Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Minnesota Vikings Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Defensive Tackle
- Defensive End
- Offensive Guard
- Offensive Tackle
The Minnesota Vikings have one of the stronger front offices in football and their long game is strong. They typically go into the draft without any glaring needs which gives them the ability to take best player available and mind the future. This also allows them to develop players and if you look at their roster, they have been one of the top teams consistently due to being able to develop talent and build through the draft. This off-season they were a little flashier than in most years as they looked at some moves that could take them over the top. They did just that in adding Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson, 2 big Free Agent signings. This is a team that has been consistently in the playoffs and was 1 game from playing in the Super Bowl last year. Their off-season as a whole is an “A” in my book. For the Minnesota Vikings draft grade I rate it a “B” because I don’t think they hit any home runs. I also don’t believe they were swinging for home runs. They appeared relatively content in their various draft slots. That being said, I still like what they did so let’s talk about it.
Day 1 the Minnesota Vikings remained patient and took Mike Hughes. Hughes had 1 big year at UCF but had some off the field issues at North Carolina that resulted in him transferring. He is a Zimmer guy though with his size and length. He has the ability to be a press corner and should be a lot more physical than Trae Waynes and offers a lot more youth than Terrance Newman. They can develop him as they decide what to do with Waynes who is nearing the end of his rookie deal and they have added more play-makers to arguably one of the best DB rooms in the league. Guard was a possibility here and Will Hernandez or Austin Corbett would have been something to consider as they are still trying to get the offensive line right.
Day 2 they stayed with productive guys and touched on both sides of the ball grabbing a Brian O’Neill from Pittsburgh who was Mike Mayock’s 74th best player in the draft. O’Neilll ran the fastest 40 of any lineman and showed elite athleticism. He shot up the boards after the combine and his physical traits have coaches excited to develop him. Jalyn Holmes was kind of the forgotten guy on the Ohio State defensive line because it was so talented. He will add more depth as more teams look to bring in waves of pass rushers. Day 3 they added the 98th ranked player on Mayock’s top 100 in tight end Tyler Conklin. Conklin is a converted basketball player who has good size and athletic ability. He will have some time to develop behind incumbent starter Kyle Rudolph. Kai Forbath might be out of town as they added a kicker in the 5th round from Auburn, Daniel Carlson. They finished the day adding more defensive depth and a guard from App St.
Overall, I think they have a great plan and they did a great job staying sticking to it. They drafted for 2019 and have a roster that can sustain it. If needed all of their first 4 picks could play today, but will be given time to develop which has been a successful method for the Vikings here in recent past. Not a bunch of names that jump out at you, I still think this draft was a success. This team has a strong identity and a plan for the future, this draft was well done. Mission accomplished.
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida – Selected with pick # 30 Almost went with the kicker, I will go with the 1st round pick because he was a late first round pick that easily could have gone in the mid first. I’m not a huge Trae Waynes guy and that is why I like this fit. I did get them for not going and getting Hernandez here, but I still like the value and think they build on a strength. Teams are in 3 WR sets more often and every team needs 3 or 4 Corners that can cover.
Fantasy Football Implications
Not much, Forbath might not be a member of the Minnesota Vikings when the season starts and the defense is still a top 5 defense. Roc Thomas and Daniel Carlson could be nice pickups in dynasty formats. The Vikings picked up a few high profile UDFAs, Thomas being 1. He fits the Jerick McKinnon role and if Dalvin Cook got hurt, it wouldn’t be Latavius Murray that would be back there as the receiving back. Carlson has a boot and could easily take the job from Forbath who has been rumored to be a bit of a loose cannon in the locker room.