Baffling Draft Priority/ Scheme Change

I'll be honest, I'm pretty confused by a LOT of this draft. Hopefully I'm proven wrong, but for all of that maneuvering, it doesn't seem like we really did much to improve the team. What really confuses me is the scheme fit and succession planning for lack of a better term. We had a lot of early picks, but I don't know that we walked away with many starters or significant improvements. The only starter that PFF or ESPN has penciled in for the Vikings is Cine. That's it.

I sum up a lot of my points in my comments here, but figured I'd flesh it out a bit after having some time to look back.

I'll start by saying I don't really have any issue with the Booth, Evans, and Otomewo picks. Those were all clear positions of need, and were generally drafted where they should have been. The picks below are the ones that I have some umbrage with.

Round 1, #32 overall (pick acquired from Detroit Lions): Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

I understand the trade logic, but I'm going to go down with the ship saying we didn't get nearly enough value. I keep hearing people say it was the best option/ offer, and maybe it was, but we'll never know. I have to imagine that with the last top WR on the board as well as some elite talents at other positions that someone would have been willing to throw a couple mid round picks at us to drop back a handful of spots rather than 20. Looking at what all we got, I think we could have come out with a very similar draft if we had just picked up a 3rd and 4th and drafted a guy in the teens/ early 20s. You don't think Philly called us to offer 4th, 5th, 5th, to drop to 15 for Davis?

As for the actual pick, why? Don't get me wrong, Cine is a really good player. But Safety isn't a high positional value pick, and we literally just restructured Hitman. Bynum looked really solid in his playing time last year, so I feel like we used our most valuable pick on a marginal upgrade on a position that generally seemed locked down for the next two years. Plus now we're left with one of our more promising young guys sitting on the bench or learning a new position that he doesn't have the physical tools for. Cutting Smith next year would only save $7.5M, with an $11.5M dead cap hit. It makes much more sense to move on from Smith in 2024, so again - a safety would have made a lot more sense next year. Are we a better team with Cine on the field or something like Logan Hall + Bynum?

Round 2, #59 overall (pick acquired from Green Bay Packers): Ed Ingram, OG, Louisiana State

I've said my piece repeatedly on Ingram. The off-field stuff is very concerning, and I feel like we could have gotten him significantly later since I imagine he was completely off the board for a lot of teams. Positional fit is also questionable. We signed several free agents who can play guard. Our weakest link on the line is still clearly Bradbury. Ingram took a few snaps at center at senior bowl, but has played guard for 4 years. There was a TON of high level OL talent that slid in the draft, so this felt like an unnecessary force by a full round or two.

Round 3, #66 overall (pick acquired from Detroit Lions): Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma

This one felt like another reach, and I don't quite get the scheme fit. A lot of people, including former NFL linebackers have pointed out how you need some larger ILB in a 3-4 defense. Asamoah is an even smaller version of Kendricks, and more than a few people have expressed concern about how Kendricks is going to perform in a 3-4. Plus we already have Dye, Lynch, and Surratt on the roster, who are all smaller linebackers who have struggled with run defense. I thought Travis Jones was a no-brainer here. Rotates this year at NT or 3T, and then next year when Tomlinson is gone, you have a solid talent ready to replace him.

Round 5, #169 overall (pick acquired from Las Vegas Raiders): Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina

I understand getting a RB at some point, but not sure why now/ why at this position. We still have Mattison, Cook, Nwangwu, and a few PS guys. It would have made a lot more sense to grab a RB next year if/ when we cut/ trade Cook. Plenty of examples out there of running backs stepping in as rookies and starting. Especially with a lot of OL/DL/LB talent on the board still, just doesn't make sense. Chandler is RB3-4 on our depth chart when a guy like Robinson or Enagbare would probably get some rotational reps as OLB or Butler could potentially start at DT, Watttenburg would compete for C, or Ridgeway rotate at NT. Damone Clark and Darrian Beavers would have been ideal eventual replacements for Kendricks.

Round 6, #184 overall: Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois

More OL help makes sense, but again, positional fit doesn't. Lowe is an OT, and has only ever played LT. We just invested a 1st round pick into our LT and paid big money to RT. Brandel and Udoh are currently our swing tackle options. There were multiple other OL options here with much more positional versatility. Jamaree Salyer and Cade Mays have both played all over the OL, notably both getting some time at Center. I don't know about you, but I think that the starting LT for the National Champions (from the strongest conference in college) seems to make a lot more sense here. Especially when he played against an NFL DL in practice every day and manhandled the #2 pick of the draft.

Round 7, Pick #227 (pick acquired from Las Vegas Raiders): Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina

Seventh rounder, so generally who cares, but still a weird pick. Small school guy that transferred to South Carolina and never really had more than 3-400 receiving yards any year in college, even when he was in the tiny school powderpuff leagues.



Well, we're clearly going to be spending at least some time in a 3-4. That's pretty obvious when you look at the two guys we spent big money on as UDFA. Vilain and McCloud are both your typical 3-4 OLB, and Tyarise Stevenson is a big body to clog the middle at NT. What I don't understand is why the DL wasn't a bigger priority in the actual draft. We didn't draft a single guy that I expect will be anything other than a depth/ limited rotation piece. We could have had Hall (clearly the best 5T in the draft and a serious pass-rush threat) at 32. We passed on Jones and Winfrey numerous times as well. There were a lot of 3-4 OLB that we passed on too. If you look at the typical snap counts of most any DT/ 5T, they are typically getting like 60-70% of the defensive snaps at most and rotating in and out. IDL tends to rotate a little more than the DE/ OLB.

Our DL depth in general is shaky, and the last two years have shown us how painful it is to not have a front that can create pass-rush pressure. ZDS and Hunter are both coming off of years where they missed most or all of the season. The only DE we have that has 3-4 OLB experience I believe is Wonnum, and he's struggled badly the last two years. From what I recall, Jones and Robinson only ever played in 4-3 alignments. IDL - Watts is probably the main backup for Phillips/ Tomlinson, and I expect Twyman, Lynch, and maybe Otomewo to probably rotate at 5T.


I think the only players on the Vikings roster to actually take center snaps in a game are Bradbury and Reed. We picked up UDFA center Sokol, but still confusing why there was zero effort made to bring in legitimate competition for one of the worst centers in the league for 3 years in a row.

The DL and Center position were clearly two of our biggest weaknesses going into the draft, and it just feels odd that they were both largely ignored. At this point I guess we just hope someone steps up in camp or we land a surprise free agent still at a solid price.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.