Ed Oliver is seen as one of the best prospects in the entire draft and could come off the board as early as the top ten picks, which makes the latest mock draft posted by Todd McShay of ESPN so incredibly interesting. The Minnesota Vikings need offensive line help in the worst of ways, but McShay has the scenario playing out where he could be there for the taking at the No. 18 overall pick, where Oliver comes off the board and heads to the Twin Cities.
He explains his reasoning for the pick below:
“Value, value, value. Oliver is one of the top 10 players in the class. So although offensive line is a more glaring immediate need here, the Vikings could plug Oliver into the middle of that defensive line between Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter and create headaches for offensive coordinators. He’s a perfect replacement for free agent Sheldon Richardson.”
We have discussed before how this pick needs to, in all likelihood, be devoted to the overhaul of one of the league’s worst offensive line units, but this is a special and unique situation. In the position they sit, there are a handful of players that fit the bill of someone that cannot be passed on if they are there for the taking and Oliver is that type of player. It was not all that long ago that some believed he could be one of the top two or three picks in the entire draft.
But why would it make sense for Minnesota? It would for a number of reasons, the top one being that it is looking increasingly unlikely that Sheldon Richardson returns due to the price tag it would take to make it happen. Oliver not only would be the day one replacement, but he is a guy that has drawn comparisons to Aaron Donald and might wind up being an upgrade they back into. This would be a huge coup for the Vikings in the scenario where this occurs.
From there, they may have to hope and pray one of the offensive linemen they like is there for the taking in the second round, but that is the risk that would be assumed. It is for this reason that addressing the line to at least stop the bleeding in free agency is of paramount importance, as well, because you never know who may slide.
(There are still Super Bowl aspirations in Minnesota despite missing the playoffs in 2018, leading to a key offseason of decisions and moves —Don’t miss any of the action! Sign up for our FREE Vikings newsletter here!)
The offseason is in full swing as NFL teams work to build for the 2019 season and beyond. The NFL Combine is in the rearview mirror and the start of free agency and the new league year on March 13 is up next. The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off from Nashville, Tennessee on April 25, 2019, and runs through April 27, 2019. The first round will be held on Thursday night, followed by the second and third round on Friday night and will conclude with rounds four through seven on Saturday.