Kenechi Udeze would have been a top ten selection had rumors about his health, most specially his shoulder, not scared teams off. Udeze is a dominating pass rusher that has the ability to penetrate the offensive line and disrupt plays in the backfield. While Udeze stands to improve defending the run, he will likely be placed on the weak side where his pass rushing skills can be maximized. He was tremendous value at pick 19 and Udeze could end up as the Vikings defensive version of Randy Moss; a top-ten talent they scooped up in the middle of round one. Dontarrious Thomas, another solid value selection for the Vikings, provides the team with a playmaker at linebacker. Along with E.J. Henderson, Thomas should give the Vikings a stout rushing defense for years to come. While he must refine the mental aspects of his game, Thomas has the physical tools to start from day one and should grow into a complete linebacker and three-down defender. The Vikings again dipped into the pool of defensive ends selecting Darrion Scott with their final selection of the first day. Another outstanding value pick, Scott is a big bodied defensive end that has both a quick first step and the size needed to play on the strong side. He should find some playing time in the teams rotation this season and will eventually develop into a starter. The Vikings continued the second day of the draft getting great value and selecting a player that fell farther than expected. Nat Dorsey gives the team a player that could start as a rookie at right tackle. Should Dorsey apply himself to the finer points of the game and work at staying in shape he could be a mainstay for years to come. Mewelde Moore was once again another value selection. Moore has great hands and fits into the passing game better than the teams other runners. This alone should get Moore on the field, especially in third down situations. It is also possible that Moore will line up as a slot receiver on occasion. At the very least he adds talent to what is becoming a loaded backfield for the Vikings offense. Rod Davis offers some insurance and depth at linebacker. Davis is strictly a two down defender that should help out on special teams. Deandre Eiland is a fast defensive back with nice size. While his best position is probably safety Eiland possesses enough cover skills to play cornerback on occasion and can be used in man-coverage during nickel packages. This versatility, along with his blazing speed, should help Eiland make the Vikings roster. Jeff Dugan is not flashy in any area yet his consistency and effort should earn him a spot as the team's third tight end. While he may not ever start for the Vikings he does have the potential to develop into a starter for a team that does not make the position a focal point of the offense.
Needing to make the playoffs this season, the Minnesota Vikings did a nice job adding good players to an already talented, young defense. As the likes of Kevin Williams and E.J. Henderson continue to develop the addition of Udeze, Thomas and Scott could see this unit grow into a potentially lethal defense. The Vikings draft has been overlooked by many, especially since most are enamored with the picks of the divisional foe Lions, but one cannot argue the fact that the franchise got great value with their initial five selections.