I have a confession to make. I’m not an NFL draft expert. However, I do have a few ideas about who the Minnesota Vikings may be looking at with the 30th overall pick in next week’s draft. I could try to give you predictions for each of the Vikings eight draft picks, but that seems like a waste of time. Instead, let’s do a deep delve into what the Vikings might do in the first round. Here are some names to watch.
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame– McGlinchey is a classic plug and play guy. He spent five years at Notre Dame starting at both right and left tackle. He could have been a first-round pick a year ago but returned to South Bend to get faster and stronger. He is one of the most experienced players in this year’s draft at any position. With the Vikings looking to win now, a player who can step in and help immediately is desirable. McGlinchey would be just that. It’s also worth noting the success the Vikings have had with Notre Dame products in recent years. Harrison Smith, Kyle Rudolph, and John Sullivan each played in South Bend. Will Rick Spielman roll the dice on another Golden Domer? Don’t be surprised if McGlinchey is the guy.
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP- Hernandez is a lot like McGlinchey. He could step in right away and fill the Vikings hole at guard. However, his stock has continued to rise throughout draft season, and there’s a good chance he’ll be off the board at 30. Don’t be shocked if the Vikings move up to get Hernandez.
James Daniels, G/C, Iowa- Daniels is a guy who can play guard or center. He has a profile similar to Pat Elflein. The physical tools won’t blow you away, but he’s solid. This seems like a very realistic pick considering where most mock drafts have Daniels going.
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa- Most people expect the Vikings to draft an offensive lineman. However, if they don’t, it’s probably going to be a cornerback. Jackson doesn’t have elite size or speed, but his playmaking ability is special. He led the nation with eight interceptions last season.
Connor Williams, OT, Texas- We know the Vikings like Williams because they had him to Minnesota for a visit. His stock has been falling in recent weeks, so there’s a good chance he will be on the board at 30. Williams is one of the players causing a lot of debate. His upside is tantalizing, but there seems to be some risk. He’s not as experienced as some of the others on this list. This may be the most interesting player to keep an eye on heading into Thursday.
Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State- Price is an interesting player for a lot of reasons. He wouldn’t be in the conversation at 30 had he not torn a pec at the NFL Combine last month. However, he is still expected to be ready for training camp. He is now expected to be taken somewhere in the second round. If the Vikings end up trading down, Price may be their target.