After a few quiet days on the Viking free agency front, the purple finally made some noise with the signing of former Packer defensive lineman Datone Jones.
The former 1st round pick is still only 26 years old and will have plenty to prove sticking around the NFC North. He has managed to start only 7 games during his 4 years in Green Bay, but honestly he never really seem to fit in the Packers scheme. They played him all over the place but never really seemed comfortable. I could see him being an above average depth player along the line for Minnesota, someone who can play either defensive end or kick inside to tackle if needed.
While he won’t wow you with his stats or flashy moves, he kind of does it all well. He plays well against he run and pass, and with guys like Griffen, Joseph, Robison around him he could easily end up putting up his best season as a pro in 2017. While that isn’t saying much considering he hasn’t done a ton, the Vikings defense doesn’t need a ton from him.
The numbers of his contract are a one-year prove-it deal worth $3.75 million but could increase to $5 million. All in all a pretty team friendly deal.
The third 7 round Vikings mock has arrived. Free agency is in full swing and we have watched the purple snap up a few offensive tackles, but a handful of needs remain and we try to fill those holes below.
This would be a dream pick for the Vikings in Round 2. They landed their starters at both tackle positions in free agency, and now right guard becomes the last major weakness on the offensive line. Feeney is a pro ready prospect who the Vikings will start from day one, and hopefully many many more Sundays after that.
Round 3 – Desmond King S, Iowa
The Vikings have yet to find a suitable and reliable counterpart to Harrison Smith. That could change here. While things would have to fall into place for King to slide to round 3, it is possible. He is a fluid moving safety who can cover like paint, and also come up and lay a big hit in run support. He’d do well in a Mike Zimmer defense.
The Vikings were pretty brutal against the run a season ago, and they have yet to address this position in free agency. Adams had an up and down Senior Bowl depending on who you ask. Still, he’s an SEC battle tested big man, who can create interior pressure and help slow down opponents’ running attacks.
Round 4 – Ethan Pocic C, LSU
Pocic is a guy who is all over the draft boards. He is a tough as nails player who can also kick over and play guard if needed. He was too good a value to pass up in round 4, and could battle Nick Easton for the starting center job as a rook.
Round 4 (from Dolphins) – Kareem Hunt RB, Toledo
I waited until the second pick in round 4, and still landed one of the RBs. Hunt showed up at the Combine 8 pounds heavier than his playing weight at Toledo. He also ran a disappointing 40 time at 4.62. To me, it’s more important that he’s got tape that showcases his burst and also soft hands out of the backfield. He could end up being a hidden gem here.
Round 5 – Taywan Taylor WR, Western Kentucky
The Vikings wanted Alshon Jeffrey but lost out, so clearly they want to add a WR to the mix this offseason. Taylor is a compact 5’11, who runs smooth routes and has a sure pair of mitts on him. He could end up going higher than this, so there was value here in the 5th round.
Round 6 – Dan Skipper OT, Arkansas
The Vikings would be wise to bring in at least one offensive tackle via the Draft. They did sign Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, who will be the bookend starters, but the depth chart is still paper thin. Skipper is a huge man who towers damn near the 7 foot mark. His footwork could stand to improve, but hopefully the Vikings have time to refine his tools before he’s forced to see any live action.
Round 7 – Ben Boulware LB, Clemson
Boulware is one of my favorite players in this Draft, because of the intensity he plays with. He isn’t the biggest or most athletic guy out there, but he is a ball of energy who wears his emotions on his sleeve. It’s easy seeing Boulware start out as a special teams standout before working his way into the linebacking rotation.
The Vikings added another much needed offensive tackle on Friday afternoon, bringing in a former member of the Purple, Carolina Panthers free agent Mike Remmers.
Remmers isn’t as splashy as some of the other names that were floating out there but he is a guy who has worked hard all his career to get where he is, as he was an undrafted free agent coming out of college.
Remmers brings loads of experience to the table, having started 37 games for the Panthers. He is better suited as a right tackle but the Vikings may try him on the left side. His play a season ago wasn’t on par with how he performed in 2015, but he is definitely a step up from what the Vikings were using at tackle a year ago.
After all the piss’n and moaning that the Vikings weren’t landing guys like Ricky Wagner and Andrew Whitworth, the Vikings finally got their guy in Riley Reiff.
The former 1st rounder found his new home right after free agency officially began. While some fans might feel the Vikings settled, or where outbid, fact is they landed one of the top younger offensive tackles available in free agency.
Yes, Vikings still have plenty of holes to fill on the offensive line this offseason, they put a good sized dent at the need with Reiff. He can play either tackle position and only time will tell where he’ll line-up for the Vikings. He plays at an above average level, and when push comes to shove the fact is he plays at about the exact level of former Viking (now Panther) Matt Kalil.
The 6’6, 305 lb tackle has started 69 games in his Lion career, and should be looked at as a leader for the Vikings offensive line in 2017. Overall ….. a huge signing for the Purple.