The fifth round could be much later than when the Vikings address the defensive line (Nathan Shepherd, PJ Hill, Harrison Phillips are all possibilities in earlier rounds), but Georgia’s Trenton Thompson could be a nice fit for the club if they do decide to wait.
Sheldon Richardson’s one-year deal helps the club shore up the interior, but some long-term options are needed via the draft. Thompson (6-foot-4 and 295 pounds) was one of the most disruptive forces on the defensive line for an ultra-talented Bulldogs defense last season, which included his soul-altering hit in the National Championship Game.
Thompson’s past medical issues could be a concern, but if the Vikings feel comfortable, he’d be a nice fit as an athletic disruptor on the interior. If Thomas isn’t the pick, look for USC’s Uchenna Nwosu.
The Vikings have spent a lot of time with Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy during the draft process, making him a distinct possibility to be selected by the club on day three.
Cichy isn’t the most athletic of linebackers but is extremely instinctual and intelligent. His medical history and lack of starting experience could be a concern, but Cichy is the type of player who could very well exceed expectations and become a valuable starter if he’s able to stay healthy.
The Vikings will be in the market for an offensive tackle as they continue to shore up protection for Kirk Cousins and Humboldt State’s Alex Cappa could be a target in the sixth round.
Cappa is a mountain of a man (6-foot-7 and 305 pounds) who made himself a lot of money with a standout performance at the Senior Bowl. He has great length and athleticism and enjoys playing to the whistle.
The jump from Humboldt State to the NFL is a steep one and will certainly factor into where he lands in the draft. This spot may be a bit low for Cappa, as I could see him going as early as the fourth round, but GM Rick Spielman could have himself a diamond in the rough by snagging Cappa at this spot in the sixth.
With Mark Andrews shoring up their red zone offense, Minnesota may look to a receiver who can stretch the field in the later rounds.
A former five-star recruit, Alabama’s Robert Foster is one of the most explosive wide receiver prospects in this draft, despite not getting much of a chance to display that talent during his Crimson Tide career.
Foster is raw but has the quickness and speed to turn into a valuable role player at the NFL level. The Vikes struck gold with Stefon Diggs late in the 2015 Draft and could hope for a repeat with the selection of Foster late in 2018.
Another intriguing small-school prospect, cornerback Michael Joseph would help to further solidify an already-talented Vikings secondary.
Joseph has the size, length and speed that is coveted in today’s NFL game, but the transition from Division III to the pro game likely won’t be an easy one. Joseph is more of a developmental prospect, but one that could pay dividends for Minnesota down the line.