My apologies for the lack of stories up here the day after the Draft, ladies and gentlemen. Sometimes when you spend three days doing nothing but football and neglecting basically everything else you need to catch up on some things, and that’s what today was.
However, we’re back, and it’s time to take a look back at this year’s selection meeting for the Minnesota Vikings. While it’s way too early to “grade” a draft class. . .even though a lot of people have done just that and we’ll get to some of that later on. . .we can look at some other things.
Behind the great E$PN paywall, Todd McShay has put together his list of his favorite pick for each team from Draft Weekend, and his selection for the Vikings was cornerback Andrew Booth Jr., who the Vikings got after trading back up in Round 2.
The Vikings traded back in the first round and took Georgia safety Lewis Cine to close out Day 1. Good pick. But the team’s first selection of Day 2 was the one that really caught my eye. I thought Booth might be a first-rounder, and I put him at No. 27 on my board. The Vikings managed to land him 10 picks into Round 2. And man, did they need someone like him at cornerback. Patrick Peterson will be 32 years old when the season starts and is starting to show signs of his age. The depth at the position was weak, too.
Booth is a top-end press-man corner, but he’s scheme-versatile and can play in off-man or zone looks. He has playmaker instincts and ball skills, and he’s a willing run defender who flies in on ball carriers. Booth is explosive and has a fluid transition out of his pedal. I love his game.
Booth was, at various points, mocked to the Vikings in our Mock Draft Database for this year, but ultimately fell out of the first round. A lot of outlets had Booth as one of the top corners in this year’s draft, and the fact that he fell to #42 overall is a pretty massive steal, it would appear.
McShay did have some kind words for another Vikings’ draft choice, that being fifth-round running back Ty Chandler out of North Carolina.
I have to mention my guy Ty Chandler, though. I really wanted to make him Minnesota’s best pick. The UNC running back has 4.38 speed and makes cuts without gearing down. And he’s a smooth pass-catcher out of the backfield. I think he could end up the best value pick at running back in the 2022 class.
Pretty strong praise from McShay for the Chandler pick, but he makes a good point. While we know the Vikings are solid at running back right now, Dalvin Cook is looking at a cap number north of $14 million for the 2023 season (with a relatively minimal cap hit to let him go) and Alexander Mattison is in the final year of his rookie contract. I don’t know how popular taking a running back was with a lot of the fan base, but it seems like a pretty good idea if you look beyond this season.
Who was your favorite pick of the Vikings’ 2022 Draft class, folks?