clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 NFL Draft Grades: Experts Grade The Trae Waynes Selection

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

If you've followed this site for any length of time, you know that I find the idea of grading a draft less than 24 hours after it's taken place to be an exercise in futility of the highest order. However, there are plenty of folks around the internet that do think it's a good idea, and we're going to round up as many of those opinions as we can and put them in one place for you. Specifically, we're going to look at how the experts around these vast interwebs have graded the Minnesota Vikings' selection of Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes during last night's first round.

We'll start, as we should, with Dan Kadar over at the mothership, and he doesn't appear to be a huge fan of the selection.

Waynes is regarded by some as the draft's top cornerback, but does he make the Vikings better than a wide receiver like DeVante Parker would? I don't think so. Waynes is a pro-ready choice, and this isn't really a reach. His tackling, however, needs to be improved, and you wonder how well he was coached up at Michigan State if his ceiling is low. Regardless, he's a Day 1 starter.

Grade: B-

I can see where Dan is coming from on this, but Waynes is a guy that the Vikings had zeroed in on from the beginning of this process, seemingly. I think that DeVante Parker would have been an outstanding choice as well, but the Vikings obviously feel better about their wide receiver group at the present time than a lot of folks do. Throw in that the wide receiver group in this class is much deeper than the cornerback group (in my opinion), and it's easy to justify taking the consensus best corner in the draft over what would have been the #3 wide receiver taken.

Over at ESPN, Mel Kiper doesn't appear to be a huge fan, either, as he has the Vikings' selection under the "questioning it" section of his first round review (as opposed to the "liking it" section).

The Vikings need to be able to cover some really good wide receivers in the NFC North, and they did have a need at cornerback. But I really liked the fit of DeVante Parker here, and I had Trae Waynes at No. 22 on my Big Board, so No. 11 was just a slight reach even though I do think they hit a need here. Waynes needs to be able to tackle a little better and cover shifty receivers.

I'm not going to argue Kiper's "big board" and all that, but a lot of what I said about Dan Kadar's grade applies here as well.

Over at CBS Sports, Pete Prisco likes the selection a little more than our first two critics, as he gave the pick a B+.

This is the best corner in the draft and Mike Zimmer loves corners. He and Xavier Rhodes will form a nice duo in Minnesota.

There were few experts across the internet that didn't have Waynes as their top corner in this class, from what I recall seeing. And we saw the strides that Rhodes made under Zimmer last year. . .hopefully Waynes will be able to do the same thing.

My personal favorite write-up so far might actually come from Mike Tanier over at Bleacher Report. He gives the selection an A, and I'm just going to go ahead and quote almost the whole thing. I hope Mr. Tanier doesn't mind.

Saying you like Trae Waynes on Twitter is like saying you like Taylor Swift's music or domestic beer. The cool kids of #DraftTwitter all gang up on you. OMG, you are, like, one of those shallow people who is impressed by size, speed and major-conference experience. It must feel great to run with the herd. Bet you also eat at chain restaurants and cry at the end of Nicholas Sparks movies, too.

So at the risk of being cyberbullied by people who spend a little too much time trying to act cool by showing off how much Northwestern State tape they watch, let me state how much I love this pick. No, Waynes cannot tackle. No, his technique is not flawless. But sometimes the obvious hits you over the head: Waynes is a tall, super-fast guy who has covered top B1G receivers one-on-one for two years. The indie choices have their charms, too, but sometimes the obvious selection is the best selection.

I am really impressed by the Vikings secondary right now. Xavier Rhodes and Waynes make a heck of a multitalented tandem. Captain Munnerlyn was stretched as a conventional corner but will be nasty in the slot, where he can gamble a little bit and won't lose as many size mismatches. Add Harrison Smith at safety (and Robert Blanton, who is fine) and this is a playoff-caliber secondary.

The only thing I don't know about is the "can't tackle" bit. (And the bit about Nicholas Sparks movies, if for no other reason than I don't think I can name a Nicholas Sparks movie off the top of my head.) If he wants to see the field under Mike Zimmer, he'll tackle, alright. But with the receiving duos in the NFC North, Xavier Rhodes isn't enough all by himself. With the selection of Waynes, at least they're taking a stab at it.

See, the thing about getting too excited not even 24 hours after the draft is that nobody knows how any of these players are going to pan out. After last year's first round, the Vikings were getting killed for the Anthony Barr selection, they were getting killed for not doing more to get Johnny Manziel, and they were getting killed for trading up for Teddy Bridgewater. Today, a full year after those picks were made (or almost a full year), it would appear that Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer went 3-for-3. So, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on the Waynes selection until there's an actual performance-based reason not to.