Forgive me for not being a huge mock draft and pre-draft gossiper, I just don’t see the point in discussing hypotheticals. However, when it comes to grading the actual 2017 Minnesota Vikings draft, there’s a lot to discuss.
|2(9)||Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida State|
|3(6)||Pat Elflein||C||Ohio State|
|5(27)||Rodney Adams||WR||South Florida|
|5(37)||Danny Isidora||OG||Miami (FL)|
|6(17)||Bucky Hodges||TE||Virginia Tech|
|7(1)||Stacy Coley||WR||Miami (FL)|
|7(14)||Elijah Lee||OLB||Kansas State|
|7(27)||Jack Tocho||CB||North Carolina State|
- For one, the Vikings should have drafted an offensive tackle. Tackle was undoubtedly still at the top of the team’s list of needs heading into the draft. Sure, they signed two tackles in free agency, but the team is still only one or two injuries away from seeing the worst lineman that’s ever played in the NFL, T.J. Clemmings, start again.
- I’m disappointed the Vikings spent their top pick on a player with character concerns. My article on Joe Mixon made it quite clear that character matters when it comes to building a team. The trend of high-risk prospects dropping in the draft proves that NFL teams are beginning to realize this logic. Character is starting to be valued more (as it should), and it’s becoming more of a factor in the pre-draft process. Cook is very talented player, but the Vikings could have picked a better person to represent their organization.
- The fact the Vikings drafted a Center with the 6th pick in round 3 shows that the team isn’t sold on Nick Easton. Easton didn’t develop into the force the Vikings hoped for after trading for him in 2015, but he provides the team with valuable flexibility and depth. He’ll likely back up Elflein at center with veteran Joe Berger sliding over to right guard this season. I predict the team’s long-term plan is to build the offensive line with young prospects from the inside out, starting this draft with Elflein at center.
- Rick Spielman’s draft philosophy of creating position battles was in full force. Looking at the Vikings depth chart, it’s easy to see Spielman’s intent to create position battles this pre-season. While I may not fully agree with his philosophy, it’s been Spielman’s hallmark during his tenure as Vikings general manager. Stayed tuned for my article on why this strategy is contributing to the offensive line issues.
- Overall, I give it a B+. It was a solid draft. The Vikings drafted some talented players and filled most of their positions of need. From Dalvin Cook to Danny Isidora to Bucky Hodges to Elijah Lee, Minnesota’s draft class may end up being one of the best under general manager Rick Spielman. They should have drafted another lineman, but if Cook is a Pro-Bowler, no one will care.