Redrafting the Vikings rookie class after the 2022 season
By Nik Edlund
Fifth-Round Pick No. 1 (165th overall)
Original Selection: Esezi Otomewo – DE (Minnesota)
Redraft Selection: Malcolm Rodriguez – LB (Oklahoma State)
The Vikings took linebacker Brian Asamoah in the third round, and while he could end up producing big time in 2023, they could’ve waited a couple of rounds and got an instant return from Malcolm “Rodrigo” Rodriguez out of Oklahoma State instead.
Rodrigo was one of the stars of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” with the Detroit Lions last summer, and it was evident quite quickly in training camp that he was special. He ended his rookie season with 87 total tackles, eight tackles for a loss, two passes defended, one forced fumble, one sack, and one fumble recovery.
The guy diagnoses plays quickly, he can slip off blocks, and he is a sure tackler. He is basically what Minnesota is hoping Asamoah can be in year two.
The Vikings instead took Esezi Otomewo, who appeared in the final five games of the season. He didn’t do much in that span, accumulating just five tackles and one tackle for a loss.
Fifth-Round Pick No. 2 (169th overall)
Original Selection: Ty Chandler – RB (North Carolina)
Redraft Selection: Isiah Pacheco – RB (Rutgers)
It was kind of a shock that the Vikings took a running back in this draft, as they were already well-stocked at the position. Ty Chandler had a nice training camp last summer, but he was never going to see any action in 2022 unless one of the other four backs (yes, I’m counting C.J. Ham) ahead of him on the depth chart got injured.
That turned out to be the case, and Chandler was primarily a special teamer in 2022, with the potential to see more touches in his sophomore season.
Minnesota could’ve just taken Isaiah Pacheco instead. This firey runner was actually a seventh-round pick who surprised in training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.
He earned a spot on the roster, and by the middle of the season, he was Kansas City’s primary running back. He finished his rookie year with 830 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
Would Pacheco have gotten the same workload with the Vikings? Probably not, but we know Pahceco can do it week in and week out, and the jury is still out on Chandler.