With the eighteenth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select…
18. Minnesota Vikings: Jonah Williams G/T | Alabama
Kirk Cousins may want to nix his trademarked “You Vike That!” and instead settle for something along the lines of “You’re never one player away…” That’s exactly what the Vikings thought when they signed Cousins to a three-year $84 million guaranteed contract last offseason. Just a year removed from the Minneapolis Miracle, Cousins was supposed to be the Vikes savior in a Super Bowl or bust season. Instead the Vikings finished a disappointing 8-7-1 and missed the playoffs.
Minnesota’s defense finished in the top ten last season, but did lose defensive tackle Sheldon Richardon to the Browns in free agency. They tried to plug that hole by bringing back Shamar Stephen, but a tight salary cap situation (due to that Cousins contract) has kept them from doing much else. It’s going to be hard to convince head coach Mike Zimmer to use this draft pick on the offensive side of the ball, but one look at the stats and it should be a no brainer.
The Vikings finished 30th in rushing and allowed Cousins to be sacked 40 times in 2018. Kirky is effectively useless when under pressure, and don’t tell me to look at his 70% completion rate last season when he was just checking down every other throw. You might as well have kept Sam Bradford if that’s what you want at the quarterback position. The Vikings lucked out with the signing of guard Josh Kline when he was cut loose by the Titans, but they shouldn’t stop there. There have been rumors that Minnesota wants to move left tackle Riley Reiff inside to left guard and if that’s the case then maybe they take Washington State’s Andre Dillard to hold down that left tackle spot. Another name I like here is Alabama’s Jonah Williams. Williams can play left tackle in the pros after doing so in college, but most scouts think he would be better suited at guard. Drafting Williams would give the Vikings the flexibility to experiment on the left-hand side of the o-line, as they try to get their five best guys on the field to improve both the running game and pass protection for their $84 million dollar man.