It's finally here! The first round of the NFL Draft kicks off tonight at 7pm LIVE from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX and the Minnesota Vikings are looking to make some waves.
Those waves may not come in the same form that they had in years past after the Vikings made it to the NFC Championship game last year and then bolstered their quarterback with the most expensive free agent ever, but they're still looking to find some impact players early in this year's class.
With the 30th overall selection there's A TON that will happen in front of the Vikings that could shake up their draft board before they're scheduled to be anywhere near the podium sometime around 10:30pm tonight. Someone will drop, someone will reach, they might trade back, I'm even hearing that they're considering trading up, but there are a handful of names that they would consider picking tonight if in fact they did make a first round selection this year.
Below are five such names that I am hearing that the Vikings would have interest in tonight depending on how things shake out...
G/C Frank Ragnow - Arkansas
Ragnow might be the most interesting case study in this entire draft when it's all said and done. Up until about two days ago the Minnesota native wasn't really on anybody's radar when it came to the first round. Even some of the experts who make a living each and every year had to make some last minute calls and adjustments to their mock drafts when the Ragnow steam started making waves earlier this week. Fast forward to today and we're hearing that he could go as early as #15 to the Arizona Cardinals.
Ragnow is a big boy and his flexibility with experience at both the center and guard position are what NFL teams are so intrigued by. He performed out of his mind at the Combine and those are the numbers that caught the attention of scouts reporting back to their teams for draft prep. He's quick off the snap and will bring the contact to the defender from the guard position.
For the Vikings, he'd fit in right away at the right guard spot. The big concern here though is can he get past the Bengals at #21, that's the spot that Mike Mayoc has him going in his latest Mock Draft leading up to the first round.
CB Mike Hughes - Central Florida
There's reason to believe that Mike Hughes might be the team's top target if they stay put at #30. Most Mock Drafts have him falling into the early second round so he could be available, but like a handful of players that we'll hear about tonight, Hughes is gaining some late steam that could push him back on the radar of a few more teams in the back half of the first round.
Hughes excels in press coverage and leans towards the tougher end of the spectrum when it comes to cornerbacks. The big plus side here for the Vikings? Hughes also returns kicks and punts, something which the Vikings could use a little bonus help with from a player that could also have early impact at nickel this season.
DT Taven Bryan - Florida
Yeah the Vikings just signed a 3-technique defensive lineman this season in Sheldon Richardson, but big Shel is only on a one-year deal and there is growing interest throughout the league in playing two 3-technique linemen next to each other on the inside.
A lot of people have Bryan slated to the Falcons at Pick-26 but if he sneaks past them, he'd look really good in purple putting a little pressure on old A-Rodg up the middle!
OT Mike McGlinchey - Notre Dame
We need to talk about Mr. McGlinchey now. It could be argued that the best case scenario for the Minnesota Vikings tonight would be to walk away with an impact player at right tackle who could start right away and push Mike Remmers to right guard as he did towards the end of the season in 2017. Right now, the final Mock Drafts over at NFL.com have McGlinchey going anywhere from ninth overall to San Francisco and as far back as 32nd overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Let's cover the most obvious situation here, if for some reason McGlinchey falls to #30 Rick Spielman should run up to that podium with 5 minutes left on the clock and make the selection. If he falls to the early 20s, I think you strongly consider moving up to get him too. There were rumors of phone calls from other teams looking to move back in a trade with the Vikings the other day. I wouldn't rule out trading up to get the guy you want.
G Isaiah Wynn - Georgia
It's the safest pick for the Vikings, the most popular mock pick from the experts but I'm not convinced that the Vikings like him all that much. I included him on this list since almost every outlet has the Vikings at least tied with him at #30, but I truly think if he's all that's left when they're on the clock they do their best to move back into the early second round and compile another pick.