The other day, ESPN draft guy Mel Kiper, Jr. regraded the 2011 NFL Draft for all 32 NFL teams. As you might expect, the grade for the Minnesota Vikings got a bit worse than it was this past April. Right after the draft, Kiper graded Minnesota's selections as a C+. Here's what he had to say about the class of 2011 after they actually played some football.
When you think you're drafting the quarterback of the future for the franchise, you take your shot. That's what the Vikings did at No. 12 when they drafted Christian Ponder. I had that as a reach on my board, but Ponder showed some things in 2011. Still, it was for a team that was far less competitive than we thought it would be, and, as the season finished, I even heard questions about whether the team should give Joe Webb a shot. Are the Vikings confident they can compete in 2012 with Ponder at the helm? Kyle Rudolph is a talented player and should be a weapon in that offense; he certainly has mastered the one-handed catch. After that, it's pretty quiet. Christian Ballard got reps, but I don't see him as an impact player. Overall, this is still an incomplete for me as we wait on Ponder. But hopefully we'll see some development from the other picks, too.
With that, he proceeded to grade the Vikings' 2011 draft as a C-.
On the bright side, all four NFC North teams got lower grades in January than they did in April. However, the Vikings still have plenty of catching up to do. Hopefully this April that catching up will get underway.