After years of watching Rick Spielman call the shots on draft night, Vikings fans got to see what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could do for the team. Spielman was by no means an awful drafter picking up stars such as Justin Jefferson, Harrison Smith, Dalvin Cook, Danielle Hunter, and more. There was one thing that most Vikings fans didn’t care for with his drafting methods. He always seemed to trade down to gather as many late round picks as he could. I mean, seriously, did he think that if he got every pick in the seventh round that at least a couple would pan out?
All excited to see what new general manager Kwesi would do, a lot of fans weren’t thrilled to watch him trade down in the first round with Detroit. This was in large part of Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner being picked up immediately. So the Vikings selected Lewis Cine (Safety-Georgia) with the last pick in the first round. Cine should be an immediate starter and next to Harrison Smith, could be one of the best safety duos in the league. Then came round 2, and what did Kwesi do? He traded down, again. I’m not actually upset with this move because the Vikings still ended up with Andrew Booth Jr., a top talent among CBs in the draft, but trading with the Packers? I guess Kwesi will learn soon enough how much the Vikings don’t like Green Bay. Then, from the trade with Green Bay, the Vikings had another pick in the second round, and selected offensive guard Ed Ingram. A solid pick, due to the offensive line struggling for the last few years.
Overall, the first two rounds went pretty well for the Vikings, with multiple picks to come in later rounds. In the third, Minnesota drafted LB Brian Asamoah. This can only make Vikings fans even more sure that Barr will not be returning to the team next year. On to the later rounds. In the fourth, cornerback Akayleb Evans was added to bolster the secondary even more. Esezi Otomewo, defensive lineman, was selected with the Vikings first fifth round pick. At this point it was clear that Kwesi wanted to ramp up that defense. With another selection in the fifth round, the Vikings chose Ty Chandler, running back from UNC. I understand that in the later rounds, teams usually just pick up the best overall talents rather than specific positions, but this one made me scratch my head a little. Maybe he’ll become the next backup for Cook if Mattison doesn’t return? With two picks in round 6, Minnesota picked up tackle Vederian Lower and wide receiver Jalen Nailor. Always good to create more competition for a struggling offensive line. Wide receiver was a position I saw lots of Vikings fans want to draft that I didn’t necessarily agree with. Minnesota has a lot of talent at the position with Thielen, Jefferson, Osborn, and even second year player Ihmir Smith-Marsette. With their final choice in the draft, the Vikings picked up tight end Nick Muse. I like this move, due to Minnesota just losing Tyler Gronkowski, wait no, Conklin. Conklin had shown lots of improvements this last year, so hopefully the return of Irv Smith and new draftee Nick Muse will fill that hole in the offense.
Overall, I would say that I am neither disappointed nor ecstatic about this year’s draft. I think that Kwesi made some good decisions, but really? I would love to see the Vikings just keep their early draft picks here and there. In the end, I would grade this draft as a B-. The Vikings ended up with some great talent, picked up later than expected, but there was some moves I didn’t care for and once again. Don’t trade with the Packers!