Anyone that’s read this website for any length of time knows that I’ve always said that grading a draft before anyone that was drafted actually sets foot on an NFL field is a fairly ridiculous concept. To that end, I generally cite the example of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2005 draft class, which got relatively high marks right after the draft and turned out to be one of the worst draft classes in franchise history.
But, while I won’t do my own grades or anything like that, I understand that people do like to hear what the experts think of what Rick Spielman and company do on draft weekend. The folks from Football Outsiders compiled the results of the “grades” from this year’s draft, and the consensus from the people that cover this sort of thing for a living seem to think the Vikings pretty much killed it.
Football Outsiders took the draft grades from 17 different outlets and put them together to give each team a GPA on the classic school-style “A” to “F” scale. The Vikings received the second-highest overall GPA at 3.77 out of 4.0, trailing only the 3.85 that the Dallas Cowboys received.
More importantly, of all 32 NFL teams, the Vikings had the lowest variance score. So, it wasn’t just a few people that thought Rick Spielman and company crushed it this past weekend, but rather a sentiment that seems to be almost universally agreed upon.
The Vikings’ grades from the drafts that Football Outsiders compiled ranged all the way from “A+” (from Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News) to “B+” (from four different sources). By comparison, the team with the highest variance was the Houston Texans, who got grades ranging all the way from “B+” to “F.”
Minnesota also blew away the competition within the NFC North. Of their division rivals, the Detroit Lions had the next-best GPA, checking in at 3.05, good for 15th in the league. The Chicago Bears checked in at 26th with a GPA of 2.28. Then, at the bottom. . .and I mean waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down at the bottom. . .we find the Green Bay Packers, with a nearly Blutarsky-esque 1.22 GPA. The Packers’ best mark was a C+, which they received from Chad Reuter of NFL.com, with four different graders chalking their draft up as an “F.” No other NFC North team got an “F” from any of the 17 graders Football Outsiders cited.
We might take a look at the grades from some of these outlets in more depth later on, but for now we can be happy that a lot of folks that do this for a living think the Vikings knocked it out of the park last weekend.