Head coach Mike Zimmer and Director of College Scouting Jamaal Stephenson addressed the media after the team traded back from their final fourth round pick.
Head coach Mike Zimmer and Director of College Scouting Jamaal Stephenson addressed the media after the team traded back from their final fourth round pick. Zimmer said he was very pleased with the selections the team had made so far. The Vikings have moved up and down the draft board to accomplish their goals.
“I like a lot of things we’ve gotten done so far today and yesterday," Zimmer said. “Trying to pick up the best value we can."
The decision to trade up for running back Dalvin Cook and center Pat Elflein was fueled by value, Zimmer explained.
“The first two picks we moved up because we saw value in doing that," he said. "Cook is a very talented back. Elflein is kind of the guy we’ve been looking for in the offensive line.”
Not to mention, Vikings Director of College Scouting Jamaal Stepenson said Cook had all the talent they look for in a running back. The main component of his game the coaches will look to improve is ball security.
“[Cook] has all the physical tools that you could ever want at the position," he said.
Mike Zimmer also noted that Pat Elflein will begin at center, but has the experience to play guard if necessary. Stephenson added, "[Elflein is] a really tough guy, a competitor. He played at a big program and at a high level."
In the fourth round the Vikings selected Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, who Zimmer views as a swing tackle. He not only can play three technique, but could slide over to nose tackle as well.
“Jaleel Johnson is a tough, strong, inside run defender," Zimmer said. “He’ll probably be a swing guy. He’s very explosive coming out of his hips. Very explosive at the point of attack.”
With their second selection in the fourth round, the Vikings drafted Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon. Zimmer said he liked what he saw on tape and in person at the Senior Bowl from Gedeon.
"Ben Gedeon is a very good linebacker who is another tough guy. He loves to play the game," Zimmer said. "I watched him quite a bit. This guy is a football player.”
Director of College Scouting Jamaal Stephenson said the Vikings have made six trades because they feel the draft is deep and there is more room to make these kind of moves. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Vikings trade a few of their remaining seven picks as the draft progresses.