The Vikings 5 Biggest Draft Mistakes as of Late

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The Minnesota Vikings have notably added Justin Jefferson, Christian Darrisaw, and Brian O’Neill in the last five years from the NFL draft, so the team has not totally struggled on the whole during the event.

However, like every team, Minnesota has some large misses in late April. And the handful is quite glaring.

The Vikings 5 Biggest Draft Mistakes as of Late

These are the Vikings biggest draft mistakes in the last five years, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = worst).

5. Drafting a Center in Round 1

Biggest Draft Mistakes
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The last time an NFL team drafted a center higher than Garrett Bradbury (the 18th pick in 2019) was 1999 — yes, 24 years ago. It was Damien Woody for the New England Patriots.

When a general manager takes a 1st-Round swing on a center, that man must be great. Otherwise, centers are gettable after Round 1 and perhaps in Round 3 or later.

But former general manager Rick Spielman wanted to solidify the middle of the offensive line — an appropriate desire at the time — and it didn’t work out. Bradbury improved with a new coaching staff in 2022 and is trending upward. Still, drafting a center in the 1st Round who takes four years to blossom isn’t couth.

4. Not Stepping on Lions Throat in 2022 Trade

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, first-round picks receiver Jameson Williams and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson pose for a picture with GM Brad Holmes during the press conference Friday, April 29, 2022, at the Detroit Lions practice facility in Allen Park. MAIN Lionspicks. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

On the first two nights of the 2022 NFL draft, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, through direct compensation with the Lions via trade of the 12th overall pick, added Lewis Cine (S), Andrew Booth (CB), Ed Ingram (OL), and Brian Asamoah (LB). The Lions landed Jameson Williams (WR) and Josh Paschal (EDGE).

That doesn’t sound half-bad, right?

Well, in a normal draft, Minnesota could’ve squeezed even more out of the Lions. A 20-spot trade in Round 1 should involve the other team’s 1st-Rounder from the following year. But Adofo-Mensah didn’t step on Detroit’s neck.

In fairness to Minnesota, quarterbacks are usually the magnets for colossal trades up the board, and no QBs were chosen that evening in the Top 10. This reduced the value of the Vikings 12th overall pick.

3. Three Straight Misses in 2021 NFL Draft

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In order, the Vikings fired up three humongous misses in Round 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft — Kellen Mond (QB), Chazz Surratt (LB), and Wyatt Davis (G)

What a travesty.

None of those men play for the Vikings anymore, and they don’t do much for their current teams either. The 2021 NFL Draft was Rick Spielman’s last as the Vikings boss, and this threesome of picks essentially explains why.

Of three 3rd-Rounders, a general manager should connect on at least one. Spielman did not.

2. Passing on Kyle Hamilton in 2022

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Absolutely everybody everywhere knew safety Kyle Hamilton would excel in the NFL. He wasn’t supposed to fall to the Vikings last year with the 12th overall pick. But then he did, the Vikings passed on him, the Ravens drafted him, and unsurprisingly, Hamilton was the NFL’s best safety in 2022, per Pro Football Focus.

The Vikings fired up the aforementioned trade for Lewis Cine — which could still turn out to be splendid — while Hamilton was a sure thing, a total lock.

If Minnesota wanted a safety so badly, it could’ve stayed put at No. 12 and “settled” for Hamilton instead of trading out of the pick.

1. Drafting Mike Hughes

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The Vikings currently need cornerbacks despite drafting them over and over in the 1st Round of the draft. It’s wild.

Hughes was injured too frequently for the Vikings, and Spielman traded him to Kansas City Chiefs in 2021. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would later turn that draft pick into wide receiver Jalen Nailor.

On the whole, Hughes is 26 years old and thus entering the prime of his career. He plays for the Atlanta Falcons, but based on his draft stock, he should be dominating in the Vikings secondary.

Striking out on Hughes is one of the main reasons why Minnesota needs CB help at the moment.

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).

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