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Analytical plusses, minuses on Minnesota Vikings’ draftees

Pro Football Focus brought its own analytical way of ranking players to the draft prospects, with the Minnesota Vikings’ picks all over the board and not necessarily in order.

For a few years now, the analytics site Pro Football Focus has been reviewing film of the NFL draft prospects and providing that information to subscribers, which includes many NFL teams (the Minnesota Vikings are among them).

In this year’s predraft guide, the top running back with PFF’s statistical way of ranking was Dalvin Cook. Here is what PFF had for positives and negatives on each of the Vikings’ draft picks on offense that it reviewed: 

DALVIN COOK, RB, 2ND ROUND

Rank: No. 1 among running backs and ninth overall.

Positives: Outstanding patience and a home-run threat waiting to happen. Rarely takes losses and keeps teams ahead of the chains. Caused the most missed tackles (92) among any rookie back. Made defenders miss on 31.8 percent of the times they made first contact.

Negatives: Fumbled 14 times in 763 touches. Ran a limited amount of routes and has questionable hands. Suffered nagging injuries throughout his career.

Player Comparison: Fred Taylor

PAT ELFLEIN, C, 3RD ROUND

Rank: Ranked third among centers and 118th overall.

Positives: Good finisher who can drive defenders back. Best in run blocking. Better in short areas where he doesn’t have to reach for blocks. Good power.

Negatives: Pass protection is a concern, as he graded out below 50 there in 2016 after being in the high 70s and low 80s as a guard in 2015 and 2014. Gave up 11 hurries, three sacks and two QB hits with defenders able to “fall off blocks.”

RODNEY ADAMS, WR, 5TH ROUND

Rank: Ranked 50th among receivers.

Positives: Experienced route runner who had 325 snaps in route and a decent 2.54 yards per route run. Was in the slot for almost 82 percent of his snaps and was targeted 75 times then, dropping only 3.57 percent of those targets.

Negatives: Was targeted on only 21.6 of his deep routes and had a 22.2 drop rate on those deep targets, catching only seven of them, but his total drop rate was only 4.37, which was easily in the top half of receivers reviewed.

DANNY ISIDORA, G, 5TH ROUND

Rank: Ranked fifth among guards and 116th overall.

Positives: Earned an 87.8 grade as a pass blocker, ranking 12th.

Negatives: Didn’t have a great 2015 season and graded better as a pass blocker than run blocker, with the Vikings seemingly focused on run blocking this offseason.

BUCKY HODGES, TE, 6TH ROUND

Rank: Ranked sixth among tight ends and 88th overall.

Positives: Good deep threat, catching 12 deep passes for 342 yards in 2016. Considered a “big-game playmaker” with 20 touchdowns over three seasons, including the go-ahead TD in a win over Ohio State in 2015. Most snaps in route (1,112), targets (238), receptions (133) and yards (1,755) since 2014 among the TE class. 

Negatives: Not much of a blocker and had the lowest rate (3 percent) of usage in pass protection among tight ends. Had a 8.28 percent drop rate. Needs to increase strength.

Player comparison: Jimmy Graham

STACY COLEY, WR, 7TH ROUND

Rank: Ranked 51st among receivers.

Positives: While he didn’t rank well in many of PFF’s receiving statistics, he should get a look at a return man.

Negatives: Ranked higher in number of targets with 101 but out of the top 50 in yards per route run (1.97). Was also well out of the top 50 in yards per route run out of slot at 1.38. Was targeted 23 times on deep routes (over 20 yards) but caught only seven of them; however, only eight of them were deemed catchable, with one drop. But his catch rate of 30.4 percent on deep routes was way down the list. Ranked 59th in drop rate at 5.97 percent.


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