Minnesota Vikings 7-round NFL mock draft
Round 4, Pick 132: Nick Harris, IOL Washington
Minnesota was the eighth-ranked rushing offense in the NFL last season, averaging 128 yards per game. That success was in large part due to a combination of strong offensive line play and their talented duo of running backs. With the team likely to continue wanting to pound the rock, they will need to bolster their o-line. In their playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, they were beaten upfront in the trenches. Washington’s Nick Harris is the kind of player that can help in that regard.
Harris was originally projected as a potential first-round talent. After a very poor showing at the Senior Bowl, his draft stock has continued to slide. The PFN Draft crew had this to say about how poorly it went in Mobile:
“One of the worst weeks among all prospects, Nick Harris’ stock started dropping on Tuesday and it never stopped. Harris weighed in poorly and on the field was constantly lost in reps. He was beaten with power and finesse, and it’s starting to seem like he’s destined to underperform the expectations many had for him. Bad week for Harris.”
As bad as his performance was, he still has some very impressive tape from his time at Washington. He is a strong, versatile player who has experience playing at both center and guard. He thrives when in a zone run scheme and will help the Vikings in the trenches.
Other considerations: EDGE D.J. Wonnum, OT Alex Taylor
Round 6, Pick 205: Nate Stanley, QB Iowa
The idea that the Vikings will be moving on from Cousins will largely depend on his performance in 2020, and the new offensive coordinator now that Kevin Stefanski has left for Cleveland. Zimmer seems to be on the side of keeping Cousins and was quoted as saying that he had the best season of his NFL career.
“I think Kirk played a lot better this year than he did the year before. I think obviously that the scheme helped him quite a bit. It may have been his best year that he’s played in the NFL,” said Zimmer.
Whether the team decides to extend him or not, backup Sean Mannion’s contract is expiring and the team would likely draft his replacement. Iowa’s Nate Stanley could fill the role of backup, and if he finds early success with the team, he could end up being the plan for the future.
Stanley has the size and profile to be a quality QB in the NFL. At 6’4 and 243 lbs, he put up impressive numbers in his senior season. He completed 59.4% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Stanley ranks second to Chuck Long in career passing touchdowns (68) and yards (8,302) in Iowa history. He led the Hawkeyes to a 27-12 record in his three years as a starter, never suffering a significant injury.
He is a raw prospect and will need work, but if this Vikings team is patient, they could end up with their next franchise QB late in the sixth round.
Other considerations: CB Josiah Scott, LB Cameron Brown
Round 7, Pick 220: Terence Steele, OT Texas Tech
We talked about how the Vikings wanted to get bigger in the trenches, well Texas Tech’s Terence Steele and his 6’6″, 312-pound body will certainly do that. Steele shines most in pass protection but can be effective in run blocking as well. The biggest knock that he has so far is his strength. This is something he will be able to work on, and if he has a good showing at the NFL Combine, he could see his draft stock skyrocket.
PFN’s Draft Analyst Tony Pauline spoke about Steele in one of his recent articles. He believes that if he does perform well at the combine, we would likely be over-drafted. However, getting him the seventh round is about where he should be going.
“Steele is a big, athletic tackle who will test well at the combine and very much looks the part. On film, he’s stiff, bends at the waist, lacks balance, and doesn’t play like a big, athletic tackle.”
Other considerations: DL Benito Jones
Round 7, Pick 239: Omar Bayless, WR Kansas State
Continuing to add depth at the wide receiver position, the Vikings select Kansas State standout Omar Bayless. Bayless was an All American his senior year and was one of the top receivers in the country. He led the Sun-Belt in receiving yards, touchdowns, and receptions. He was second in all of the FBS with 1,653 yards and third in TDs with 17.
His skill-set compliments Gandy-Golden well, his biggest strength is his route running. He seems to run all his routes well and is able to find the open spot in the zone or after the play breaks down. He is able to track the deep ball well and strives when making catches down the field. Grabbing him at this point in the seventh round is a complete steal for Minnesota.
Other considerations: OT Calvin Throckmorton, IOL Darryl Williams
Round 7, Pick 253: Michael Divinity Jr, EDGE LSU
Bringing in some more talent to rush the QB, with their third of four 7-round draft picks, the Vikings take a chance on LSU’s Michael Divinity Jr. Divinity had 22 tackles with three sacks and a forced fumble in 2019. After serving a six-game suspension, Divinity was cleared to play in the National Championship. He also was suspended for two games earlier in the season.
Divinity’s draft stock has taken a hit with all of the suspension and character issues he had in 2019. He is a third or fourth-round talent, but the Vikings will likely be able to grab him here. The only way Divinity can boost his draft stock is with a strong NFL Combine showing, especially his character evaluation.
Round 7, Pick 254: Yasir Durant, IOL Missouri
For the last pick in this 7-round Vikings NFL mock draft, the team brings in some more depth on their offensive line with Missouri’s Yasir Durant. At 6’7″, 330 pounds, Durant is a mountain of a man on that left side, but he has surprisingly quick feet. He has impressive strength in his lower body as well.