Sports Illustrated took a look at the 2014 NFL Draft class of the Minnesota Vikings four years and gave the team a grade based on their selections.
Experts around the NFL love giving grades. Whether it is offseason grades, draft grades, player grades, or other evaluations, it is always interesting to see what those in the know think of the decisions made by teams like the Minnesota Vikings.
Sometimes it takes a little time to learn more about the players, how they fit with a team, and how they are able to perform before being able to truly assess the value of an individual or entire draft class.
Recently, Sports Illustrated took a look at the entire 2014 NFL Draft according to each team’s class and gave grades based on how they have performed to this point for the team that selected them.
Before diving into the grades, here is a look at the players who were selected by the Vikings during the draft:
- Round 1 (pick 9): Anthony Barr, linebacker – UCLA
- Round 1 (pick 32): Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback – Louisville
- Round 3 (pick 72): Scott Crichton, defensive end – Oregon State
- Round 3 (pick 96): Jerick McKinnon, running back – Georgia Southern
- Round 5 (pick 145): David Yankey, guard – Stanford
- Round 6 (pick 182): Antone Exum, defensive back – Virginia Tech
- Round 6 (pick 184): Kendall James, defensive back – Maine
- Round 7 (pick 220): Shamar Stephen, defensive tackle – Connecticut
- Round 7 (pick 223): Brandon Watts, linebacker – Georgia Tech
- Round 7 (pick 225): Jabari Price, defensive back – North Carolina
After taking a look up and down the 2014 NFL Draft class of Minnesota, SI gave a grade of B- to the class, but not really because of a lack of talent among the players who were selected.
The sports publication notes that injuries played a major part in the lower grade. A devastating knee injury to Teddy Bridgewater and the inability of Scott Crichton to get on the field hurt the grade, with two of the three top selections struggling to contribute.
However. Anthony Barr was a solid selection after being a surprise pick at linebacker earning three Pro Bowl nods and Jerick McKinnon proved to be a shifty and reliable option for Minnesota, bringing the grade up.
SI says that no other pick has contributed to the Vikings in a notable way other than Shamar Stephen, but Antone Exum played in 26 games for Minnesota, starting two of them where he notched 16 tackles, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble before heading to San Francisco for the 2017 season.
Still, B- is a fair assessment for the 2014 Draft Class of the Minnesota Vikings. It’s hard to know what could have been if Bridgewater and Crichton would have been healthy enough to make an impact, but the contribution of Barr, McKinnon, Exum, and others redeem a class with more long-term misses than hits.