While it’s generally too early to assign actual “grades” to players that are selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, that doesn’t stop a lot of people from doing it anyway. So, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to see a sampling of them in one place.
This time, we wanted to know what the experts out there thought of the Vikings’ selection of Boise State offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland in the second round of this year’s draft. The Vikings needed help on the offensive line, but do people think they got the right guy?
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports
Grade: A-. Perfect fit in Vikings zone-blocking scheme because of his high-level short-area athleticism. Stellar pass-blocking technician. Needs to get stronger. Fills major need too.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
Grade: A-. The Vikings go for a high-upside developmental tackle with an eye on replacing aging, fading Riley Reiff on the left side by 2021. Cleveland (6-6, 311 pounds) has raw skills that can quickly developed, with his quickness and agility giving him great upside. He is fluid with his hands and legs in pass-protection.
Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports
It appears Trent Williams isn’t going to Minnesota after all. Cleveland looks and plays a little like Brian O’Neill, whom the Vikings took in Round 2 two years ago. But they needed the talent at the position, and Cleveland is likely going to play better than he did last year now that he’s recovered from the ankle injury that hindered him early on. He has played both tackle spots and is a really nice athlete. Solid pick. Grade: B-.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football
A Grade. There was some speculation that the Vikings would pick Ezra Cleveland at No. 25, so this is a steal as far as that is concerned. Cleveland is a great fit for the Vikings’ blocking scheme, and he could displace Riley Reiff as early as this year. Reiff is very expensive, and the Vikings don’t have much money, so they needed to get cheaper at left tackle. Cleveland has nice upside and could make things much easier financially for the Vikings.
As more of these grades roll in, we can add them here. And, as always, you can feel free to weigh in with your own grades and commentary on the selection of Ezra Cleveland.