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APC Community Mock Draft: Vikings set to pick at no. 12

The Vikings are up next after the Commanders bolstered their secondary, picking Derek Stingley Jr.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

In our APC Community Mock, Draft, Ron Rivera got a weapon for his defense with the 11th pick as the Commanders selected shutdown corner Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley has had bouts of inconsistency the past 2 years, but his 2019 tape shines through as an example of his potential. If he returns to form, the Commanders have a special player on their hands.

After firing Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman this offseason, the team brought in Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as head coach and GM. Despite the upheaval, the Vikings seem to believe this roster is built to win now, despite the last 2 years of mediocrity. Kirk Cousins was signed to a one-year, $35 million extension that lowered his cap hit for this year and will keep him in Minnesota through 2023. In addition, the Vikings made some small moves to shore up their run defense.

As it stands, the Vikings’ biggest need is cornerback. For better or worse, Patrick Peterson is back, but the depth behind him is poor. The majority of mock drafts have the Vikings going corner here, but the board has not fallen in their favor. Trent McDuffie is one to keep an eye on, as he is the last of the highly ranked corners in the draft but still has the potential to be the day 1 starter the Vikings need.

Edge rusher is always a need in the NFL, and the Vikings are no different. Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are a fearsome duo but their health can’t be relied on. George Karlaftis and Jermaine Johnson will certainly get looks here. While it may be considered a bit of a reach, Minnesota will need depth at edge if they truly plan to compete for the NFC North this year.


Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

McDuffie may lack the length typically required for a shutdown corner, but is sticky in press coverage. He received third-team All-American honors in 11 games last season at Washington, totaling four tackles for loss and six pass breakups. His footwork and burst allow him to stay with receivers downfield and tighten throwing windows in an instant. Despite his smaller stature, McDuffie is a willing tackler who relishes the opportunity to crash downhill and blow up plays. He understandably gets overpowered by bigger receivers at times, but he is an explosive, quick-twitch athlete who teams will want to bet on.

Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

After transferring to Florida State from Georgia, Johnson showed plenty of NFL traits in his one year as a starter. The 6’5” 260 lb. edge rusher tallied 12 sacks and 18 tackles for loss on his way to winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2021. Johnson is an excellent run defender who stays strong at the point of attack and uses his range to finish well. As a pass rusher, he possesses the length to separate from linemen. Johnson’s versatility, strength, and always-on motor will serve him well as he gains more experience and learns the nuances of the NFL.

George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Despite his first taste of football coming at age 13 after moving to Indiana from Greece, Karlaftis exploded onto the scene with a breakout freshman year in 2019. After missing time in 2020, he returned in 2020 to post five sacks and three forced fumbles in 12 games, receiving third-team All-American honors along the way. At 6’4”, 275 lbs., his sheer size should provide some versatility to play inside. His lack of bend is noticeable but could be offset by solid hand usage and raw athleticism. Karlaftis may be raw, but he already possesses a level of power and refinement to his game that should serve him well from day 1.


Poll

Who will the Vikings select at no. 12?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
    (223 votes)
  • 25%
    Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
    (94 votes)
  • 15%
    George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
    (58 votes)
375 votes total Vote Now

With holes across the defense, will the Vikings opt to fix their mediocre secondary? Or will they add depth on the edge as they look to supplement the Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith tandem? Be sure to vote here and on Twitter (@acmepackingco) to find out and check back tomorrow as the Texans and Ravens are on the clock.