Clear Frontrunner Remains for Vikings 1st-Round Pick, per Vegas Odds
Mystery surrounds the 2022 NFL Draft, mainly because the class of quarterbacks isn’t too noteworthy. Some quarterbacks may go off the board in the Top 10; none may go off the board.
The enigma filters down to the Minnesota Vikings pick, too, as the effects of other teams’ choices will influence who is available for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and what he will subsequently do with the 12th overall pick.
Left up to Vegas odds, however, the choice is pretty straightforward — the Vikings will end up with LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.
Stingley Jr. encountered a somewhat bumpy road this draft cycle, primarily because the Tiger has not played a full season since 2019. He’s recovering from a Lisfranc injury and, that might’ve scared a few teams away early in the draft process.
But Stingley Jr. looks to be in tip-top shape now, showcasing an impressive Pro Day a few weeks ago.
After that tell-all event, Stingley Jr.’s draft stock climbed again, but the question remains whether a team will select him before the Vikings pick.
Oddsmakers at Bookies.com say yes on Stingley Jr. to Minnesota. By a relative mile, he’s the odds-on favorite to join the Vikings on draft night.
Of course, the -110 wager is still even-steven in the grand scheme of sportsbooking. But the rest of the candidates are longshots.
Stingley Jr. already has preexisting ties to the Vikings inside this draft cycle. His would-be mentor is Patrick Peterson, the CB1 for the Vikings. Peterson went to LSU and endorsed his team’s choice of Stingley on a podcast. In 2021, Stingley Jr. was defensively coordinated by Daronte Jones, who worked for the Vikings in 2020, dipped to Louisiana for the 2021 season, and returned in February when Kevin O’Connell was hired as head coach. Jones knows Stingley Jr., and Stingley Jr. knows Jones.
Plus, Minnesota hit a homerun with Justin Jefferson — an LSU alumnus — two years ago in the draft, so replicating that glory isn’t too foolish.
Otherwise, the Vikings could trade the 12th overall pick to a QB-needy team, probably the Pittsburgh Steelers or New Orleans Saints.
Yet, Vegas remains firm on Stingley Jr. remaining in purple and gold threads, at least compared to other possible draftees.
For the next week, the Vikings draft questions will remain twofold: Will Stingley Jr. make it to Minnesota at #12? And will Kwesi Adofo-Mensah trade out of the pick if Stingley Jr. is off the board?
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).