3 First-Round Picks the Vikings Should Target (That Aren't Derek Stingley Jr.)
The Minnesota Vikings will look to get off to a good start under general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. Nailing the team's first-round pick would go a long way in giving the team a shot of winning its first NFC North title since the 2017 season.
Mock drafts have been nearly unanimous in projecting the Vikings to select standout LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. The NFL Draft never fails to throw us some serious curveballs, however, and that pick is far from a sure thing.
Of course, it is a safe bet that the Vikes will address defense with their top pick. Here are three players that aren't Stingley that they should be strongly considering.
Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft
1. Trent McDuffie, CB (Washington)
Cornerback sticks out as the biggest need for the Vikings. Veteran Patrick Peterson was brought back on a one-year deal to start on the outside alongside Cameron Dantzler. The depth stops there, though. The idea of drafting Trent McDuffie suddenly makes a lot of sense. The Washington standout goes all out with every snap and did not allow a single touchdown in coverage during his final two college seasons. McDuffie also racked up 94 tackle (4.5 for loss), 8 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions in 27 games played. Quarterbacks regularly avoided throwing his way in fear that something bad would happen. He'd fit in well in Minnesota.
2. Jermaine Johnson II, DE (Florida State)
This lines up to be a draft class filled with pass rushing talent and that should not be overlooked by the Vikings. Getting pressure on the quarterback has been Minnesota's bread and butter over the last few seasons. In fact, they finished with the second-most sacks in the NFL in 2021 (51.0). Adding a player like Jermaine Johnson II to the mix could be lethal. The 23-year-old tore opposing linemen apart to the tune of 70 tackles (17.5 for loss) and 11.5 sacks during his senior season. Not only that, but Johnson has the speed to chase down running backs at the second level or quarterbacks scrambling out of the pocket.
3. Kyle Hamilton, S (Notre Dame)
Finding help in the secondary is not only limited to the cornerback position. If safety Kyle Hamilton falls to No. 12, the Vikings would be smart to pick him up. The Notre Dame product plays a lot faster than what he has shown during drills and has the versatility to shine at the next level. Hamilton proved reliable in coverage with 16 pass breakups and 8 interceptions in 31 college games. His ability to step up and clog lanes in the rushing attack allows him to play all over the field, too. Hamilton has a knack for showing up when the lights are the brightest, which is exactly the type of player Minnesota is missing.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.