In a new NFL mock draft from Pro Football Focus, the Minnesota Vikings select WR Michael Thomas from Ohio State.
Sam Monson has posted a new mock draft at Pro Football Focus, and the Vikings pick at #23 overall is a wide receiver who will be familiar to Big 10 football fans.
In this mock at least, the Vikings are going Michael Thomas. But Monson’s mock has several other intriguing receiver prospects dropping off the board before the Vikings pick.
"The Vikings will have been hoping that Doctson or Coleman slipped to this pick, but Michael Thomas may have the potential to top them both. He remains a little raw, and was inconsistent at times, but could be the perfect player to install opposite Stephon Diggs. Ohio State quarterbacks didn’t throw a single interception when targeting Thomas this season, and he scored nine touchdowns on just 83 targets."
Monson has Corey Coleman going 15 to the Rams and Doctson going 17 to the Falcons. He has the Vikings passing on Laquon Treadwell, who goes 24 to the Bengals. Interestingly, Monson has Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard going one pick ahead of Minnesota’s spot. That’s a name we have not heard much.
On Thomas, the main issues for scouts are his rawness and lack of fluidity. He’s also been criticized for dropping passes. He does not have top-drawer speed, but he has good size and strength.
The term “project” inevitably gets applied to Thomas. The Vikings three years ago selected a project receiver named Cordarrelle Patterson, but he thus far has not developed as the team hoped.
The argument could be made that the Vikings with their thin receiver corps should stay away from any wide-out who comes with the “project” tag and instead pick someone who might be ready to contribute immediately. Laquon Treadwell for example is seen as a player who could step in and produce right away. Treadwell lacks elite speed himself, as he demonstrated Monday when he ran an unimpressive 40 at Ole Miss pro day.
Many believe if Corey Coleman or Josh Docston is available at #23, the Vikings will jump on them. Others argue the Vikings will/should address the offensive line with pick 23, even though they already spent a lot of money in free agency shoring up the line.
Safety, linebacker and defensive line are also mentioned as positions the Vikings could target in the first round.