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Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, we will update our Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Minnesota Vikings from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Vikings:

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso (1/20)

12. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Wilson is a bouncy speedster who'd be an instant star in an offense with Justin Jefferson.

ESPN - Mel Kiper (1/19)

12. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Since 2013, the Vikings have drafted four cornerbacks in Round 1 ... and not a single one of them is still on the roster. Coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman are out, and the new regime will inherit a good, not great, roster with a couple of significant voids, particularly at corner. Veteran Patrick Peterson was signed to a one-year deal last offseason, so he's a free agent, and I'm not sold that Cameron Dantzler is a quality starter.

They should jump at the chance to take Gardner, a lockdown corner who presented problems for opposing offensive coordinators in 2021. He was targeted just 31 times as the nearest defender in coverage, and he allowed only eight catches for 60 yards. With Kirk Cousins not locked in long term, I thought about a quarterback here, but Gardner is too good to pass up for a team in glaring need.

The Athletic - Dane Brugler (1/19)

12. 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.

PFF - Austin Gayle (1/17)

12. 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.

Baltimore Sun - C.J. Doon (1/14)

12. 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.

Athlon Sports - Bryan Fischer (1/13)

12. 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.

San Diego Union Tribune - Eddie Brown (1/13)

12. 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.

USA Today - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (1/12)

12. 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.

For The Win - Charles McDonald (1/12)

12. Andrew Booth Jr., 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.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (1/10)

12. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

The Minnesota Vikings didn't have a single standout pass rusher in 2021 but collectively performed well with Danielle Hunter back in the fray and DJ Wonnum showing some promise as a pass rusher despite plenty of inconsistency stopping the run. But even with some of the other young developmental talent that the Vikings have at defensive end, it would be tough to pass up a talent like George Karlaftis.

Karlaftis is a heavy-handed pass rusher who plays with an unrelenting motor that knows how to reduce rush angles and make an impact. He would complete the Vikings' edge rusher situation and allow the team to focus elsewhere.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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