In a recent three-round 2019 mock draft by NFL.com’s Chad Reuter, the Minnesota Vikings went defense with their first selection.
If one were to ask the average fan of the Minnesota Vikings what the team should do with their first pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the majority would likely suggest that they select an offensive lineman no matter what.
But reaching for a new blocker just to get one in the first round is not something the Vikings should be doing this year if that ends up being the case. It will be just fine If Minnesota doesn’t want to overdraft an offensive lineman and ends filling another need with their first selection instead.
This is a scenario that kind of plays out during a recent three-round 2019 NFL mock draft posted by NFL.com’s Chad Reuter.
With their first selection this year, Reuter has the Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer unable to avoid passing on former Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who ends up falling in their laps at pick No. 18.
In three years at Houston, Oliver was a two-time All-American and he is comes in as the No. 3 overall prospect on Jon Ledyard’s most recent big board over on The Draft Network. Him dropping to Minnesota in the first round would be a big surprise, but one that the Vikings would definitely need to take advantage of.
If Minnesota is unable to figure out a way to re-sign Sheldon Richardson this offseason, drafting Oliver in the first round if he’s available this year would make even more sense. At 6-foot-3, 292 pounds, the former Houston defensive tackle would likely be able to start immediately as a rookie along the Vikings’ defensive line next to Linval Joseph.
For those concerned about Minnesota filling their offensive line needs in this year’s draft, Reuter has the Vikings adding former Wisconsin offensive tackle David Edwards with their second-round selection. Then Minnesota finishes up this mock draft by going defense once again and using their third-round pick on Florida safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
Waiting until the second round to select an offensive lineman may not be what some Vikings fans would like their team to do during this year’s draft. But if it’s due to Minnesota ending up with Oliver in the first round, then it should be a little easier for fans to be fine with the decision.