The NFL Draft Offers Some Great Options in the Second Round

Let me begin by explaining that I know the Vikings don’t currently have a second round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The Yannick Ngakoue trade — though initially exciting — did not work out well. In fact, it worked out so poorly that both trades – the one bringing him in and the one sending him out – now appear to be mistakes. In any case, the end result is less draft capital.

Let me also suggest that our old friend Slick Rick has some clear tendencies. One could reasonably conclude that Spielman has struggled to identify QB talent over the years. One could also conclude that he has done a tremendous job of bringing in defensive line talent. What we can’t debate is that Spielman loves to trade back in the draft. If he does trade back, Spielman will likely be looking to pick up a second in the process. Who will be available at this point in the draft?

The NFL Draft, The Second Round, and The Vikings’ Needs

By no means am I a draft expert. As a result, I need to rely on folks who are more knowledgeable than I. For this exercise, I’ll be considering five names from PFF‘s Top 100 draft prospects. When I need additional info, I turn to The Draft Network to fill in my knowledge gaps (there are many). With that said, let’s take a look at the names who would make sense in RD2.

Samuel Cosmi, OT – PFF‘s #37 Prospect

Again, part of my rationale is based off past trends. Over the past few seasons, the Vikings have targeted athletic, upside offensive tackles in the second round. Brian O’Neill was a great pick, and Ezra Cleveland did admirably as the team’s RG.

Cosmi has elite athleticism. He recently went in the first round of the UFFda! Sports mock draft, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him get chosen in RD1 on draft weekend. If he falls, Cosmi would be a really fascinating pick in RD2. The Vikings would likely be thrilled to have him.

Carlos Basham, EDGE – PFF‘s #40 Prospect

I’m going to be a little disappointed if the Vikings choose a defensive lineman in the first. I think there’s a pretty reasonable case to be made for the d-line having a legit bounce back year in 2021, so I’d rather see that super-important first round pick used elsewhere. Alas, I’m not an NFL GM, and for good reason.

Basham had a dip in production in 2020, but he sounds like a d-lineman the Vikings would do well with. TDN suggests he’ll be a “defensive end in a 4-3 scheme that gets chances to rush from the interior on long and late downs” while also saying that he has some things to work on: “For Basham to reach his ceiling at the next level, developing his secondary pass rush moves, trimming weight, adding functional strength, and improving his block recognition skills on run plays will be important.” Andre Patterson – The D-Line Whisperer – would get the most out of Basham.

Jabril Cox, LB – PFF‘s #47 Prospect

The Vikings always take a linebacker in the draft. Go to Pro Football Reference and take a look at their draft history. It’s been years since they’ve completely ignored the position. From my vantage point, bringing in linebackers in the draft makes sense. As they develop into contributors on defense, they usually are main components of the special teams units.

Troy Dye was somewhat of a disappointment in his rookie year. Cox specializes in pass coverage, so he is a good fit in the modern NFL. TDN suggests that “Cox profiles as a productive NFL starter that brings a rare coverage skill set to the table.” The last time Minnesota took a linebacker in RD2 was in 2015 when they chose Eric Kendricks. That worked out pretty alright.

Joseph Ossai, EDGE – PFF‘s #60 Prospect

Ossai is a raw prospect with plenty of upside. TDN praises his motor and length, suggesting that he had a tendency for disrupting plays. He could be a LB in a 3-4 or play DE in a 4-3, per TDN. Head over to The Draft Team‘s article on Ossai if you’re looking for a fuller breakdown of his abilities.

Run defense is something that he still needs to work on. In Minnesota, Ossai would have the benefit of being a backup during his rookie season. He could focus on developing his pass rush skills behind Stephen Weatherly and Danielle Hunter, occasionally coming onto the field on obvious passing downs.

Wyatt Davis, iOL – PFF‘s #61 Prospect

You didn’t think we could get through this list of second round NFL draft prospects and not mention the iOL, did you?

Many consider Davis to be the top iOL prospect in the draft. He played for Ohio State, consistently demonstrating some top-notch ability: “Davis should be expected to claim a starting role during his rookie season in the NFL,” TDN explains, “thanks in large part to impressive NFL bloodlines and the mauling presence up front that will help create ample space in the run game.” A plug & play guard sounds pretty good right about now. If Davis snags the RG spot, it’s possible Cleveland could end up at LG.

Conclusion

The NFL draft is always a great event, and the second round offers some serious talent on a yearly basis. Last season, Tee Higgins, Jonathan Taylor, Antoine Winfield Jr., Chase Claypool, and Jaylon Johnson all made a big impact for their teams; all were chosen in the second round. Our Minnesota Vikings have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to trade back in the draft in past seasons, so it wouldn’t be at all shocking to see them move back on April 29. If they do, Spielman will have plenty of great players available to him.