Draft experts impressed with the Minnesota Vikings 2018 draft class
By Adam Carlson
The 2018 NFL Draft class of the Minnesota Vikings is getting positive grades from experts after addressing team needs in the early rounds and adding depth.
The Minnesota Vikings surprised a lot of fans by selecting a cornerback instead of an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but that didn’t seem to hurt the way experts viewed their overall draft.
In fact, the franchise took a chance on several players who will need time to develop or may not even contribute during the 2018 season. This makes the draft class hard to grade, but the experts always do it anyway.
Check out a breakdown of grades for the Minnesota Vikings 2018 NFL Draft class from some of the top websites organized by how positive or negative the grades are.
Gave the Vikings an A
- NFL.com – Chad Reuter: “Terence Newman is no longer with the team, and Mackensie Alexander needed competition in the slot, so the Vikings ignored the offensive line need to pick Hughes.” Grade: A-
Gave the Vikings a B
- Mocking the Draft – Dan Kadar: “Hughes is capable of coming up and playing man and dropping back in zone coverage.” Grade: B+
- ESPN – Mel Kiper: “GM Rick Spielman went with needs for the Vikings’ first three picks, and all three could fill a role as rookies.” Grade: B
- New York Post – Mark Cannizzaro: “The top pick, UCF Mike Hughes, is a physical and speedy corner who has a chance to be a star in the Minnesota defensive backfield.” Grade: B
- Sporting News – Vinnie Iyer: “The Vikings pretty much went down the line addressing their positional needs, none of which were immediate.” Grade: B
- Sports Illustrated – Andy Benoit: “O’Neill doesn’t have to play right away, and neither does first-round corner Mike Hughes—Mike Zimmer, a former secondary coach, has a history of developing talented corners from the bench.” Grade: B
- Walter Football – Walter: “The Vikings made a couple of quality picks. The Mike Hughes selection at 30th overall was an especially great one.” Grade: B
- Rotoworld – Evan Silva: “The Vikings need help at slot corner and will have to make a difficult decision on LCB Trae Waynes after this season.” Grade: B-
Gave the Vikings a C
- Washington Post – Mark Maske: “After spending all that money on QB Kirk Cousins in free agency, perhaps Minnesota should have given Cousins another playmaker or two on offense.” Grade: C
- USA Today – Nate Davis: “Hard to see many rookies here who will play immediately — unless second-round T Brian O’Neill proves he’s ahead of schedule from a strength standpoint.” Grade: C-
- Yahoo Sports – Grade: C-
Gave the Vikings a D
- – none –
Gave the Vikings an F
- – none –
- Pro Football Focus: There were few more talented corners in this draft than Hughes, who allowed a passer rating of just 40.7 over his college career when targeted. Grade: Below Average
As you can see from the grades, most experts have the Vikings in the B+ to B- range. Since grades of D or F are rarely handed out in any expert’s draft analysis, A+ to C- is the real scale. Landing somewhere in the B range means that Minnesota had an average to above average draft.
Considering the team selected at 30th overall, an average draft isn’t a bad thing. Getting talented players at multiple positions to groom into a future starter or role player is important for the future of an already-loaded roster.
Many fans wanted to see one of the top-tier offensive lineman selected. Instead, the team waited until the second round, causing a lot of frustration after paying so much to secure Kirk Cousins for three seasons.
As a whole, Vikings fans could be very encouraged by the selection of Mike Hughes, Brian O’Neill, Jalyn Holmes, and the rest of the 2018 NFL Draft class. But there will always be those who believe the team should have gone in a different direction.
Next: 15 best Vikings first round picks of all time
What did you think of the Minnesota Vikings draft class? Which prospects have you the most excited about their future with the franchise and who do you have less faith in panning out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.