Today we will be taking a look at the Minnesota Vikings draft. I chose to wait until now to do this because i believe we need to take a realistic look after all the draft hype is gone.So here we go!
Day 1: Picks:22,31 (The Vikings traded Pick 25 for choices 31, 117 and 176)
The First Choice here was LSU Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson. This choice fills a need left when former wide receiver Stefon Diggs was traded to Buffalo. It should really be understood that this need was almost certainly overstated. When healthy Adam Thielen has proven to be one of the games top receivers dating back to 2016. However with Jefferson sitting there after the Eagles chose Jalen Reagor the decision was a no brainer. The stat line is the first thing to look at, 111 receptions 1540 yards and 18 touchdowns. It is safe to say the production is there but as they say “The tape don’t lie” for Jefferson either. His highlight reel to say the least is a long one. He showed good speed strong route running. Justin is a exciting prospect who has a lot of drive and a lot of promise. He improved year by year in college and you can only hope he does the same in the NFL and we do not see a Laquon Treadwell V2. The second choice was TCU Cornerback Jeff Gladney. Gladney was someone who once the Dolphins chose Noah Igbinoghene at pick 30 seemed obvious the Vikings would take. He is truly Mike Zimmer’s type of player. He is a physical wide receiver who gets up in receivers faces. Gladney breaks up tons of passes and doesn’t take many penalties doing it.
Verdict: A Round one was a success. Filling the two largest needs on a roster with few needs to begin with with players with this talent and fit was impressive.
Day 2: Picks: 58,89 (Trade pick 105 for picks 130, 169, 203 and 244)
Day 2 started with a choice i particularly enjoyed, Offensive Tackle Ezra Cleveland. Cleveland is a big physical tackle who reminds me a lot of current tackle Brian O’neill who was a breakout player last year. Do not be suprised if the Vikings follow that same ease em along plan with Ezra. The second choice of the day was Cornerback Cameron Dantzler. Dantzler is someone who really excels at Zone coverage as he has a thin frame that seems to cause some struggles with man coverage. This bodes well for Minnesota as it figures to see Mike Hughes and Jeff Gladney line up in man more often.
Verdict:A- The vikings take a tackle seemingly always a need but there will be no rushing him this time they hope this pans out just as O’neill did. Dantzler joins a young secondary and will offer great zone coverage help to a Cornerback group who seemingly specialize in man coverage as young as they all are.
Day 3: Picks: 117, 130, 132, 155, 169, 176, 203, 205, 225, 244, 249, 253
Day 3 is a long list and the intrigue begins right away with the first three choices. At 117 the Vikings chose DE D.J Wonnum he was taken much higher than many believed he would but he was a Andre Patterson request and Andre has a history with having good judgement about DE’s which makes it intriguing. Next up they chose a production machine in James Lynch. His physical build or traits are not the most exciting but he produces and finds ways to do it. At 132 was my Favourite day 3 pick Linebacker Troy Dye. Many find Dye to be an exciting toolsy linebacker who people thought would go higher in the draft a real good value pick here. In round 5 the Vikings took their most questionable draft choice Wide receiver K.J Osbourn a very little talked about receiver who saw his best success out of the slot not particularly a position of need at this point. They also in the 5th chose CB Harrison Hand truly getting depth at the CB Position. The Vikings followed up the 5th with Offensive Lineman Blake brandel safetys Josh Mettelus and Brian Cole II along with DE Kenny Willekes. While these are all picks that create depth and potentially especially in Cole’s case a intriguing special teams player a la Jayron Kearse. The late round pick attention really goes to Quarterback Nate Stanley. Stanley is a True pocket passer much like Kirk Cousins who will be interesting to follow.
Verdict: B The fourth round was filled with three intriguing picks who look to have large potential however the rest of day 3 was mainly it seemed depth picks and a special teams specialist and a project QB a very large project that is.
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