I’ve said numerous times in the past that I hate grading the NFL Draft. Actually, I hate grading the NFL Draft an hour after the picks are made before we’ve actually seen any of these players put on a jersey, let alone play. But, there are a lot of people out there that like them, so I wanted to take an opportunity to aggregate some of the expert thoughts on the Minnesota Vikings’ selection of Georgia safety Lewis Cine and put them here for everyone to check out.
So, here are some of the reactions and grades from draftniks around the internet for your reading pleasure.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: A grade
I projected Cine to the Vikings in Round 2 of my seven-round mock draft, so I wasn’t surprised when they traded down and selected him at No. 32 overall. He’ll play right away because he’s a big hitter who can cover. Cine’s size and athleticism allowed him to stay with receivers and tight ends on crossing routes and downfield; he’ll serve as a much-needed nickel defender for Minnesota. New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah got excellent value in his deal with the Lions — he moved up 12 picks in Round 2, added an early third-round selection (No. 66 overall) and landed an impact player in Cine, all for 20 spots in Round 1.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: B+ grade
They need a safety next to Harrison Smith and he’s getting a little older. Cine is a good-looking player who will cover and hit you. He has the range you like in the back end. This is a good, solid pick.
Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated: B grade
Cine is an outstanding athlete with good size who could be a long-term replacement for Harrison Smith. He ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the combine and led all safeties in the broad jump (11’1”). He’s a smart defender and sees the game well. Cine delivers some big hits in run support and is a reliable tackler in space with sideline-to-sideline range.
James Dator, SB Nation: C grade
I really like Cine. This was the correct spot for him to go, albeit the team is a little surprising. Defensive back was a big-time need for Minnesota, and their huge trade back from 12 to 32 forced their hand a lot. Cine is a good player, but man... I hate the talent Minnesota missed out on by making this drop back and not getting a great return for it. Trent McDuffie, Kaiir Elam, Daxton Hill — all better DBs and all gone because of this trade. Unless the Vikings get something incredible with the No. 34 this was an awful trade.
Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports: A grade
Low-key this was one of our favorite picks of Round 1. Trading down felt like the play for the Vikings at 12, but we had no idea they’d be able to go this far down and get a top-20 talent in Cine. He’ll pair with Harrison Smith as one of the best safety duos in the NFL. Outstanding first selection for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Cine will start for a decade.
Pro Football Focus: “Good” grade
After trading all the way back from the 12th overall pick, the Vikings land PFF’s No. 2 safety and 26th-best prospect overall, Lewis Cine at No. 32. The Georgia Bulldog — like most of the people on the team — is an elite athlete, who posted a 4.37 40-yard and 11-foot-1 broad jump at the NFL Combine. He was one of the best safeties in college football last year, turning in an 82.4 PFF grade for the season that ranked eighth in the Power Five. Cine was also one of the best tacklers in the country at Georgia, with just 11 misses on 159 career attempts. He was primarily a deep safety in college, but he can be more versatile in Minnesota.
Doug Farrar, USA Today: A grade
Right now, Cine has the NFL attributes to be an overhang enforcer who will cause trouble on anything in front of him. Over time, and once he cleans up a few things in coverage and with his tackling, he could be a top-10 NFL safety with his athleticism, aggressiveness, and coverage potential.
Sheil Kapadia, The Athletic: A grade
Cine is a tough, physical safety who plays with tremendous energy. He committed just one penalty all of last season, per Brugler. He tested as a top-three athlete among this year’s safety class. And Cine didn’t miss a game in the past three seasons.
I love what Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did here. He read the market well, picked up additional draft capital and got one of my favorite defensive players in this year’s draft.
Rob Rang, Fox Sports: B+ grade
There is some poetry to the first round of the draft both beginning and ending with a Georgia Bulldog, with Cine the appropriate capper as the last line of defense for the reigning national champions. For so long, the Vikings boasted one of the NFL’s best free safeties in Harrison Smith, but age is catching up to the veteran. Cine catches up with opponents in a flash, and he brings the thunder as a hitter.
Overall, it looks like the experts were pretty impressed with the Vikings’ selection of Cine. They might not have been huge fans of the trade that they made prior to selecting him. . .and, to be honest, I’m still not sure if I am, either. . .but the Cine selection appears to be a pretty good one.
If there are grades that I’ve missed or you would like brought to everyone’s attention, feel free to drop them in the comments section so everyone can see them.