Anyone that's followed the site for a while knows exactly how I feel about draft grades. . .and, if you don't, I'll be posting mine later this afternoon. (In the business, we call that a "tease.") But there are plenty of other folks out there that have posted grades for the 2012 NFL Draft, so let's take a spin around the internet to see what some of those people thought about the moves the Minnesota Vikings made this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
We'll start with that most guru-y of all gurus, Mel Kiper of ESPN.com. Now, his grades are behind the ESPN In$ider wall, but I can tell you what he said about our favorite football team.
Kiper has his grades broken down into "Needs," "Value," and "Overall." He gave the Vikings a B+ for addressing their needs, but only a B- in the Value category, which averages out to a solid B. Here's the commentary he had in there:
The Vikings did pretty well. They got the left tackle they coveted in Matt Kalil, and they moved up to get a safety. Both Kalil and Harrison Smith, their two first-round picks, should be starting in Week 1. Josh Robinson adds speed, if not a lot of polish, at corner, and has the chance to develop into a good player. Jarius Wright and Greg Childs both come from Arkansas, and both can make plays after the catch. Overall, the Vikings did a good job of hitting needs. I don't think we'll look back and see a lot of star power here, but they got what they needed. A pretty good weekend for Minnesota.
So, Mel Kiper liked our draft. . .but apparently not as much as the folks at the SB Nation mothership did. They gave the Vikings a big, fat "A" for their efforts this weekend.
I'm so glad that the Vikings drafted Matt Kalil. They really needed him if they are serious about letting Christian Ponder play. They absolutely fleeced Cleveland to get him, adding three late-rounders. Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith was the second-best safety in the draft, and they got him. Josh Robinson, the Vikes' third-round pick, can be a starting cornerback.
Greg "Childs, please!" Childs is another one of those players trying to rebound from a serious injury. Jarius Wright adds some speed to the offense, and with Kalil blocking, maybe he will have time to get open.
The folks at Walter Football also liked what the Vikings did this weekend, as they gave the Vikings an "A" as well.
Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft: Minnesota has so many needs, but the front office has to prioritize acquiring support for Christian Ponder. The No. 12 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft has absolutely nothing to work with outside of Percy Harvin, an injured Adrian Peterson and a raw Kyle Rudolph. The offensive line is in shambles, and it must be addressed immediately. The secondary is also a mess.
2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Good news and bad news. The good news is that Rick Spielman made a brilliant move by not only drafting Matt Kalil; but trading down and acquiring three third-day picks in the process. The top left tackle prospect since Joe Thomas will effectively shield the fragile Ponder from Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and Cliff Avril. The bad news? I won't be able to make any Spielman-Matt Millen kielbasa jokes.
Spielman had a brilliant draft. He upgraded the line, acquired two promising targets for Ponder (coincidentally, both Razorbacks) and improved the secondary. I don't know if he needed to trade up for Harrison Smith, but he had the ammunition to do so because of the Kalil deal. Smith will be the quarterback of the secondary - a leader at safety that the Vikings haven't had since Darren Sharper.
All in all, the Vikings had one of the top drafts in 2012. I absolutely loved what they did.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, who I've had my issues with in the past, even found some positives about what the Vikings did this past weekend, giving Minnesota a B+ mark for their efforts.
Best pick: I love that they stayed true to what they wanted and picked tackle Matt Kalil and added picks in a trade down to do it. Kalil is a 10-year starter.
Questionable move: Using a fourth-round pick on a fullback isn't wise. They took Southern California's Rhett Ellison to be a lead blocker. That's a waste of a good pick.
Third-day gem: Fourth-round receiver Jairus Wright is a good slot receiver who will help add some quickness to a passing game that needs it.
Analysis: Rick Spielman did a nice job trading back, landing extra picks and still getting Kalil. They then came back into the first round to take a starting safety in Harrison Smith in a year where that position was lean. Good job.
So there's a look at four different grades for the Minnesota Vikings from this weekend's draft. We'll probably have some more later on as they come in from across these vast interwebs of ours.