Minnesota Vikings 2022 NFL Draft Review

Minnesota Vikings Draft
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The 2022 NFL Draft is in the books, and the Minnesota Vikings were certainly active in moving around the draft throughout the three-day annual event. Minnesota, led by first-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, came into the draft with eight picks headlined by the 12th overall selection in the first round. After trading back in the opening round and remaining active on the trade front throughout the seven-round draft, the Vikings came away with 10 players.

A bulk of the earlier selections came on the defensive side of the field, with defensive back and linebacker being two of the biggest needs on that side of the ball for Minnesota. The later picks resulted in the Vikings shifting focus to offense, addressing the offensive line and other areas on that side of the ball. Let’s take a look at the full list of selections made by Adofo-Mensah and company during the draft:

  • First Round, 32nd overall: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
  • Second Round, 42nd overall: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
  • Second Round, 59th overall: Ed Ingram, G, LSU
  • Third Round, 66th overall: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
  • Fourth Round, 118th overall: Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
  • Fifth Round, 165th overall: Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota
  • Fifth Round, 169th overall: Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
  • Sixth Round, 184th overall Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
  • Sixth Round, 191st overall: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
  • Seventh Round, 227th overall: Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina

Breaking Down the Minnesota Vikings 2022 NFL Draft Class

Best Pick: Andrew Booth

Coming into the second day of the draft with the 34th overall selection, which was the second pick in the second round, Minnesota quickly traded that pick to NFC North rival Green Bay Packers to move back a handful of picks to the 42nd selection, or the 10th pick in the second round. With that pick, the Vikings finally addressed the cornerback position with the selection of Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth.

The Booth pick is one of the best if not the top selection for Minnesota out of the 10 prospects drafted, not only because it addresses arguably the biggest need coming into the draft but has since been viewed as a great value pick at 42nd overall. Many draft experts had Booth ranked as a first-round pick, which like many other prospects in the draft didn’t end up being the case as he fell to the early stages of the second round. After Minnesota traded back for the second consecutive day, Booth dropped right into the Vikings lap and could have the opportunity to make a solid contribution to the team in his rookie season.

Booth will come in and help Minnesota right away with his top-end press-man coverage capabilities, adding to the cornerback room that isn’t getting any younger with the purple and gold. He will also have the opportunity to learn under veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, a player who would be great for any rookie to learn from in his first year in the NFL.

A versatile defensive back you can play in multiple schemes and coverages, Booth is the type of playmaker and defender that will build depth at cornerback in Minnesota, something that was a must to try and accomplish going into the 2022 NFL Draft. That makes his selection the best pick out of the 10 for the Vikings.

Questionable Pick: Lewis Cine

With the 12th overall pick, the Vikings were viewed as a team that could select a top-end prospect who might fall beyond the top 10 selections in the first round of the draft. Many thought Minnesota would address the defensive side of the ball at that middle-of-the-round pick, and it did just that but it took 20 picks longer for fans to find out who their team was indeed going to add to the team.

The Vikings ended up trading the 12th pick in a divisional trade with the Detroit Lions, going from the 12th pick to the 32nd and final selection of the first round. With that pick, Minnesota drafted Georgia safety Lewis Cine to build depth at the back end of the defense for the purple and gold.

Saying that Cine was a questionable pick in the draft for the Vikings isn’t a knock on Cine himself. He could evolve into a solid safety in the league for years to come, or at least could be a very serviceable player in Minnesota in what he hopes is a lengthy career. The part that makes this selection questionable is the way it took place and how Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings attacked this first pick in the opening round. Rather than staying at 12th overall and potentially selecting Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton, who also plays safety, Minnesota decided to trade back 20 spots to draft a player who plays the same position.

Both Cine and Hamilton, or whoever else the Vikings might have picked at 12th overall, might end up being Pro Bowl caliber players in the NFL. Regardless if that happens or not, this selection was still a questionable one for Minnesota and will be interesting to look back on a few years down the road.

Overall Grade: 7/10

Vikings fans are not unfamiliar with seeing draft trades take place, an occurrence that has happened more often than not in Minnesota over the last 5-10 years. This year, however, it was a bit different in that those trades were being conducted by a first-year, young general manager in Adofo-Mensah. That alone made fans of the purple and gold nervous as their new GM started moving around the draft board and even traded a few different times with NFC North rivals.

Overall, Minnesota’s draft addressed the needs it had to notably on defense, but the way the draft unfolded still has some scratching their heads. The players the Vikings picked should help the team right away and could establish themselves into household names in the coming years, that’s not the biggest question being brought up post-draft. The biggest question and concern for how Minnesota attacked the annual draft was the fact that it traded away picks a few different times, especially early on with Detroit and later Green Bay, that didn’t send much back the Vikings way in return. And they might have even helped their division rivals land some solid players with those picks traded for.

With that said, Minnesota accomplished what it wanted and needed to in the draft. It addressed defense early and built depth on both sides of the ball while turning eight initial selections into a final tally of 10. In the end, Adofo-Mensah and company receive a 7/10 grade for their first draft at the head of the Vikings, and it will be interesting to see if they regret the draft day moves made or if they were glad for those decisions.

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