Todd McShay has unleashed his third mock draft of the year. The #2 ESPN draft wonk – yes Mel Kiper is still the man – is sending North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams to the Vikings. McShay says.
General manager Rick Spielman considers this draft deep for interior defensive linemen, and the Vikings have a need there as Kevin Williams ages.
Sylvester Williams fits the profile well for Minnesota. He’s an athletic guy who could slide in at the 3-tech and eventually take over for Kevin Williams. He could also potentially play some nose. Just going on the personnel moves over the past couple years, the Vikes seem to favor the smaller, more penetrating interior linemen. The days of a big old Pat Williams-type anchoring the nose seem to be over.
So Sylvester Williams has a nice combo of attributes. He’s strong. He’s athletic. And he’s got some versatility. The downside on him according to the scouting reports is that he’s still a little raw. But the Vikes have the luxury of working him in slowly. They will still have Kevin Williams under contract when the season rolls around, provided Williams is amenable to renegotiation. They could rotate K-Will, Sylvester and Christian Ballard at the 3-tech. There wouldn’t necessarily be a huge urgency to have the new guy come in and start on day one.
Of course Sylvester isn’t the only DT option in this draft. Kawann Short is another name that comes up a lot. Johnathan Hankins could be an option but his stock seems to be slipping. Sheldon Richardson is another guy you hear mentioned. The most drool-worthy guy seems to be Sharrif Floyd but he projects as a top 5 pick right now.