Vikings Could Fill 1 Hole in the Draft

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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has one clear objective for the upcoming NFL draft. He wants to find a new franchise quarterback. While he hasn’t come out to say it out loud, his actions speak louder than words. Acquiring a second pick in the first round clearly showed his intentions. If he does indeed acquire that new passer, he will spend a ton of draft capital, but some issues still need to be fixed.

Vikings Could Fill 1 Hole in the Draft

Vikings Could Fill 1 Hole Late in the Draft
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The Vikings don’t hold a selection in the second or third round. Besides the two picks in the top round, the Vikes have picks 108 and 129 in the fourth round and five other picks in the final three rounds.

One of those fourth-rounders should be spent on an offensive guard to fill the vacant left guard spot. Veteran Dalton Risner is no longer with the organization. Backup Blake Brandel was re-signed, and veteran backup Dan Feeney joined in free agency.

Because the offensive line is a weak link system, a lousy lineman can destroy plays, game plans, and games. The Vikings need to find a reliable player, and it can be doubted that Brandel and Feeney can provide reliable play.

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Pro Football Focus named a day-three target for each franchise, and Minnesota was connected to Kansas State guard Cooper Beebe.

Beebe is good enough to go earlier than Day 3, so it’s surprising to see him so far down most public draft boards. He has three straight seasons with a PFF pass-blocking grade of 87.5 or better and a PFF run-blocking grade of 77.0 or better while proving to be a good athlete for his size.

Gordon McGuinness, PFF

It should be noted that Beebe ranks 62nd on the consensus big board from Austin Mock and Nick Baumgardner from The Athletic. They combine the rankings of draft experts in the industry and generate a consensus ranking. However, the draft isn’t an exact science. Players always go way earlier or way later than expected, although it is a solid indication of a player’s draft range.

Because the offensive guard position isn’t considered a premium position despite the recent salary boost of various free-agent guards, so Beebe might tumble on draft day.

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He could be an immediate contender for the starting gig and challenge the two veterans in training camp with a fair chance to win the competition. Draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared him to 2023 Pro Bowler Kevin Zeitler and, despite some flaws, praised the prospect:

Wide-bodied guard who has been a model of consistency over the last four years, dialing in a very firm brand of football. While hand placement can be a little inconsistent, Beebe is still a bulldozer in cleats who jolts smaller players and moves big ones against their will. A lack of arm length will test him in certain interior matchups in the pros, and he will need to improve his technique to bolster his block sustain.

He’s slow of foot and is likely to be pigeonholed into downhill-oriented rush attacks, but that has never prevented him from doing his job in pass protection. Beebe’s experience, girth and drive-blocking talent should make him a long-time starter who can step in right away.

Lance Zierlein
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Adofo-Mensah might have to package a pair of day-three picks to move up to get the four-year starter, but he could be an immediate contributor on offense. Having a powerful offensive guard would be a nice change compared to the athletic but weaker linemen the Vikings employed in recent years.

The unanimous All-American will turn 23 in May and should be high on Adofo-Mensah’s list. Protecting a rookie quarterback and improving the terrible rushing attack is vital for the Vikings.

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