Vikings Draft 2018: Ranking the picks from worst to first

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Jalyn Holmes
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Jalyn Holmes /
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Daniel Carlson
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Daniel Carlson /

8. Daniel Carlson – K (Auburn)

Selection: Fifth round (167th overall)

Carlson was regarded by many as the top kicker in this year’s draft class. However, just because he was the best kicker available, doesn’t make it a good choice by the Vikings.

This ranking isn’t as much of a reflection on Carlson’s abilities, since he is pretty good at his job, but it is based more on the fact that Minnesota even used one of their draft selections on a kicker at all. It’s just something that wasn’t necessary, especially in the fifth round.

Of the NFL’s top 15 kickers in 2017 (minimum 10 field goal attempts), only four were drafted. The league’s top three leaders in field goal percentage last season were all players that never heard their name called on draft day.

Still on the board when the Vikings decided to pick Carlson in the fifth round were a number of better options including Wake Forest defensive end Duke Ejiofor, Clemson wide receiver Deon Cain, and Washington State quarterback Luke Falk among others.

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7. Devante Downs – LB (California)

Selection: Seventh round (225th overall)

Not sure what Minnesota sees in Downs since it was very surprising that he was even drafted at all this year.

Coming off his second torn ACL since high school, he was the 133rd-best linebacker available this year according to ESPN. Only 38 linebackers were drafted last weekend, but the Vikings clearly felt Downs was one who deserved to get a phone call.

Since he’s still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in 2017 at Cal, Downs might not even be able to participate in Minnesota’s training camp this year. So it’s really hard to understand why the Vikings thought that drafting him was a good idea.

(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) Ade Aruna
(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) Ade Aruna /

6. Ade Aruna – DE (Tulane)

Selection: Sixth round (218th overall)

Aruna has the potential to develop into something special for Minnesota, but he likely won’t be of use anytime soon.

Due to his raw potential, some have compared him to current Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter when he came out of the draft. But that’s where the comparison’s between the two end.

With Minnesota though, Aruna will have the luxury of learning from some of the best pass-rushers in the game in Hunter and Everson Griffen. Combine that with some outstanding coaching from Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson and the team could end up with a steal in the former Tulane defensive end.