Austin Jackson – OT
This is a rare case when one of the best players available could actually fill a huge need for the Vikings.
With Riley Reiff coming off a down season and nearing the end of his playing days, left tackle becomes a huge issue for Minnesota this year. They could toy with moving Brian O’Neill to the left side, but they would rather find a prospect in the draft who is ready-made to plugin on the left side and that could be former USC blocker, Austin Jackson.
Jackson has all the physical tools to be a successful left tackle in the NFL. He’s got an ideal wingspan while measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds.
He showed his elite athletic ability during this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, wowing scouts and coaches with his workouts. On the field, he showed he was quick out of his stance, with great lateral movement. He really helped himself and solidified his stock as a first-round draft choice.
The Vikings would love to see this guy on the board at pick No. 22 or 25. They could take him and then make a decision on Reiff. They could choose to keep Reiff on the roster and work Jackson in slowly over the course of the season. They could also decide to flat out cut Reiff and save themselves some money in the long run.
Either way, Minnesota taking Jackson at pick No. 22 would be a rare case of truly finding the best player on the board who also fills a position of need.