The Minnesota Vikings 2022 NFL Draft Recap

The Minnesota Vikings entered the 2022 NFL Draft with obtrusive wants at a number of positions. On protection, security and cornerback have been positions the place they weren’t solely missing depth, but in addition future starters. as a number of Vikings defensive starters can have their contracts expire on the finish of subsequent season. Depth at edge rusher and inside linebacker have been additionally thought of positions of want.

On offense, the most important want was at wait, wait… don’t inform me. Ah sure, the offensive line. They do have their long-term bookend tackles in Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill. And Ezra Cleveland made some nice strides on the left guard place to assist partially solidify the road. The oh-so-familiar weaknesses on the heart and the suitable guard positions have regularly stored QB Kirk Cousins on his rear-end too usually in passing conditions.

With the lack of Tyler Conklin, tight finish was additionally a place the place they lacked depth. Behind starter Irv Smith, there are a variety of questions. Including a high quality participant on the receiver place was additionally excessive on their want checklist, because of the many three-receiver units that new coach Kevin O’Connell likes to run. And Alexander Mattison’s contract expires that means that Dalvin Cook dinner’s backup in 2023 may not at the moment be on the roster.

So how did Minnesota fare on this 12 months’s draft? The first sensible factor they did was to commerce down to extend the variety of gamers that they may draft. Second of all, they did attempt very exhausting to deal with their defensive deficiencies early within the draft to attempt to keep away from the porous protection of final season. So, let’s consider the Vikings’ participant alternatives on all three days of the draft.

Day One

Nice anticipation surrounded the Minnesota Vikings and their first-round choice. Having the 12th decide general meant that the Vikings can be drafting a day one starter. Wouldn’t it be cornerback Trent McDuffie from the College of Washington? Security Kyle Hamilton from Notre Dame was sliding down the checklist. He and Harrison “Hitman” Smith would make for a candy pair of safeties. Or perhaps one of many high quality large receiver prospects that have been nonetheless out there?

However new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had some tips up his sleeve. With the Vikings on the clock, they despatched the quantity 12 and 46 picks to the division rival Detroit Lions for the Lions’ thirty second, thirty fourth, and 66th picks. With the commerce, they added an extra second and third-round decide. For a crew with solely eight picks coming into the draft, and solely three alternatives within the first 4 rounds, this was a sensible transfer.

The Minnesota Vikings Made Good Trades on Draft Day

It was sensible as a result of regardless of what some analysts and Minnesota Vikings followers assume, the crew is correct to 10 gamers away from being a Tremendous Bowl contending crew. Not three to 4 gamers as many individuals imagine.

Anyway, with decide quantity 32, the Vikings drafted a blue-chip prospect at a place of want. They selected hard-hitting security Lewis Cine from the College of Georgia. This speedster is a bodily defender towards the run, and a giant play baller, who led the Bulldogs in passes defended in 2021. He’ll pair properly with Smith subsequent season after which will likely be his inheritor obvious in a 12 months or two. Trivia: Cine was the fifth Georgia defensive participant chosen within the first spherical.

Day Two

Earlier than their decide within the second spherical, the Minnesota Vikings initiated one other commerce. This time, they swapped decide quantity 34 to the dreaded Inexperienced Bay Packers for the Packer’s 53rd and 59th picks. They then rotated and traded their 53rd, 77th, and 92nd picks to the Indianapolis Colts in trade for Indy’s 42nd and 122nd picks

In a transfer that might make or break their draft, the Minnesota Vikings chosen cornerback Andrew Sales space Jr. from Clemson College. The oft-injured Sales space is nonetheless, a first-round expertise. Sales space is an aggressive defender, who makes use of his lengthy arms to disrupt passes. And with Cameron Dantzler being the one rostered cornerback beneath contract for 2023, this was certainly a sensible pickup at a real place of want.

A Query Mark at Quantity 59

The Vikings’ decide at 59 was type of a head-scratcher. The participant they selected was at a place of want for the crew. The lingering query is, did they draft the perfect participant out there at that place? The choice was guard Ed Ingram from LSU. A proficient go blocker, whose off-the-field points have been replayed within the mainstream media advert nauseam.  By all appearances, he has turned that nook. The query is, was he a greater decide than say Sean Rhyan out of UCLA?

