Vikings Fans Have a Tendency for 1st-Round Draft Selection

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Fans and media pundits try to predict the selections leading up to the draft. The first round of the event will start on April 27. Minnesota owns the 23rd overall pick, and they could go in many different directions with that pick.

The Vikings have some roster holes, especially the wide receiver and cornerback rooms lack more high-end talent and depth. In addition to that, the departed defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson has not yet been replaced by the front office. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores could need a difference-maker up front for the defensive turnaround.

Vikings Fans Have a Tendency for 1st-Round Draft Selection

Vikings Fans Have a Tendency for First-Round Draft Selection
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Because the team could address a plethora of different positions, it’s hard to predict what the Vikings will do. Even the selection of a quarterback shouldn’t be ruled out, either via trading up for one of the top prospects, picking Hendon Hooker late in the first or the second round, or a later-round selection like Dorian Thompson-Robinson or Tanner McKee.

ESPN tried to predict the draft picks on their analytics site, and the four most likely names in order are QB Hendon Hooker, WR Jordan Addison, CB Deonte Banks, and WR Zay Flowers.

All four players play positions of need. The cornerback group is six players strong, five of them are a mystery in addition to Byron Murphy, the free agent addition, and the new wideout could replace Adam Thielen, who joined the Panthers after his release from the Vikings.

While the poll didn’t clear any scientific requirements, 691 votes are enough to see a trend. The fans clearly want to address the wide receiver position. Even though they had two receivers to choose from, both landed in the top two spots.

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Flowers out of Boston College is undersized but electric with the ball in his hands. His speed and shiftiness are skills the Vikings receiving room lacks. He would be a nice addition as an offensive weapon for Kevin O’Connell to work with alongside Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, and T.J. Hockenson.

The Vikings don’t have a player who can be used on Percy-Harvin-like gadget plays, and Flowers is that guy, in addition to his receiving talent. Flowers recorded over 3,400 yards from scrimmage in his college career and scored 31 touchdowns.

Jordan Addison from USC is a more refined receiver than Flowers. He only weighs 171 pounds at 5’11” but has the necessary skills to be an effective receiver at the next level. Addison is a smooth route-runner and possibly the most skilled receiver in the class.

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The receiver scored outstanding 17 touchdowns and had almost 1,600 receiving yards in his sophomore year in Pittsburgh before transferring to USC, where his numbers dipped because of the different offensive system. Addison still had 875 yards and 8 touchdowns in Lincoln Riley’s offense.

The Vikings currently have Jefferson as the top guy and Osborn as the other starter. Teams in the modern-day NFL try to have three or four good receivers, and the Vikings don’t have anyone besides that of NFL caliber. Jalen Reagor has been a disappointment. The departure of Adam Thielen left a hole.

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Cornerback Deonte Banks would fill an obvious role, that of the new CB2 opposite of Murphy. Banks is an electric athlete, turning heads at the combine helped his draft stock. His addition fills the most pressing need if the Vikings aren’t sold on Andrew Booth or Akayleb Evans. Banks is a highly talented player and would likely run away with the second starting gig in training camp.

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The most controversial player in Vikings’ circles is Hendon Hooker. He is coming off a torn ACL and is already 25 years old. However, the quarterback is a talented player. Hooker is probably the best QB available if the Vikings don’t trade up for one of the top guys. Many have a problem with his draft stock. Because of those two red flags, he is considered by many fans as a second-rounder at best. The 23rd overall pick is too rich for most.

All four make sense for the purple team with the 23rd overall selection, but it is quite likely that the organization will not select a player at that spot because Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will trade back. The Vikings only have five picks; acquiring more makes a lot of sense for the team that traded more in the last 12 years than every other team in the league.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt