*************2016 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.23 Laquan Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

Sure. The team nails it's biggest need, they get a solid value, and they find a receiver that QB's will love. 

B+

2.54 Mackenzie Alexander, CB, Clemson

Good pick here. Alexander went after most thought he would go, but where his talent probably should have been put it.

A

OVERALL GRADE: A

Great draft for the Vikings. They got instant starters on both sides of the ball, plus got a 3rd and 4th round pick next years (much better) draft.

*************2015 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.11 Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

Ultimately Waynes is the cleanest corner in the draft, but he does become a tackling liability sometimes. I think a lot of that is that he is very light. If he can bulk up a bit then he could be a stud, but in this terrible draft pool he is a fair pick.

B

2.45 Eric Kendricks, MLB, UCLA

Kendricks isn't sexy, but he is a tackling machine that makes this defense better. He is also a good value here.

A-

3.88 Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU

The Vikings picked up a 5th and 6th to fall back some which adds extra value here. Hunter is one of those classic players that came out too early, but that have a ton of potential.

B+

4.110 TJ Clemmings, OT, Pitts

5.143 MyCole Pruitt, TE, SIU

5.146 Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland

6.185 Tyrus Thompson, OT, Oklahoma

6.193 BJ Dubose, DE, Louisville

7.228 Austin Shepherd, OT, Alabama

7.232 Edmond Robinson, LB, Newberry

OVERALL GRADE: A

It's hard to not like this draft. The team got at least two starters on defense as well as another to contribute. They struck gold with their 4th and 5th round picks, and any of those guys could be eventual starters.


*************2014 NFL DRAFT GRADES************
 

1.9 Anthony Barr, DE / OLB, UCLA

He isn't a perfect scheme fit, but he is one heck of a pass rusher (maybe already the best on the team), and he is very clean despite being raw.

B

1.32 Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Great pick. Bridgewater was the best QB in college the last two years, and has proven that he can take a crappy team and build with them. I hope he can adjust to the weather, and he will need to gain some bulk. Funny thing is that almost all of his complaints are the same ones that Aaron Rodgers had coming out.

A

3.72 Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

He isn't good at any one thing, but he is a great value here.

B+

3.96 Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern

Haven't heard of him? Well google him. He is an athletic freak that could play RB, safety, linebacker, or corner. When it is all said and done I think he is the backup runner for the team.

B

5.145 David Yankey, OG, Stanford

Awesome value.

6.182 Antone Exum, CB, VT

Another awesome value.

7.220 Shamar Stephen, DT, UConn

7.223 Brandon Watts, LB, GT

7.225 Jabari Price, CB, UNC



OVERALL GRADE: A

What an awesome draft. I actually have a friend that is a Vikings fan that disliked the draft, but there is no reason. The team walked away with the best overall QB in the draft. They also nailed two great pass rushers and depth at a lot of spots. The clear cut worst NFC team may have added four or five wins to their total next year, while also getting guys to develop into studs. 



*************2013 NFL DRAFT GRADES************


1.23 Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

I hated the Raiders potentially taking Floyd with the 3rd pick, but him going 23rd might be the best pick in the draft. Floyd is an amazing value with this pick, and the Vikes instantly have an answer inside for a while.

A++

1.25 Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

Xavier Rhodes is just the kind of corner that the Vikings needed to inject into their offense. He plays with a fire that a lot of their players lack.

A

1.29 Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee

Patterson may end up being the best receiver in the draft, but the Vikings gave up way too much for him. To give up a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th pick to move up and get him is insane. A team that does this truly thinks that they are one player away from competing for a title now.

I just can't wait to see Christian Ponder toss a wicked 16-yard deep ball to Patterson next season.

C
 
4.120 Gerald Hodges, LB, Penn State

5.155 Jeff Locke, P, UCLA

6.196 Jeff Baca, G, UCLA

7.213 Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State

7.214 Travis Bond, G, UNC

7.229 Everett Dawkins, DT, FSU


OVERALL GRADE: B

I am so confused with this draft. The team went all in by grabbing three picks in the first round, and they got great value on the first two picks. They then traded the rest of their draft to go up and grab Cordarrelle Patterson. The team ended up with three instant starters and some ok depth throughout, but this draft felt like an all-in attempt by the Vikings.

 

 *************2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

1.4 Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The best possible pick for the Vikings in the NFL draft was to get Matt Kalil to completely solidify the entire offensive line. He will likely move Loadholt in and Charlie Johnson over which will fix 3-4 positions. The run game will get better, and the pass game will allow Ponder some extra time. 

But when the team can move down one pick and get three extra picks to do so, then it is beyond perfect.

A++

1.29 Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame

The Vikings traded 2 day-two picks to get Harrison Smith which seems like a little too much to me. I can't hate the team's pick too much overall, but I think they could have done more by grabbing one of the studs that fell in the draft.

B-

3.66 Josh Robinson, CB, UCF

Josh Robinson is a guy that could have gone in the top-40 based on his athleticism and potential. The Vikings got him at a great spot at 66 which is top notch.

B+

4.118 Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas

The team needed to find some extra weapons for Christian Ponder and did so here with the pick of Wright. Decent value, and definitely a quality pick.

B+

4.128 Rhett Ellison, FB/TE, USC

This is the first pick that I don't love, but it's not a bad one at all. The team is getting a guy that will help instantly as a blocker, and he is able to catch the ball too.

4.134 Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas

Greg Childs is the most gifted of the three Arkansas receivers, but injuries made him fall. Great pick.

B

5.139 Robert Blaton, S, Notre Dame

When I think of great safety duos I think of the one that came from Notre Dame.... Oh wait. I don't get why Minnesota loves Notre Dame guys so much.

6.176 Blair Walsh, K, Georgia

7.210 Audie Cole, MLB, NC State

7.219 Trevor Guyton, DE, California


OVERALL GRADE: A

Wow. From top to bottom this was a great Viking draft. The team got Matt Kalil who will solidify the offensive line. They got two defensive backs that could start right away, a full back who will help the offense gel, and two receivers that will get some time. Pair that with great late round value and you have a top notch draft. 


 

*************2011 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 
 
 Picks

1.12 Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

Does anyone actually like this pick? The team clearly was going to take a QB here no matter what (remember the "we want an early QB quote from the coach), and when they got screwed out of Locker and Gabbert the team reached badly. In a normal draft Ponder would have maybe gone in the 4th round or later, and I just don't see any reason to use this pick on a QB if one isn't even close to worth it. The team, the quarterback, and the media has pretty much locked Ponder into a hand the ball off game manager, so why reach beyond repair for one in the 1st?

D
 
2.43 Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

I actually mocked this one right for about the last month, so I can't hate on it. It actually makes a lot of sense to give a quarterback a tight end, and the team gets the best one in the draft.


 
4.106 Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa

Having seen every Iowa snap last year, I can't really defend why Ballard was ever a 2nd round player, but in the 4th round he is a great value. Sure he had the positive drug test, but all it really did was lower the price for the Vikings to nab him.

A 

 
5.139 Brandon Burton, CB, Utah

Another guy I thought should have gone much earlier. Great value and he helps add depth to a fairly weak DB core.

A
 
6.168 DeMarcus Love, OT/G, Arkansas

Yet another pick I really like. Love really killed his stock this offseason, but there is no reason why he wasn't drafted in the first five rounds.

A
  

6.170 Mistral Raymond, S, USF

There were a ton of values at safety in the 6th round. Raymond wasn't really one of them, but fills a need.

C+
 
6.172 Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock

Fusco had been an intriguing center for a lot of people, and the Vikings definitely will find a way to use him.

B+
 
6.200 Ross Homan, OLB, Ohio State

Big need, good value.

B+
 
7.215 D'Aundre Reed, DE, Arizona

I can't hate the pick this late in the draft, but I just think Brooks Reed made D'Aundre Reed draftable.
 
B-
 
7.236 Stephen Burton, WR, West Texas A&M
 
Great way to close out the draft. Burton is a small school guy that really has a lot of potential to end up as the 'steal of the draft' at receiver.

A+
 
Draft Grade: A-

This team needed some stability at quarterback, and I'm not sold that Ponder is that guy. He isn't great at anything, has some injury history, and isn't a 4th quarter type winner. If the team expects to win now then this draft is iffy, but if they are looking to just get better then this draft is fantastic.

NEW GRADE: B+ 

I still absolutely hate the Christian Ponder pick (why draft a less talented, younger Kyle Orton when you can get the real think fairly cheap). But I see four or five different starters possibly out of this class, and even more guys that can contribute
.