The Minnesota Vikings don’t have a general manager or a head coach.

While we might not yet know the strategies, concepts and schemes of whomever will be in charge, we do know where the Vikings will pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Minnesota owns the No. 12 overall selection this year and has a pick in every round but the fourth, including three in the sixth. (The Vikings are not expected to be awarded any compensatory picks, which will be announced at a later date.)

The Vikings twice have taken a player at No. 12 and let’s say there were mix results. In 1973, Minnesota grabbed running back Chuck Foreman at that slot. In 2011, quarterback Christian Ponder.

Minnesota hasn’t made a selection this high since taking Trae Wayne at No. 11 overall in 2015. Could a cornerback be chosen again in 2022?

With the 2021 regular season behind us and the Vikings 2022 offseason beginning, we take a look at who the Vikings are projected to land with their first-round pick (and in some instances, rounds after that). We’ll be back throughout the offseason with updates.

For now, here’s our first look at mock drafts for the Vikings from around the web:

Dane Brugler of The Athletic ($) (2 rounds): Round 1 -- Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “Opinions are split around the league if Gardner belongs in the top-15 or if he should come off the board in the back-half of round one. The Cincinnati corner was a three-year starter and didn’t give up a touchdown in over 1,100 coverage snaps in college. Gardner gets a little handsy, but he has the long-striding speed and hip-flip to stay on top of routes.”; Round 2 -- Kingsley Enagbare, Edge, South Carolina.

Eddie Brown of the San Diego Union-Tribune: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland were only signed to one-year deals and neither played well enough to be asked back — Breeland was released in-season. Gardner made it through the playoff loss to Alabama unscathed. He finished his collegiate career with 1,100-plus snaps with nine interceptions and zero touchdowns allowed.”

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah. “The Vikings will need to address the second level with oft-injured aging Anthony Barr heading into free agency along with Nick Vigil. Lloyd is a strong rangy athlete who stands out making plays, with smarts and good instincts made for their zone scheme.”

Zack Patraw of Draft Bible: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. "Has extreme length on the outside at corner. Is able to bump and run at the line of scrimmage in press coverage with his longer frame and is able to stay with receivers stride for stride down the field."

Ryan Wilson of Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State. “Add the Vikings to the list of teams searching for a new GM and coach. They could go QB here or they could target a cornerback. Instead, we have them going with wideout. Yes, Justin Jefferson is one of the best players in the league but Adam Thielen will be 32 next season -- and more importantly, there's not much depth behind those two among the wideouts.”

Kyle Stackpole of Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame. “Somehow, CBS Sports' top-overall prospect is available at No. 12, which would be too good for a Vikings team with an aging defense to pass up. Minnesota could have gone with a cornerback, such as Andrew Booth Jr. or Ahmad Gardner, but Hamilton can impact all three levels of the defense with his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, quality coverage skills and sure tackling. He'd make life easier for the other 10 defenders on the field.”

Josh Edwards of Malik Willis, QB, Liberty. “Minnesota has gone the route of cleaning house by moving on from Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman. There is no indication of who the next regime will be or what it might do in the draft, but it is reasonable to think it may want a fresh start at quarterback as well.”

Chris Trapasso of Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State.

Drafttek (7 rounds): Round 1 -- Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati; Round 2 – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati; Round 3 – Damone Clark, ILB, LSU; Round 5 – Zakoby McClain, OLB, Auburn, Round 6a – Ali Gaye, Edge, LSU; Round 6b – Erick All, TE, Michigan; Round 6c – Corey Sutton, WR, Appalachian State; Round 7 – Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma.

Luke Easterling of Draft Wire (3 rounds): Round 1 -- Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “This is a huge win for the Vikings, who match a big need at corner with a huge steal in Gardner, who didn’t allow a single touchdown catch in his entire college career. His combination of size, length, athleticism and ball skills should have him off the board in the top 10, making him a bargain here.”; Round 2 – Jordan Battle, S, Alabama; Round 3 – Derick Hall, Edge, Auburn.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina. “Speaking of not the biggest, fastest, or strongest, Minnesota is taking the chance to transition quarterbacks—with a new head coach, too! The Vikings will free themselves up a lot of flexibility if they can trade QB Kirk Cousins' $35M guaranteed 2022 salary off their books this offseason—a venture I think they should explore. But that cost combined with Cousins' age and ceiling may be prohibitive to the team successfully hauling in an ideal return. I don't think they get a first for him. Sam Howell would benefit greatly from going into an environment where his supporting skill players are top-notch—as he had in 2020 when playing with Javonte Williams and Michael Carter in the backfield plus Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome at wide receiver. Without \squints\ all of them in 2021, Howell's passing efficiency dipped and he had to put the team on his back with twice the rushing workload. Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen? That's a friendly environment for a young quarterback, for sure.”

Cam Mellor of Pro Football Network: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “A true lockdown cornerback heads to the Minnesota Vikings as Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner heads north. The talented CB from Cincinnati was so feared in coverage that he was routinely avoided this past season. He’ll blanket an entire side of the field in coverage and separate himself as a willing run defender. Sauce brings just that — some sauce — to an otherwise lackluster, aging secondary.”

