Each year, the Minnesota Vikings welcome a new batch of players to their roster after selecting them in the NFL Draft. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman likes to add as many players as he can through the draft (nine or more in four of the last five years) and this year was no different as Minnesota selected eight players.
Most of the players drafted in 2016 will not likely see a ton of playing time this season. Some of the Vikings later round picks could even be fighting during the preseason to see their name on the team’s final 53-man roster.
How did each of Minnesota’s eight 2016 draft picks look after playing their first game ever in a Vikings uniform last Friday in Cincinnati?
Laquon Treadwell, WR (23rd overall, first round)
It took a little time before Treadwell was able to get his hands on the ball against the Bengals (12 seconds remaining in the second quarter), but this year’s first round pick for Minnesota put in a solid performance during his first game in an NFL uniform.
At the end of the night, Treadwell finished his night with four catches for 41 yards on five targets.
Mackensie Alexander, CB (54th, second round)
Last preseason, the majority of the focus for Vikings fans was placed on the team’s 2015 first round pick, cornerback Trae Waynes. Since he was not selected in the first round, Alexander does not have as much pressure on him as Waynes does, but a close eye is still being kept on the former Clemson Tiger.
After drawing a defensive holding penalty early in the third quarter of Friday’s game, Alexander responded on the first play of the fourth quarter by snagging an interception. Something he never did while at Clemson.
Willie Beavers, OL (121st, fourth round)
Seems as though Beavers is experienced some of the typical rookie struggles during his playing time against the Bengals on Friday. It should be expected that Minnesota’s young lineman will struggle a bit this season, but the team should just be hoping that he works out better for them in the long run than some of the most recent lineman they have selected in the draft.
Kentrell Brothers, LB (160th, fifth round)
The player with perhaps the most playing time in Cincinnati (at least of the rookies) was Brothers. Due to a few of the Vikings linebackers missing the game with injuries, he was on the field for more than half of Minnesota’s snaps on defense (41 of 66) and he even spent some time on special teams as well.
The best play he made probably came when he and a few players on Minnesota’s defense stuffed Bengals running back Cedric Peerman early in the second quarter and prevented Cincinnati from converting on a fourth-and-1. Brothers finished the game with three total tackles and one quarterback hit.
Moritz Böhringer, WR (180th, sixth round)
His best bet at making the 2016 roster right now is if four of the Vikings top wide receivers get hurt before the start of the season. So, good luck MoBö.
David Morgan, TE (188th, sixth round)
Morgan had impressed attendees of Minnesota’s training camp this summer and he continued to play well in his first ever preseason game. He did well as a run blocker and as a pass catcher, finishing with three receptions for 38 yards against the Bengals.
Why hello there, David Morgan. He nicely seals off the edge and allows McKinnon to cut back and get 10 yards. https://t.co/M5sYHa60Sv
— Vikings Corner (@VikingsCorner) August 13, 2016
Stephen Weatherly, LB (227th, seventh round)
He did not get as many opportunities (22 snaps) on defense as Brothers did in Cincinnati, but Weatherly made the most of his chances. The Vikings rookie linebacker finished with three total tackles and five quarterback hurries.
Jayron Kearse, S (244th, seventh round)
The fact that Kearse was selected in the seventh round remains one of oddest outcomes of the 2016 NFL Draft. It became even more odd with the performance Kearse had against the Bengals on Friday.
He has been making a good impression on Minnesota’s coaching staff and he, like his former Clemson teammate Mackensie Alexander, finished the game in Cincinnati with an interception. But really, how was he not drafted earlier than the seventh round?