The Minnesota Vikings’ final decide of the day was one which I appreciated higher than a few of the different analysts. With decide quantity 66, they chose linebacker Brian Asamoah from the College of Oklahoma. A few of my analytical pals say that the Purple ought to have chosen an edge right here. They inform me that inside linebackers are the simplest place to exchange on the protection.

Nonetheless, with this decide, they added some much-needed depth to their linebacking corps and doubtless drafted a future starter on the place. He, together with second-year man Chazz Surratt, and younger veteran Troy Dye, will compete to backup All-Professional Eric Kendricks and lately acquired Jordan Hicks. Asamoah is undersized, however he pursues properly sideline to sideline, he’s an efficient blitzer and is not any slouch in go protection.

Day Three

Earlier than their first number of the fourth spherical, the Vikings initiated one other commerce, and this time it facilitated a transfer up within the draft. They despatched their 156th decide and 2023 fourth-round decide to the Cleveland Browns in trade for the Brown’s choice at quantity 118. With this decide, they selected cornerback Akayleb Evans from the College of Missouri. He initiatives as a little bit of a challenge, however the Vikings like his mixture of velocity, top, and athleticism.

However Krafty Kwesi was not completed together with his wheeling and dealing but. The Minnesota Vikings swapped their 122nd and 250th picks to the Oakland Raiders for Oakland’s 126th and 227th picks. They then promptly despatched decide quantity 126 again to the Raiders for picks 165 and 169. Kwesi was finished buying and selling for the night time, however my head was nonetheless spinning.

The Minnesota Vikings Decide a Golden Gopher

With their two fifth-round picks, the Vikings selected edge Esezi Otomewo from the College of Minnesota and working again Ty Chandler from the College of North Carolina. Otomewo is a challenge, however he has motor on him. He has time to develop with Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, and D.J. Wonnum forward of him on the depth chart.

The alternative of Chandler might sound odd with the Vikings stacked at working again. They at the moment have Dalvin Cook dinner, Alexander Mattison, and Kene Nwangwu on the roster. And as soon as once more, Mattison turns into a free agent on the finish of subsequent season and the crew could have problem re-signing him. And the crew loves Nwangwu for his kick return skills. Chandler is a multi-talented again who will likely be given time to develop within the system.

The Minnesota Vikings Draft for Depth

In spherical six, Minnesota selected offensive sort out Vederian Lowe from the College of Illinois and large receiver Jalen Nailor from Michigan State College. With the departure of Rashod Hill, the Vikings lack high quality depth at sort out so Lowe ought to assist shore up that place instantly. Possession receiver Nailor will compete with Ihmir Smith-Marsette for enjoying time on the fourth receiver place.

With their remaining decide of the draft, the Vikings chosen tight-end Nick Muse from the College of South Carolina. Muse will compete with final 12 months’s rookie Zach Davidson, and veterans Johnny Mundt and Ben Ellefson for enjoying time alongside Irv Smith. Muse is an effective receiver who can have a steep studying curve in his quest to be a reliable NFL blocker.

After the draft, the Minnesota Vikings signed 9 undrafted free brokers. The one participant to be careful of this group is Ryan Wright from Tulane College. He will likely be given each alternative to supplant Jordan Berry because the Vikings punter and holder on placekicks.

Publish-Draft Evaluation

Publish-draft, I’ve heard a variety of chatter from so-called “experts” who proclaim that due to all of the trades, Kwesi’s draft resembled the drafts of former GM Rick Spielman. The signature of these drafts noticed the crew transferring again within the draft to accumulate extra picks. Sadly, all of those pundits missed a key ingredient of this 12 months’s draft.

As talked about earlier, the Minnesota Vikings began the primary day of the draft with three picks within the first 4 rounds, and 5 picks within the final three rounds. When the smoke cleared, the Vikings ended up with 5 picks within the first 4 rounds and 5 picks within the final three rounds. Additional, their preliminary composite of late-round picks consisted of 1 fifth-round decide, three sixth-round picks, and one seventh-round decide.

On the finish of day three of the draft, the crew had drafted two fifth-rounders, two sixth-rounders, and a seventh-rounder. So, on the end result of all of those strikes, the Vikings ended up transferring up in 4 of the rounds. They drafted in the identical place in a single spherical. They usually moved again within the two different rounds. Doesn’t resemble a Spielman draft in any respect when you ask me. What are your ideas?

Learn the Vikings Beat weekly at Stomach Up Sports activities. Comply with me on Twitter for extra of my articles. As well as, try different NFL articles by the Stomach Up Sports activities Pigskin Staff. 

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