Joe Fragoza of Pro Football Network (3 rounds): Round 1 -- Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner not only has the best nickname in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he has an argument to be the CB1. No DB has been as consistent as Gardner over the last three years. The definition of a shutdown corner, he didn’t allow a single touchdown in his collegiate career. Not. One. Like giving flowers on Valentine’s Day, Gardner never fails.”; Round 2 – Drake Jackson, Edge, USC; Round 3 – Lecitus Smith, G, Virginia Tech.

Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU. “Although it could be argued there are bigger needs for the Minnesota Vikings, taking Derek Stingley Jr. No. 12 overall in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft is a no-brainer. The franchise has a checkered recent past at the cornerback position. Stingley gives them an athletic playmaker with exceptional ball skills who was phenomenal in his freshman season for LSU. An injury ended his junior campaign, but he should rebound as one of the best in the class.”

Tyler Olson of Pro Football Network: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU. “LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. showed elite traits as a true freshman in 2019. However, he struggled to build off that campaign, failing to create a turnover over the past two seasons. The Minnesota Vikings are getting a cornerback with quite possibly the highest ceiling at the position in the 2022 NFL Draft. Getting Stingley there will be the challenge of whoever the Vikings choose as their new head coach.”

Nick Klopsis of Newsday: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson. “The Vikings don’t have much depth at cornerback, and that’s not even factoring in the impending free agencies of Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander. Andrew Booth Jr. has a great mix of size, athleticism and ball skills. He’s physical enough to deal with bigger receivers and in contested-catch situations yet also has the speed to match vertical threats.”

C.J. Doon of the Baltimore Sun: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “With a new coach and general manager taking over for the Vikings, this is an opportunity for a hard reset. That could include drafting Kirk Cousins’ successor if they decide to move on from the veteran quarterback. Assuming Cousins comes back, the Vikings need to improve their secondary. Nicknamed ‘Sauce,’ the 6-3, 200-pound Gardner did not allow a touchdown during his standout college career.”

Tim Bielik of Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame. “The term 'unicorn' isn’t one that is usually thrown around in the NFL. Isaiah Simmons was that player two years ago. This year, it’s Hamilton. He’s got remarkable size for a safety and is incredibly athletic and intelligent. Hamilton is the kind of player that teams shouldn’t put into a box. For a Minnesota team with a new general manager and head coach, having a player as versatile as Hamilton fall into their lap is a great boost as the Vikings try to retool.”

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “Recently fired coach Mike Zimmer didn't hide his displeasure with Minnesota's defense the last two years, and dismissed GM Rick Spielman's various botched investments at cornerback played a large part in the unit's downfall. 'Sauce' could help set things straight in the secondary, as the 6-3, 200-pound coverage maven looks ready-made for the pros after never giving up a touchdown in college.”

Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “A physical, uber-talented cover corner, Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner had one of the most impressive seasons we’ve ever seen for a college cornerback. He played 448 coverage snaps and allowed receptions on just 17-of-36 targets for 117 yards and zero touchdowns.”

Charles McDonald of For The Win: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson. “The Vikings need to upgrade their cornerback room so here’s a cornerback. See how that works? Andrew Booth can run with the best of them and would give the Vikings a physical corner capable of shutting down receivers in man coverage.”

Walter Cherepinsky of (3 rounds): Round 1 – Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State. “Everson Griffen may never play football again, so the Vikings may want to add to their pass rush in order to give them a better chance of defeating Aaron Rodgers. Jermaine Johnson, who left Georgia for Florida State, has good speed off the edge.”; Round 2 – Chasen Hines, G, LSU; Round 3 – Travis Jones, NT, UConn.

Charlie Campbell of (2 rounds): Round 1 -- Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati. “The previous regime in Minnesota blew a lot of picks on cornerbacks, and the position remains a weakness. Here's a potential elite No. 1 corner for the Vikings.”; Round 2 – Zachary Carter, DE, Florida.

Pete Fiutak of Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson.

Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports: Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi. “The organization has moved on from their head coach and GM and it won’t be long before Kirk Cousins joins the list. Corral is a dynamic passer that certainly brings a bit of an 'it' factor that is currently lacking in the Twin Cities.”

James Dator of SBNation: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson.

Tab Bamford of ESNY (4 rounds): Round 1 -- Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU. “This would be a wonderful turn of events for a Vikings organization that’s embarking on an overhaul; they’re now looking for a new GM and head coach. Stingley is still considered the best corner in this draft class despite the last couple years not living up to the promise of his dynamic freshman campaign. Minnesota needs a corner and the best one in the draft is available at No. 12.”; Round 2 – Channing Tindhall, LB, Georgia; Round 3 – Obinna Eze, OT, TCU.

Brian Bosarge of Draft Countdown: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati.

Brad Crawford of 247 Sports: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame.

Tankathon: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati.

Joe DiTullio of Game Haus: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson.


Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati 14

Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson 5

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame 3

Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU 3

Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State 2

Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

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