Minnesota Vikings Draft Grade for 2022
It was a weird draft for the Vikings. They haven’t picked this high in awhile and there were some interesting potential options that could be available at 12. How did it all go? Well, kinda weird. The Vikings needed to address the cornerback, guard and center positions. Let’s give the Minnesota Vikings a draft grade.
(Round 1, Pick 32) Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
I really like Lewis Cine, he’s a stud. Big, strong, athletic and solid in coverage. He’s a great player and this is a good spot to take him in. The Vikings really needed a cornerback, but they have also spoken about using three safeties at times. Last year’s fourth round pick Camryn Bynum was a very pleasant surprise last year. It’s possible they use him as a nickel back early on, but he will more than likely take over for Bynum.
Here’s the thing though, that trade. I hated that trade. It was awful. The Vikings moved down 20 spots in the first round and moved up 12 in the second and gained a third. If they hadn’t given their second round pick, the trade would have been a good one. I’m all about gaining picks. I just think it’s pretty clear that they did not get the value for moving back 20 spots in the first round.
Trade Grade: D
(Round 2, Pick 42) Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
So the Vikings traded down again and ended up making their next pick at number 10 in the second round. With that pick they addressed their most glaring need, cornerback. Andrew Booth Jr. had a late first to early second round grade. Booth will immediately step in and is likely to start opposite Patrick Peterson. It’s a good pick, but if the Vikings stayed put, they could have had Kyler Gordon, who I prefer to Booth.
(Round 2, Pick 59) Ed Ingram, G, LSU
Besides cornerback, interior offensive line is the Vikings’ other glaring weakness. Center Garrett Bradbury hasn’t worked out, and the right guard position is open for competition. Add another name to that competition, Ed Ingram. I seem to like Ingram a lot more than others as a player. The good news is one of his detractors is Mel Kiper and he’s always wrong. Bad news, Ingram was out for over a year with some very disturbing charges. Strong player, questionable person. They could have taken Donald Parham, who is a talented guard and has no underage sexual assualt charges that have been brought against him.
(Round 3, Pick 66) Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
Asamoah is a good athlete who provides some depth for the Vikings at linebacker. They seem pretty set with their starting four, but they definitely need rotational guys, especially at the rush linebacker position. I think this is where Asamoah fits in best. He’s light, but not for a rush linebacker. He can use his excellent athleticism to help rush the passer. There are some very talented linebackers who went later in round three, but they were all inside linebackers. Asamoah fits the outside of the Vikings new 3-4 defense.
(Round 4, Pick 118) Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
Another writer really hates Evans, but I’m a lot higher on him. He’s a 6’2” ultra athletic cornerback. He can play both man and zone and the Vikings need a bigger corner. I think Evans is a good tackler, he does need some development, but he’s got all the raw traits that are needed to be a great cornerback. I would have preferred Tariq Woolen or Zyon McCullom, but he’s an interesting prospect.
(Round 5, Pick 165) Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota
A local boy stays in state. He’s not Boye Mafe, but that’s OK. There are a lot of bigger name defensive ends that went after him, I’m sure people are curious why Otomewo went before them. The answer is simple, scheme fit. Esezi Otomewo is a 3-4 defensive end, and the Vikings are pretty darn thin at that position. The bigger name guys would be stand up rush linebackers, the Vikings need hand on the ground 3-4 defensive ends who can set the edge. This one’s flying under the radar, but Otomewo was definitely the best 3-4 end available at this pick.
(Round 5, Pick 169) Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
Ty Chandler is a great running back, it just shows how undervalued they are in the NFL Draft. He’s a great athlete and can do it all. I predict he’ll be used in the passing game a lot. Chandler is a downfield receiver, a deep receiver, really unheard of for a running back. A creative offensive coach could find some fun uses for him. He’s a good third running back behind Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. Kene is more of a return specialist at this time, though he could be a fun change of pace back as well.
(Round 6, Pick 184) Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
The Vikings need starting interior offensive lineman and they need real depth at the tackle positions. Darrisaw and O’Neil are very strong starters, but if anything happens to either of them things get scary quick. Lowe is a big athletic tackle who should also offer depth at guard. Valuable depth piece on a shallow offensive line.
(Round 6, Pick 191) Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
Nailor is a speed freak, he’s crazy fast. Kevin O’Connell should find fun ways to use him. He’s a home run hitter that can take it to the house at anytime. Nailor is fragile though, he gets hurt a lot. If Nailor stays healthy, he could be the steal of the draft.
(Round 7, Pick 229) Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina
The Vikings needed tight end depth. When Irv Smith Jr. was hurt last year, it was very thin behind him. Now, they’ve lost last year’s starting tight end Tyler Conklin to the Jets. I felt tight end was a deep position in this year’s draft. Nick Muse has good size and good athleticism. I wish they would have taken one of the very talented tight ends in this class who fell too far. Muse will probably make the team based on position need, but you never know about an UDFA or a free agent. Muse has enough raw talent to be interesting, but he’ll probably end up deep on the Vikings depth chart.
Final Thoughts On the Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft 2022
The Vikings ended up with some very good players, it’s just that they took an odd route to get there. After years of fans complaining about Rick Spielman’s love of trading back, it probably hurt to watch them do it again. Personally, I like trading back. In fact, I have a very controversial view and like Rick Spielman. I have faith in Kwedi, but his first draft was a little scary. Fans are praising him for having multiple second and third round picks, which I agree with, but Minnesota had three third round picks last year with Spielman. Let’s focus on the talent the Vikings added so we can keep being optimistic.
Overall Grade: B