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Early Snap Grades for the Vikings Draft

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How the major sports outlets graded the Vikings 2016 Draft

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Now that the 2016 NFL draft is in the books, here are some instant grades from the major football media outlets:

Dane Brugler over at cbssports.com said the Vikings were one of the five teams that flat-out crushed it:

The Vikings drafted the fourth receiver in the first round, but Treadwell is an ideal fit for that offense with Norv Turner and Teddy Bridgewater. Treadwell was my top wide receiver and Alexander was my top cornerback, who Minnesota picked up in the second round after he fell due to size and other issues. Beavers provides depth on the offensive line. Brothers doesn't have NFL speed but he makes up for it with his instincts and tracking skills, making him a steal in the fifth round. The Vikings became the first team to draft a European player who never attended a North American college in the sixth with Boehringer. And then Weatherly and Kearse are two depth adds who have a chance at making the team.

Brugler's collegue Rob Rang gave the Vikings an A- :

Full disclosure: Laquon Treadwell was my top-rated wideout entering the draft (and all year long) and his insertion into an offense that will feed him the ball while surrounded by exciting talent only reinforces my appreciation of his game. Strong, competitive and a better athlete than most give him credit for (perhaps due to his 4.65 time in the 40-yard dash), Treadwell will prove a star at split end in Norv Turner's offense.

Mackensie Alexander needs some polish, but who better to do it than Mike Zimmer? Alexander will prove a steal at No. 54 overall. Fourth-round pick Willie Beavers played left tackle at Western Michigan but projects best inside and, while athletic and possessing legitimate size for this role at 6-foot-5 and 321 pounds, is understandably a bit of a project.

Gambling on athletic upside was a theme for Minnesota throughout Day 3 with lottery tickets spent on former German league standout Moritz Boehringer, Vanderbilt edge rusher Stephen Weatherly and Clemson safety Jayron Kearse, the nephew of "The Freak" Jevon Kearse.

Steve Palazzolo over at Pro Football Focus, however, was less impressed, giving the Vikings a B- :

Day 1: Minnesota was expected to target a receiver, and they took one in Treadwell whom we pegged as a being worth a late first-round pick. He’s strong on underneath routes, particularly slants, and he should help in the red zone, but we have concerns about his ability to separate at the deep and intermediate levels. This doesn’t pair well with a QB in Teddy Bridgewater who is less likely to take chances throwing into tight coverage than other QBs around the league.

Day 2: We saw Alexander as a first-round talent, especially when playing man coverage, although he has the movement skills to play zone. His 0.66 yards per cover snap ranked No. 10 in the class. He was a value here, as the No. 21 player on our draft board.

Day 3: Beavers’ -46.0 overall grade ranked last out of 258 qualifying offensive tackles in the draft class. Brothers posted a +25.2 grade against the run that ranked second in the class and his 15.8 run stop percentage finished first. Morgan had the top run-blocking grade among tight ends and he can see the field early in a specialist role.

Doug Farrar over at SI.com weren't too much better, giving the Vikings a B :

The addition of Laquon Treadwell in the first round gives Teddy Briddgewater the kind of big, aggressive receiver he hasn't yet had with his NFL team. Size issues with Treadwell are overblown, and he should succeed. And second-round cornerback Mackensie Alexander is a great value with the ability to play outside and in the slot. Of course, the big story of the Vikings' class is the fifth-round selection of Moritz Boehringer, who previously played with the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns of the German Football League. Boehringer , who’s the first draft pick to come from straight out of Europe, got into football a few years back after watching new teammate Adrian Peterson on YouTube. He has the base athleticism to make it in the NFL, and now comes the task of learning advanced routes and dealing with NFL competition. Western Michigan tackle Willie Beavers could also be a standout in this class in time. Like T.J. Clemmings, last year's developmental offensive lineman, Beavers has a lot of talent, and a lot of learning to do. Also, keep an eye on Vanderbilt end Stephen Weatherly.​ —DF​

Bleacher Report gives the Vikings a B+

Chad Reuter at nfl.com gave an unequivocal A to the Vikings:

Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: General manager Rick Spielman got the most physical receiver in the draft in Treadwell. There's no reason he won't be a to-go guy for Teddy Bridgewater. Alexander is an excellent defender, even without the turnover production. Then Spielman picked up two 2017 mid-round selections from Miami. That's building draft capital.

