Vikings Select WR in 1st Round of CBS Sports Mock Draft

Vikings Select WR in 1st Round of CBS Sports Mock Draft
Chris Olave

Do you believe the Minnesota Vikings have a rich history of wide receivers a la Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Jake Reed, Ahmad Rashad, Anthony Carter, Adam Thielen, Sammy White, and Justin Jefferson?

Well, they’re about to be even richer if CBS Sports is correct with its latest mock draft.

With the 19th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports sent wide receiver Chris Olave from Ohio State to the Vikings, restoring a three-deep combination in Minnesota’s WR room for the first time since 2001. Trapasso briefly opined on the pick, “Olave gives Kirk Cousins another weapon opposite Justin Jefferson. Good idea for Minnesota here.”

This mock draft showcased one receiver off the board before Olave. That was Garrett Wilson, also from Ohio State, to the Cleveland Brown with the 15th pick.

Depending on Adam Thielen’s standing with the Vikings – it should be fine because he’s under contract until 2024 – wide receiver is not a need for the 2022 Vikings. There is a possibility Minnesota fully rebuilds this offseason, paving the way for a Thielen exodus from the club – but that is unlikely. Thielen is treasured in Minnesota and performs at a high level, even into his 30s. The Olave pick would therefore become long-term planning for life after Thielen, who will be 32 years old next year.

Olave will indeed bring a tremendous toolbag to the NFL. In 13 games this season with the Buckeyes, Olave grabbed 13 touchdowns on 936 receiving yards en route to his second First-Team All-Big Ten selection.

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave (2) celebrates a catch during the fourth quarter of the NCAA football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Ohio State lost 42-27. Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan Wolverines

Here’s some of the scouting report on Olave, detailed by Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network:

“Olave is one of college football’s most refined route-runners. A true route technician, Olave has illustrated high levels of football IQ and is the latest product of an Ohio State Buckeyes program that is churning out high-level prospects under the watch of wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. Olave lacks the physical stature to be a dominant possession receiver in traffic and his worst moments do seem to come when contested or looking to high-point footballs in traffic, but an accurate passer will be able to feed him the football on schedule and allow Olave’s high-end separation skills to shine in the pro game.”

The remainder of the 2021 season will determine the Vikings draft order, but Minnesota is likely destined for a pick in the middle. At 7-7, Minnesota could still reach the postseason – they’re the seventh seed right now – or they could collapse down the stretch and poke at a Top 12 pick.

The most pressing need from a glance at the roster in December includes defensive end, cornerback, linebacker, and quarterback [if the team parts ways with Kirk Cousins].

Wide receiver is not an emergent need, but Vikings fans rarely complain about a WR draft pick. So, if it’s preordained, bring on Olave.

For posterity, the 1st overall pick in Trapasso’s mock draft was DE Aidan Hutchinson to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).