MT - Dream Draft
With a little more than a week until the clock starts rolling, decided to take a crack at a dream draft for the Purple. That is, a draft where basically everything that can go in their favor, will. Still aren't going to mock trades because that would require some Shutter Isle level fantasizing and not even a pandemic creates enough ⏳ for that. There's maybe a 0.00000000000000000001% chance that the draft would go this way but I'm going to have some fun with it and maybe you'll enjoy it as well!
After being the latest player to repeatedly get passed over in surprising fashion, Minnesota will waste 0.0 time in getting their selection in. The big-man from across the border will trade his Black & Gold for Purple & Gold and all members of Skol Nation will go berserk. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa Offensive Tackle to create a young tandem of OL that sound like they would fit in at water polo matches and would be regulars in the Hamptons.
Following the brief pause, Minnesota is back on the clock. Another highly regarded player has continued to be opted away from, which leaves him open to make the Purple all the better now that the 1B receiver will be playing in Northern New York. CeeDee Lamb isn't a point for point fill-in for the things that Diggs does well but he could fill those shoes and help the offense get even better.
One of the other frequent talkers this offseason has been what to do with the oft-injured and highly talented running back. An extension remains the most likely scenario but I'm starting to lean in a different direction. Instead of ever extending running backs that aren't Christian McCaffrey, draft their replacements. I liked Mike Boone immediately as a member of a top platoon and I think that with their pick in the second round, Minnesota would create the best group in the league. From another near-by rival, Jonathan Taylor. I'm not sure how much tread is on that tire but for three or four years, he should be good to go.
Now, for the second time in four picks, it's time for need and opportunity to collide. Everyone knows that Minnesota's back-end of the defense is quite bare. With their first pick in the third round, it's time to add someone to help cover it - Jaylon Johnson, CB Utah.
Then a dozen plus a few picks later, they'll do it again. Not on the defense but in the form of another young guy to help elevate the offensive line. From Collegeville, MN to downtown Minneapolis, Ben Bartch will don the royal colors as a potential steal of the draft!
Fast-forward to Saturday about high-noon and the Purple are back on the clock. This time they'll be keeping it in the team family and adding another member to take the reins from Rudolph in the near future. Thaddeus Moss, Tight-End LSU.
Since the draft has thus-far been offensively leaned, now would be the time for an infusion on the other side. With only Danielle Hunter currently on the roster as a high-caliber rusher, they'll want to add another contender for the rotation. Adding a guy that could co-op with Hunter as the primary rush options would be a dream. In this case that will come in the form of Nick Coe, DE Auburn.
They'll stick with defense when 201 rolls around. There are a plethora of needs that could still be addressed but in a dream scenario, they will find their slot-corner of the next half-decade. Out of the Corner factory that Washington has become, there's a guy whose ceiling could be Antoine Winfieldesque. No, not his namesake. He will be drafted much higher and possibly by Minnesota in reality, but as a safety at the next level. At this point, it'll be Myles Brant, CB Washington, that gets to work in Eagan next Fall.
Four picks later they're back at it. This time Rick will return to his Golden Dome loving roots and find a player to potentially pair with one of the best Safeties in the league, who also happens to hail from South Bend. The new guy's name is Jalen Elliott, remember it.
Then comes the final round. Also known as Rick Spielman's hour of glee. Has as much to do with the opportunity to utilize all the nicknames of the most famous guy with his same name as it does with making the team better. But Linebacker could use some more depth so with the first of the seventh round picks, it's Shaquille Quarterman, Miami.
30 picks later and there's almost as little chance that this guy is still on the board as any other player in this thing but a dream is a dream. In reality, he is a player that may well actually suite up in Eagan, it would just take a pick at probably three rounds earlier, at minimum. But at this point in the draft, the opportunity is too great to not get a possible Russell Wilson to our Matt Flynn, in the form of James Morgan, Florida International.
With only a couple selections left before the undrafted scrum, both of the last 2 selections will end up being guys that they would rather not gamble on having to sign. It's an approach that has worked well for the team in recent years and I expect will be beneficial again. Which is part of the reason I think they'll make more than the three current selections under their control, possibly increasing it to five before it's all over. But that's reality and this is still the dream. It's bordering on insane fantasy actually because of the GM's track record but with this pick, they'll add another pass rusher that may well get called much earlier but will almost surely outperform his position, whenever it comes to be. The player - Derrek Tuszka. The university - North Dakota State. The future - bright.