Just a day after the Vikings finished selecting college players in the NFL draft, the grades have come pouring in.
And so far, the team has universally made the grade.
Last night, I mentioned that the teams got high marks from NFL.com, and had one of the favorite drafts of NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp.
The Vikings draft also impressed Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar, who gave the team an A-plus in his draft grades this morning.
“On paper at least, the Vikings had one of the top drafts in 2014,” Farrar wrote. “UCLA’s Anthony Barr was a slight reach as a pass rusher under development, but the team really scored by trading back into the end of the first round and grabbing Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.”
Farrar said the Vikings got valuable depth from Oregon State’s Scott Crichtion and Georgia Southern’s Jerick McKinnon, and said the team’s selection of Stanford’s David Yankey in the fifth round could end up amounting to “highway robbery.”
“An outstanding haul for first-year head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff,” Farrar concluded.
CBS Sports’ Rob Rang was high on the Vikings draft as well, giving the Vikings an “A” for their three days of picks.
“Despite all of the knocks on his slight frame and poor pro day workout, Teddy Bridgewater remained my top-rated quarterback,” Rang said. Rang also said Barr would be “utilized well” by Zimmer and called Crichton a “blue-collar defensive end” who amounted to a “quality addition” for the Vikings.
Rang also said to “watch out” for McKinnon, Yankey and sixth round defensive back Antone Exum, predicting all three would make the Vikings final roster.
“This was an especially strong draft for the Vikings, considering that it is general manager Rick Spielman and Zimmer’s first year working together,” Rang concluded.
The Vikings got some local love as well, with Star Tribune Vikings writer Mark Craig including the Vikings as one of the teams whose drafts he liked.
“The overall grade is closer to ‘who the heck knows’ than anything else. But, in theory, the first round was handled very well for a third consecutive year,” Craig wrote. “The Vikings addressed the most immediate need – athletically elite linebacker for a league-worst scoring defense – and their No. 1 long term concern – someone better than Christian Ponder to groom as a future franchise quarterback.”
Overall, it doesn’t look like too many people are down on the Vikings draft. As Craig alludes to though, it’s hard to judge their draft haul very well right now, because the Vikings drafted athletes as much as they drafted football players.
Barr, McKinnon and seventh round linebacker Brandon Watts all tested off the charts athletically, but each has plenty of work to do on the football field. And if Bridgewater doesn’t develop into a long term quarterback, that will likely overshadow the rest of the Vikings draft.
On paper though, it seems that most analysts are fond of the Vikings ten selections this year. Now it’s up to Mike Zimmer and his coaching staff to teach these players to use their athletic gifts on the gridiron.
What do you think Vikings fans? Are you excited about the team’s draft class? Or do you think the team missed the mark with a few picks? Sound off in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @Goatman102!