With the NFL draft wrapped up, people across the nation are now looking to grade how each team did. Almost everyone seemed to think that the Minnesota Vikings did a very solid job drafting in 2016, although some were more impressed by their selections than others.
Viking Update took a look at six national sites/publications to see what people thought. The highest grade that they received was an A and the lowest was a B-. Both solid grades to receive as the the Vikings continue to build their team for the future.
USA Today seemed to be the most impressed with what the Vikings did during the draft. They were just one of two teams to receive an A from the paper - the other being the Jacksonville Jaguars - so that alone says a lot. Not only did USA Today like the pick pick of wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, but they also believe that second-round pick cornerback Mackensie Alexander could be an immediate contributor in nickel packages.
NFL.com was the only other site to give the Vikings the grade of an A. Treadwell and Alexander were keys points to the grade, again, but they were also impressed by the fact that the Vikings were able to gain two middle-round selections in next year’s draft by trading their third-round pick to the Miami Dolphins. NFL.com also listed the Vikings’ Day 3 picks as quality players.
Sports Illustrated gave the Vikings a B grade for their selections in this year’s draft, which was the next highest grade. Two late-round picks that really intrigued them were German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer and Western Michigan offensive tackle Willie Beavers. They believe Boehringer has the athleticism necessary to succeed in the NFL and that Beavers could end up being a standout from this year’s draft. They both just need a couple years to properly develop.
The Vikings then received a B- from ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports. PFF loved the Vikings selection of Alexander as they had him listed as a first-round talent, but they were not too excited about Treadwell. They believe he is a really good player, but do not think he will pair nicely with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater because Treadwell’s lack of top-end speed makes it difficult for him to create separation and Bridgewater has shown that he does not like to throw the ball into tight windows.
CBS Sports viewed the Vikings’ first two picks completely opposite of PFF. They love the Treadwell pick because they think he gives Bridgewater a true No. 1 receiver. They then explained that they like Alexander as a player but do not see the pick making sense because cornerback is not an immediate need for the Vikings.
Kiper also had some reservations about the Alexander pick because at 5-10 he is a little undersized and he did not record a single interception during his collegiate career. Kiper also had some concerns about Boehringer going in the sixth round, which is understandable since he is such a wild card.
The Vikings coaching staff and front office have done a nice job of drafting players, developing them and then retaining them the past few seasons. It has made it so there are not too many holes to fill on the roster, so they could take chances on players such as Boehringer, who have a high ceiling but may not be able to develop.
The 2016 class shows a lot of promise, but they still need to go out on the field and prove to the coaches that they belong. They will get their first opportunity to do so later this week at the team’s rookie minicamp.