NFL Draft 2022: What the Vikings can expect from their Day 3 picks

Jalen Nailor - Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Jalen Nailor - Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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Minnesota Vikings
Manny Bunch and Akayleb Evans – Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 4: Akayleb Evans, CB – Missouri

The Vikings addressed the defensive secondary hard in this draft by taking a safety on Day 1 and grabbing a cornerback in Round 2. Defensive back depth was a huge question but now they have some talent to grow and develop with veteran Patrick Peterson as a mentor.

Akayleb Evans is a 6’2, 197-pound defender who projects to be an “Average Backup Or Special-Teamer” as a pro. He played for four years at Tulsa before moving to Missouri in 2021 to finish his collegiate career. comparison and projection: none (Round 6)

The Good

Evans has great size and looks the part of an NFL cornerback. In a league where receivers are increasingly getting taller and more athletic, having personnel that can match up physically can be a big help.

No matter what scheme the Vikings are running, they can count on Evans to be able to find a role in it. His aggressive nature can disrupt receivers who aren’t used to defenders who can body up and contest throws on a regular basis.

The Bad

Availability is the best ability in the NFL and Evans will need to prove he can stay on the field. The young man missed games in 2018, 2019, and 2021 because of injury but will get an opportunity to turn that around in the NFL.

Gambling is something Evans does often, playing the ball instead of the man at times. This has resulted in giving up some big plays at the college level and will need to be a bit more disciplined at the pro level.

What to Expect

A fast corner with good size, Akayleb Evans will likely get his start on special teams while he works his way up the depth chart to earn a role on defense. Considering how the injuries can happen at any time, it wouldn’t be shocking for the Vikings to find a way to get him on the field during his rookie season either as a backup or in formations with multiple defensive backs..