: Trevon Moerhig, Azeez Ojulari, and Terrace Marshall Jr. Moehrig provides depth at a very thin safety position, Ojulari can become an immediate starter on the edge, and Marshall Jr. is a former LSU teammate of Justin Jefferson and can be the future successor to Adam Thielen. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each player would bring.
S Trevon Moehrig
Moehrig is a very physical defensive back who has a nose for the ball. He is the top safety in this class, and it’s shocking to see how far he’s fallen. Moehrig has proven to be great in coverage, especially man to man. He intercepted seven passes during his time at TCU, so his playmaking ability is something that teams should covet on Day Two.
EDGE Azeez Ojulari
Ojulari is a player that many wondered if he would be the top edge rusher taken in this draft. He had one of the best collegiate football seasons in 2020, racking up 9.5 sacks and 12.5 TFL for Georgia. Ojulari is a bit undersized at just under 250-pounds, but he has an explosive first step. Along with that speed, Ojulri has acceptable hand technique and has the ability to maneuver around tackles. Playing with Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce, and Dalvin Tomlinson, he should get plenty of opportunities. For a guy that won’t be getting the majority of attention from opposing o-lines, I’d rather have elite athleticism and speed over technique.
WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
Elijah Moore is a more talented receiver at this point in time. Because of that, though, he should go off the board sooner thus costing the Vikings more to go get him. Marshall Jr. is talented in his own right, and will not be nearly as expensive regarding draft capital. Not only that, as mentioned, he played two years with Justin Jefferson at LSU. Teams have noticeably been going with former collegiate teammates this draft more so than other years. This may be coincidence, but it could also be an attempt to help build chemistry quickly within the team. Marshall Jr. does flash the abilities of a WR1, but he has gotten very little opportunity to actually showcase that talent. With Adam Thielen on the wrong side of 30, this could be an immediate WR3 pick with the idea of him being Thielen’s successor.
The Vikings have plenty of directions to go. They’ve addressed the offensive line by picking up one of the best pass protectors in the draft. Along the way, they found a way to pick up more top-100 picks, too. Spielman is playing with house money at this point, and even if they don’t trade into the second round, they essentially have a second rounder at No. 66.