Recapping and Grading Vikings First Draft under Kwesi
The Vikings have completed their first draft under Kwesi. This was the first draft in 15 years without Rick Spielman at the helm. While this was a significant transition, it didn’t really feel like much changed.
Kwesi, much like Spielman, likes to trade down to accumulate more picks. However, the big difference is Kwesi doesn’t like 7th-round draft picks. I think we can all get on board without having 3-4 picks in the last round of the draft.
The concentration, at least in this draft, was to pick as many guys in the 3rd-6th round. This made a lot of sense as that is where the value was this year. There were a few really good players in the top of the 1st, but after that, most of the guys were 2nd and 3rd round grades.
Let’s recap and grade this first draft under Kwesi.
All of the Vikings’ Draft Picks
- Lewis Cine is a really good safety that addresses a future need. He is what you would call a ‘thumper.’ He loves to hit people.
- Andrew Booth Jr. at 42nd overall is an absolute steal. He has great ball skills and the length to play press-man coverage.
- Ed Ingram is a solid offensive guard. He is a controversial pick because of the sexual assault of a minor charge he had as a 16-year-old.
- Brian Asamoah is another solid selection. He is a bit undersized, but he flies around. He ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine, and man, does that speed show up on film.
- Akayleb Evans might be one of the sneaky good picks of the draft. He has the size and speed you look for in a cornerback. However, he is a 4th round selection for a reason. He needs to improve in a lot of areas.
- Esezi Otomewo is a fan favorite selection out of the University of Minnesota. He is a big defensive tackle/edge who could be good if he learns to rush the passer.
- Ty Chandler is a home run hitting running back. He sees the field well and hits the right gap. However, he has a lot of work in front of him to make the roster.
- Vederian Lowe is just a guy. The top end for Lowe is making the team as the swing offensive tackle.
- Jalen Nailor is a potential value steal. He possesses outstanding top-end speed but has a lot to learn under McCardell if he wants to be a contributor for the Vikings.
- Nick Muse is a tight end. There is not much more that needs to be said here. He has a difficult road to even making the team.
My Favorite Draft Pick
By far, my favorite pick is Andrew Booth Jr. This guy is an absolute dog. I cannot speak highly enough of his potential. Whether or not he reaches that potential in the NFL is something we cannot know for a few years.
However, if he can remain healthy and bring the same tenacity he had in college, there is a lot of potential there. He has the ball skills and length you need to break up passes in the NFL. Specifically, his length helps to break up those out routes and sideline fades that are so hard to defend.
Moreover, he has the recognition, quick twitch, and strength to see wide receiver screens and blow them up. In the NFL today, your cornerbacks have to be able to do this. Screens are an extension of the run game, and teams run them constantly.
I would have been happy to have drafted Booth in the 20-25 range of the first round. Honestly, there is a good chance he beats out Cam Dantzler for the second cornerback job. We should all be fine with that, too, because it means that the Vikings have depth at the position for the first time in a long time.
Overall Grade – B
I really like this draft overall, specifically the first two picks. I am not a huge fan of the Lions trade or the day three trade with giving up a future 4th round pick. The only reason I don’t give this a B+ is because of the trades and electing not to draft Kyle Hamilton.
However, we should reserve these grades until two years from now. None of us can predict the future, so this could be one of the best drafts in a decade. Or it could be the worst draft we have seen since 2005. Or anything in between.
Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3