In preparation for the 2022 season, the Minnesota Vikings cut six out of their 11 selections from the 2021 NFL Draft on Tuesday.
With the Kwesi Adofo-Mensah/Kevin O’Connell era set to officially kick off in less than two weeks for the Minnesota Vikings, the pair recently cleaned house of the 2021 draft class.
Some of the surprises were three out of their four third-round picks from last year which included quarterback Kellen Mond, linebacker Chazz Surratt, and guard Wyatt Davis. Davis was an All-American at Ohio State, Mond broke a lot of records at Texas A&M, and Surratt was a First-Team All-ACC standout at North Carolina.
The entire list of cuts from Tuesday was as follows:
- Mike Brown – S
- Dan Chisena – WR
- Zach Davidson – TE
- Wyatt Davis – OG
- Myles Dorn – S
- Nate Hairston – CB
- Kyle Hinton – OG
- Trishton Jackson – WR
- Bisi Johnson – WR (Injured Reserve)
- Bryant Koback – RB
- William Kwenkeu – LB
- Blake Lynch – LB
- Sean Mannion – QB
- Zach McCloud – LB
- T.Y. McGill – DT (Injured Reserve)
- Myron Mitchell – WR
- Kellen Mond – QB
- Nick Muse – TE
- Parry Nickerson – CB
- Timon Parris – OT
- Janarius Robinson – LB
- T.J. Smith – DL
- Tye Smith – CB
- Josh Sokol – C
- Chazz Surratt – LB
- Jaylen Twyman – DT
- Armon Watts – DT
What do the team’s final 2022 cuts say about the previous regime of the Minnesota Vikings?
Well, for one, we know former Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer and former general manager Rick Spielman did not get along. There have been several reports since the end of last season bringing to light the drama that ensued in the Vikings front office last year, including Spielman’s decision to draft Mond early in the third round, which was a move Zimmer resented from day one.
For whatever reason, Mond never got the opportunity to compete for the backup job. Instead of the young signal-caller, recently-cut Minnesota quarterback Sean Mannion drew the start against the Green Bay Packers in the miserable debacle that was the 37-10 routing in Week 17 last season.
This was surrounded by Zimmer’s infamous press conference where he noted he “sees (Mond) every day,” prior to the former coach’s firing.
Davis found himself overcoming injuries during his rookie season that kept him off the field and thus buried on the depth chart. Surratt had yet to see the field in a Vikings uniform.
While it is extremely rare to see three third-round picks cut after one season, it is not that surprising. None of the three made strides in the offseason, and it showed in the preseason games this summer in which Minnesota went 0-3.
Mond showed a glimpse of hope in the Vikings’ first exhibition game this year, but he is still far too raw to be considered a reliable backup. Minnesota may entertain the idea of signing him back onto the practice squad.
As new regimes tend to do, the Vikings have cleaned house this offseason. This establishes a new identity and a new direction for the franchise. However, the move to cut over 50 percent of an entire draft class does not seem to be a political one, but rather one to genuinely improve the team.
The moves were paired with trades such as getting Nick Mullens from the Las Vegas Raiders to solidify Minnesota’s backup quarterback position after Mannion and Mond both failed to grab the job.
What this also tells us about the old regime is that they were outdated. Spielman once had an eye for talent in the later rounds with famous picks such as Stefon Diggs in round five, Cam Bynum in round four, and Danielle Hunter in round three.
He became predictable, stashing draft picks instead of making moves to sign free agents who were already capable of playing in the NFL. It was a combination of draft misses and overall clashing between the GM and head coach that led to the downfall of the Spielman-Zimmer era. The two simply did not work in tandem, and the organization as a whole suffered as a result.
It is clear that there is a shared vision to reach a common goal with Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell. The collaboration between the two so far is very exciting, and hopefully, the new faces in new places will result in new results for the Vikings, a team that has hovered around the .500 mark the past few seasons.