Redrafting the Vikings rookie class after the 2022 season

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Brock Purdy
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Brock Purdy /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images) Christian Watson /

First-Round Pick (32nd overall)

Original Selection: Lewis Cine – S (Georgia)

Redraft Selection: Christian Watson – WR (North Dakota State)

Lewis Cine’s rookie season ended up being a bust after he broke his leg in the London game in Week 4. While he is still likely to be the Vikings’ safety of the future and potential leader of the secondary for years to come, the team would’ve gone a different direction with that first pick knowing that Cine wouldn’t be able to produce. The route they could’ve gone would have been at wide receiver with Christian Watson.

Watson was the burner from North Dakota State, who ended up going very early in the second round after the Green Bay Packers traded up with Minnesota. Watson’s season got off to a rough start when he dropped a wide-open bomb from Aaron Rodgers in Week 1 against the Vikings after burning by Patrick Peterson.

Things got much better for Watson starting in Week 10. He suddenly clicked with Rodgers, and in a span of four games, Watson hauled in seven touchdowns. He proved that he isn’t just a burner and figured out how to position his big frame to get between the defender and the ball and then high-point it.

Watson finished his rookie season with 41 receptions for 611 yards and those seven scores. Pairing him with Justin Jefferson would’ve likely limited the times Minnesota went 3-and-out, and Jefferson wouldn’t have been able to have been double and triple-teamed. Watson would’ve been a dynamic addition to this offense, and now the Vikings have to face him twice a year instead.