Spielman found quality players in Beavers, Brothers, Weatherly, and Morgan. Kearse was worth a shot in the seventh round. Boehringer's upside is highly intriguing.

Ben Goessling at espn.com gave the Vikings a 'thumbs up' :

As their trade out of the third round on Friday indicated, the Vikings know roster spots could be at a premium for them in 2016. And as they usually do, they took some players who will need some time to develop. Sixth-rounder Moritz Boehringer is one of the feel-good stories of the draft, but he’ll have plenty to learn going from Germany to the NFL. So will fourth-round offensive lineman Willie Beavers, seventh-round pass-rusher Stephen Weatherly and seventh-round safety Jayron Kearse. But the Vikings addressed their biggest need in the first round with Mississippi receiver Laquon Treadwell, and they identified some players who could contribute in the future. It’s a good problem to have when you’re picking players you don’t necessarily need to take on major roles right away, and outside of Treadwell, the Vikings should have the luxury of time with many of their picks. They’ll once again trust their coaching staff to coax production out of an intriguing group.

Dan Kadar at SB Nation gave the Vikings an A- :

Best pick: Alexander - They Vikings were able to get a starting cornerback in the second round in Alexander. Even if he just plays on the inside, he can be a productive player for Minnesota.

Questionable pick: Beavers - The Western Michigan offensive tackle's play was up and down throughout his career. He's likely to move inside to guard for the Vikings.

Laquon Treadwell is a big and physical receiver who can be a top target for Teddy Bridgewater. Getting the draft's best wide out even though he was the third one picked was a coup. They got another steal in the second round with Alexander. He can be a Jason Verrett-like corner for the Vikings. Brothers is a thumper of a middle linebacker who can make a ton of tackles, assuming he gets on the field. Boehringer is interesting because of his size and athleticism. Frankly, I know about him as much as you do. Stephen Weatherly was a sneaky good seventh-round pick. He's a size and athleticism prospect for Mike Zimmer to mold.

Overall grade: A-

Lindsay Jones at USA Today gave the Vikings one of only two 'A' grades:

Analysis: It’s hard to find fault with any of the early draft picks. Mississippi WR Laquon Treadwell fills a need on offense and should be a nice complement to Stefon Diggs, while Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander could contribute immediately in nickel packages. The most surprising pick came Saturday afternoon in German WR Moritz Boehringer, who is the first European player drafted into the NFL without playing in the NCAA.

And over at WalterFootball, they gave the Vikings an A

Minnesota Vikings: A Grade

Goals Entering the 2016 NFL Draft: The Vikings appear close to making a Super Bowl run; they just need a few more pieces, and they don't have many major areas of weakness. Some of the few problems they have are at receiver and safety, but they should be able to plug those holes in the 2016 NFL Draft.


2016 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Vikings put together one of the best draft classes in the NFL. They filled their most-prominent need, took players who provided great value, and didn't make any poor choices. This is hardly a surprise, as Minnesota's front office has been on fire in recent years.

Excluding the seventh round, of the six choices Minnesota made in the 2016 NFL Draft, only two graded worse than a B+, and both earned a "B." Things got off to a great start when the Vikings nabbed Laquon Treadwell at No. 23 overall. Some believed Treadwell to be the best receiver in the class and worthy of a top-15 selection. Thus, obtaining him with the 23rd pick was quite the bargain. However, that was nothing compared to selecting Mackensie Alexander near the end of the second frame. Alexander comes with character issues, but in terms of pure talent, he was a top-20 player in this class.

The one issue I have with Minnesota's haul is that the team didn't pick up a safety until the seventh round. However, the Vikings were great otherwise, as they once again did an outstanding job of bolstering their roster.

Overall, the snap reaction is mostly very good, with most indicating the Vikings had one of the best drafts of any team (most feel Jacksonville had the best draft of any team)  but some dissent on a couple picks- one or two weren't so high on Treadwell, and others not so high on a couple late round picks, but overall generally very positive reviews.

What do you think?