Early mock drafts have the Vikings adding more to the offensive line

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Offensive lineman Billy Price
LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Offensive lineman Billy Price /

After beginning the 2017 season with four new starters on their offensive line, some believe the Minnesota Vikings will add more depth to the unit in the 2018 draft.

Not only is this the first week outside of the 2017 regular season in the NFL, but this is also the time when a number of analysts who cover the league release their very first predictions for the 2018 NFL Draft. Expect these predictions to change a ton over the next few months, but that will not take away from the intrigue that comes from reading what draft analysts believe will happen right now.

For the Minnesota Vikings, a number of people who cover the draft believe that the team will add a young offensive lineman to their roster with their first-round selection.

247Sports’ Josh Edwards thinks the Vikings’ first pick of the draft will be used on UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller.

"“Miller’s last two seasons have come to an end early due to injury. His talent blocking Josh Rosen’s blinside has been evident though. It is a very deep draft class at the tackle position unlike last season. Teams will take advantage of the opportunity.”"

Miller measures in at 6-foot-8, 300 pounds and played at both right and left tackle during his time at UCLA. In 2017 as the school’s left tackle, he gave up just two sacks.

Sticking with the offensive line theme, USA TODAY’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz predicts Minnesota will select Ohio State center/guard Billy Price with their first-round pick.

"“One year after finding a steal in third-round center Pat Elflein, Minnesota could look to Columbus, Ohio, again to further bolster its interior line. Price won the Rimington Trophy as the country’s best center but has the versatility to thrive at guard as well.”"

At 6-foot-4, 312 pounds, Price switched from guard to center in 2017 to replace the void in the middle of Ohio State’s offensive line created by Elflein’s departure. Price is projected to be a center in the NFL, so this seems like it would be an odd selection for the Vikings considering how well Elflein has played this season as the team’s center.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

Over at CBS Sports, Chris Trapasso has Minnesota using their first-round selection on UTEP guard Will Hernandez.

"“The Vikings are set up to contend for a while, and if there’s anything they could upgrade, it’s the interior of their offensive line. Hernandez isn’t a flashy pick, he’s just a sturdy guard who’ll improve Minnesota’s entire offense.”"

CBS Sports has the 6-foot-3, 330 pound Hernandez as the second-best guard in the upcoming draft class. With Joe Berger’s expected retirement after this season, Minnesota adding a young, interior lineman like Hernandez seems like something that could end up happening.

Heading into 2018, the Vikings do not really have any glaring weaknesses when it comes to position group depth. So continuing to improve their offensive line with draft picks may actually be what the team decides to at the upcoming draft.

Next: NFC North Report - Week 17

But until then, everything just remains a guessing game.