Todd McShay’s first 2022 NFL mock draft has the Minnesota Vikings taking Cincinnati football star defensive back Ahmad Gardner with their first-round pick in a total Mike Zimmer move.
If left to his own devices, the longtime Vikings head coach would draft only defensive players. It has been long established what side of the ball he favors. Though Gardner has been one of the better players out of the Group of Five, “Sauce” might be transformed into toast when he has to cover 2022 top-10 pick Jameson Williams in the Cotton Bowl vs. the Alabama Crimson Tide.
While Gardner is certainly worthy of going top-half in the 2022 NFL Draft, what are the chances Zimmer even gets to be a part of the Vikings’ draft process again?
Todd McShay has Vikings taking Ahmad Gardner in total Mike Zimmer move
This is significant is Zimmer will not be the Vikings head coach for another season if Minnesota fails to make the NFC Playoffs. The Vikings are one of a handful of sub-.500 teams still technically alive for the No. 7 seed. Minnesota is not winning the NFC North, but the Vikings are a game back of the San Francisco 49ers for No. 6 and are tied with the Washington Football Team for No. 7.
Frankly, it would be kind of hilarious if the Vikings still took a player like Gardner in the teens, even if Zimmer is no longer their head coach. Minnesota should opt for best player available where they are projected to be picking. Heck, they might even be in a good spot to take Kirk Cousins’ successor with the second or third quarterback coming off the board. Let’s hope he is not Christian Ponder.
Unfortunately, Minnesota seems to be stuck in no-man’s land in the middle of the NFL landscape.