Minnesota Vikings Day 3 draft recap

The Minnesota Vikings loaded up on draft picks heading into Day 3 of the draft. Here’s what they came away with:

Oklahoma, G, Dru Samia 

The 6-foot-4, 303-pound offensive lineman played both tackle and guard during his time as a Sooner. Per Pro Football Focus he allowed zero sacks, two QB hits and nine hurries last year. At the NFL Combine he was one of the stronger linemen, benching 28 reps.’s Lance Zierlein wrote:

Vocal leader who has cut his teeth with an Oklahoma offensive line that has dripped with aggression and attitude during his four years as a starter. Samia is a loose-limbed, athletic guard whose foot quickness and second-level agility make him much more attractive as a move guard rather than a base-blocking option. His length and movement skills are a big plus, but issues with core strength and body control at the point of attack must be improved in order to survive against NFL power.

Samia talked about fitting into the Vikings’ zone scheme:

“I’m very comfortable,” he said. “I felt like at Oklahoma we ran a pretty versatile offense, so whether I went to a team for power or zone, I felt like I was going to be a good fit. Of all the NFL coaches that I was talking to, they said that I was more of a zone scheme guy. I’ll just trust the NFL expertise. I am ready to get into this scheme and get things going.”

USC, LB, Cameron Smith 

A 6-foot-2, 238-pound linebacker who started for four years and racked up 354 tackles. At the NFL Combine he ran an above averaged 4.69 40-yard dash and was a top vertical jumper at 39 inches. wrote:

Inside linebacker whose four-year run can best be described as smart and steady. Smith is lacking the physical traits and athletic ability to excite general managers and his tape is hardly splashy. However, he has a keen sense of play development and uses smart angles and proper technique to do his job effectively. He could hear his name called in the middle rounds, but it won’t take long for a coaching staff to look beyond his limitations and see a future starter.

Smith was a captain at USC. He talked on his conference call about his leadership style.

“Leading by example is the best thing that you can do as a leader and always doing the right things and people will want to follow,” he said. “But being able to express your opinions and get after some guys is how you set yourself apart. Being in the middle of those two and just in terms of leadership style for your team. Everyone responds in different ways and I think it’s important to get to know your teammates and figure out how to lead them and get guys behind you.”

Arkansas, DT, Armon Watts

A one-year starter, Watts put together an eight-sack season with three QB hits and 16 hurries, per PFF. wrote:

Ascending interior defender who committed himself to the work and took the coaching and went from a lightly-used backup to the center stage his senior season. He is an efficient, downhill rusher with the power and hand usage to pry open opportunities for pressures and sacks. His recognition and response in the run game is behind, but his ability to anchor against double teams and defeat single blocks is NFL-caliber. Watts’s size, strength and play traits should allow him consideration in both odd and even fronts as a future starter.

Wyoming, DB, Marcus Epps

In four years in college he intercepted nine passes and allowed an 80.8 rating into his coverage. He graded eighth in the draft class in tackling efficiency. He finished his career at Wyoming with 269 tackles and 20 passes defended.

On his skill set, Epps said: “My versatility or my football IQ. I feel like I can play different positions anywhere the team needs me or wants me to play. I am willing to put the work in and get it done.”

Elon, OT, Oli Udoh 

The Vikings’ seventh rounder ran a 5.05 40-yard dash despite weighing 323 pounds. He has an 85-inch wingspan, which puts him in the 95th percentile. Started every game for the last three seasons. wrote:

Mammoth right tackle prospect with intriguing developmental traits as both a run blocker and in pass protection. Udoh lacks the quickness for move-blocking duties but has power to generate push against opponents in front of him. There are exploitable holes in his pass sets for the NFL, but his size, length and potential for improvement in that phase are worthy of taking a shot on as a Day 3 draft-and-develop prospect that might require a year on the practice squad.

Udoh talked about playing in a zone scheme at his size:

“I think that’s another huge factor that the Vikings kind of could tell from tape and other factors, but because of the weight that I have, you wouldn’t expect me to be as quick as I am,” he said. “Just being able to be my size and move the way I’ve been moving these past couple months with those games and my season I think definitely helped with this whole process of getting me to be a Viking.”

Texas, CB, Kris Boyd

Started for Texas for three years, Boyd’s 2017 was his best year when he allowed just a 43.5 completion percentage into his coverage. He fits a Mike Zimmer defense athletic profile at 5-foot-11, 201-pounds. He did 19 bench reps at the NFL Combine. wrote:

Big, corner who plays with adequate instincts and above-average aggression in disrupting the catch and supporting the run. Boyd’s game is best suited in zone coverage where defensive coordinators can limit his exposure to speed/quickness and allow him to play downhill and with his eyes forward. He will be stronger than many opponents, but also less athletic than most. A move to safety could give him a better chance to succeed as a starter.

Oregon, WR, Dillon Mitchell

Mitchell caught 75 passes on 130 targets for the Ducks for 1,184 yards and caught 10 touchdowns. He ranked 120th in the draft class in drop rate, according to PFF. wrote:

Early entry receiver hoping to ride the wave of a heavily-targeted, highly productive junior campaign. Mitchell isn’t big, has average speed and loses focus as a pass catcher, but his ball skills show up on tape and he’s a natural talent with the ball in his hands. While his routes are undisciplined at this time, they should get much better with coaching. Mitchell has talent but needs to put the time in and take the coaching in order to become more than a WR4/WR5.

Colorado State, WR, Olabisi Johnson

Caught 54 passes for 796 yards (14.7 average) and four touchdowns for the Rams in his final season. wrote: 

Tough, consistent and dependable are terms scouts and coaches use in describing Johnson as a player. He is a very polished route runner, but his lack of top-end speed could limit his draft stock somewhat. His short-area footwork is solid, but he could really thrive as a big, zone-beater in space. Johnson’s football character, intelligence and core special teams ability give him a chance to find work early and eventually become a dependable WR3.

Air Force, LS, Austin Cutting