Mel Kiper’s Vikings Analysis Brings Question to Credibility

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For years, ESPN has promoted the two-headed combination of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. This has spurred the evolution of mock drafts and created a new market for analysts and bloggers. However, it might be time for Kiper to fade into the darkness.

Mel Kiper’s Vikings Analysis Brings Question to Credibility

While the NFL Draft continues to become a larger spectacle, evident by the number of fans out in droves to line the scene in Detroit, there are many new qualified talking heads. Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have long been the most recognized names, but each year, the former becomes less of someone to follow. In this cycle, the latter didn’t put out a mock draft and took a noticeable back seat altogether.

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Kiper, though, continues to offer his one contribution to the sports reporting world, but it has become more filled with clickbait and knee-jerk reactions than ever. Simply looking to create the most controversy or discussion with his analysis, there is rarely any meat left on the bone for fans to digest.

It gets particularly ugly when considering his quote following the Minnesota Vikings draft decisions surrounding J.J. McCarthy. Recently, Kiper said, “They’re not set up well for next year. That’s the main thing with three picks. Look at JJ McCarthy, a little high for me. No. 15 on the board, you take him at 10. I love Dallas Turner where they got him, but after that, I think it all revolves around JJ McCarthy. If he’s as good as some think he can become, I get it. But they gave up a lot to get the players they were able to require.”

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The problem with this starts at the beginning. In saying the Vikings are “not set up well for next year,” he is almost admitting a level of cluelessness regarding the intention of roster building. Losing Kirk Cousins this offseason with an unprecedented quarterback class on the board meant that there was no way Minnesota would pass on a first-round talent. They explored numerous scenarios, and McCarthy represents the best-case scenario for 2024.

Kiper suggests that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah gave up a substantial amount to take McCarthy at the 10th overall pick. He was projected in late mock drafts to be gone within the top five, and more importantly, the Vikings were heavily linked to Drake Maye and needed to part with three first-round picks for his services. If anything could have been more damaging to Minnesota’s future, it would be Maye not being an immediate star and having no draft capital for 2025, where the pick could be high.

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Beyond that, Kiper seems to discredit the idea that Turner is the type of player where Brian Flores can further make his mark on the defense. Had the Vikings done more for their quarterback, it would have been a signal caller or bust in the 2024 draft. Instead, they get two players in value spots while also being able to add one as an immediate starter on the side of the ball in which they struggle.

No rookie quarterback joins a better situation than what the Vikings had to offer, and that means Kevin O’Connell is in a spot to set the rest of the roster for years to come. There’s a chance that Sam Darnold is competent or McCarthy steps in and competes, which would make Minnesota relevant immediately. Even if that doesn’t happen, though, the way their draft played out couldn’t set them up more perfectly for the future, and someone paid to analyze that at the highest level missing the boat is wild.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.