In the NFL, draft season is also referred to as smokescreen season. We have seen countless teams pump out rumors of being “all in” on certain players to send other teams into a frenzy. At this time of the year, it can be extremely difficult to discern what is true and what is false. Despite this, looking at a team’s draft prospect visits can shed some light on who they are truly interested in.
So far, the Minnesota Vikings have had 25 of their allotted 30 private visits of college draft prospects. Listed below are the most notable of the Vikings’ pre-draft visits.
Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia
Carter reportedly visited the Vikings as a top-30 visit on April 4. He also met with the team during the NFL Combine last month. Carter is a tremendous athlete with good pass rushing skills and is expected to be a second-round pick. His main concerns are his lack of strength and hand usage when pass rushing, which hurts his ability to play as a 4-3 defensive end. This should be corrected through proper conditioning and coaching, however.
Although he was outshined by teammate Roquan Smith, Carter has the ability to become an NFL starter. If taken by the Vikings, Carter would likely fill in as a weakside linebacker.
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
Mike Hughes of UCF is another defensive star that had a top-30 visit with the Vikings. Hughes is a pretty raw corner prospect, with only two years of playing experience. However, he has the traits and ball skills that defensive coordinators covet, making him a likely first-round pick.
Along with this, Hughes is also an explosive kick returner. Last season at UCF, Hughes returned two kickoffs and a punt back of six points, including a game-winner against rival South Florida. Hughes is primed to make an immediate impact as a returner and will gradually gain more snaps on defense.
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
McGlinchey is one of the top tackle prospects in this year’s draft, and for good reason. He is very athletic and has pro-ready technique, allowing him to become an early NFL starter. He needs more strength to hold up against powerful pass rushers, but is still seen as a first-round talent. With an offensive line desperate for more depth, the Minnesota Vikings may very well draft McGlinchey with the 30th overall pick.
Frank Ragnow, C/G, Arkansas
Arkansas’ Frank Ragnow made a top-30 visit with the Minnesota Vikings on April 3 and 4, according to several reports. The Vikings also interviewed Ragnow during the NFL Combine. He is one of the most versatile interior offensive lineman in this year’s draft, with experience at both center and guard.
He excels at both pass and run protection, making him a likely first or second-round pick. If Minnesota does select Ragnow, he will likely be moved to guard and is expected to start right away.
Connor Williams, G/T, Texas
Williams is one of the more intriguing tackle prospects in this year’s draft. After a stellar 2016 season, he followed it up with a rather disappointing 2017 season. Williams’ clean technique and footwork regressed last year, leaving some scouts to doubt whether he is a true first-round talent.
Williams has the build and athleticism to play at any spot along the offensive line, which is an extremely valuable trait to have. With the Vikings, he would most likely start his career as a guard and eventually be moved out to the tackle position.
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Harrison is a complete safety prospect and is likely to be picked in the early rounds of the draft. Harrison has the speed and skill to play either free or strong safety, although he is more suited for the latter. He needs additional coaching on pass coverage, but should be a solid starter early in his career. The Vikings do not have a huge need at safety, but Harrison could be an eventual replacement for strong safety Andrew Sendejo.
Other notable top-30 visits
- Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
- P.J. Hall, NT, Sam Houston State
- Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State
- Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
- Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
- Uchenna Nwosu, OLB, USC
- Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
- Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Featured image by Joe Robbins / Getty Images
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