6 Winners and Losers from Vikings Draft
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah put his second NFL draft in the books one week ago, walking away from the event with three defenders and three offensive personalities:
- R1: Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
- R3: Mekhi Blackmon (CB, USC)
- R4: Jay Ward (S, LSU)
- R5: Jaquelin Roy (DT, LSU)
- R5: Jaren Hall (QB, BYU)
- R7: DeWayne McBride (RB, UAB)
Those six players will vie for roster spots this summer, with some making the 53-man roster and perhaps one or two hitting the practice squad.
6 Winners and Losers from Vikings Draft
So those newcomers loved the draft, but which existing Vikings did not? These are three winners and three losers on Minnesota’s roster whose outlooks changed as a result of the draft.
Winner: Kirk Cousins (QB)
Listen, the Vikings were all the rage for at least a month to draft a quarterback in Round 1. Trading up for Anthony Richardson, staying pat at No. 23 for Hendon Hooker, or scooping Will Levis if he succumbed to a draft-night tumble were the theories.
Then, Minnesota drafted no quarterbacks until Round 5. And when a team waits that long in a draft, there is no palpable plan to hand that guy the baton as a future QB1. Fifth-rounders are maybes that don’t typically work out, especially at quarterback.
Because the Vikings resisted the urge to draft Cousins’ successor last week, he is the number-one-with-a-bullet winner of Minnesota’s draft.
Loser: K.J. Osborn (WR)
For a couple of weeks, it was dapocaginous to suggest K.J. Osborn would remain in the WR3 role this season. Now, though, it would take a Jordan Addison injury or mini-bust summer to keep the USC alumnus out of the WR2 job.
Osborn had sights on WR2 — it was his time, if you ask him — but Addison is in the driver’s seat, mainly because of his draft location. WRs aren’t selected in Round 1 without a budding plan to take the reins sooner than later.
Winner: Brian Asamoah (LB)
This athletic youngster all but wrapped up a starting linebacker job last weekend. Minnesota selected no linebackers whatsoever in the draft, and if it had chosen Jack Campbell, Trenton Simpson, or Drew Sanders, perhaps Asamoahmania would’ve dampened a bit.
Almost by default now, Asamoah is poised to snag a starter’s job alongside veteran Jordan Hicks this September.
Loser: Ty Chandler (RB)
Things were looking great for Chandler around February 1st. Alexander Mattison was theoretically leaving in free agency, Dalvin Cook’s contract was too fat, and no rookie running backs had been drafted.
Then, everything changed.
Mattison was re-signed for two years, Cook remains in limbo, and the Vikings drafted a promising young runner in DeWayne McBride last Saturday.
Chandler was side-eyeing an RB1 job for 2023 and now must fight to avoid an RB3 relegation. McBride is no pushover, and Mattison is almost guaranteed to take the first hand-off of 2023.
Winner: Ed Ingram (RG)
Ed Ingram didn’t have a marvelous rookie campaign, but that’s not unusual for a rookie. What he did do is play a lot of snaps in 2022, gaining on-the-job experience and trending upward heading into his sophomore season.
In theory, the Vikings could’ve hedged the Ingram bet with a mid- or late-round offensive guard selection, but no cigar. Barring a summer free-agent addition, Ingram will start at right guard for the second year in a row.
Loser: Camryn Bynum (S)
Camryn Bynum’s 2023 status was iffy before the draft. Lewis Cine is recovering nicely from injury and should earn the free safety gig next to Harrison Smith.
But to top it off for Bynum’s draft-viewing experience, the Vikings selected another versatile safety in LSU’s Jay Ward. Of course, Ward won’t start in 2023 at safety, but he creates a crowded house for players like Bynum.
Vikings Now MORE of an NFC North Underdog
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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.
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