2022 Draft: How I would have done it

Heading into the season, I'd like to put out my version of how I would have used the picks were I the GM. Then maybe I can look back on it a few years later and see if my picks are any better or worse than what we actually ended up with. I like a lot of the guys we picked, but at the same time, I feel we could have done a lot better after the first two picks, and addressed more of our needs. So I'm going to lay out all out how I would have made the picks.

Getting started, let's lay out the ground rules. All trades are final. Even though certain trades were obviously made with specific players in mind, I am going to pick the players that I want where our picks actually happened. Next, nobody will be regarded as available who was originally picked before any of our picks come up. In the case where I leave guys on the board that our team picked, that's going to mess things up a bit. Obviously they would be treated as if they went undrafted in this scenario (or slotted into the position of guys who I took instead), but I think it's the only way to attack it properly since I am only redrafting for the Vikings.

With that laid out, let's start with identifying team needs. There are a lot of spots that could use help on defense. Namely in a few spots in the secondary. But also with future replacements at ILB, OLB, and DL needed not too long out. Offensively, the interior of the line is in the most need. A new starter could be had at C and RG, but there is enough competition with veteran free agents and recent draft picks at RG that I might want to leave that position for a developmental guy later on. Depth at LG and Tackle could be useful too. I'd also like to keep an eye out for a TE who can backup Smith Jr, a WR who might be able to help us move on from Thielen when age catches him, and I'd like to at least keep an open mind for a rookie QB to start molding, because early signs are that Mond is not going to be anything noteworthy.

Now to get things under way. With our first pick (R1:P32), I have no issue sticking with Lewis Cine (S). He's a quality pick at a position of future need once we move on from the Hitman, and should provide some interesting 3 Safety packages with Bynum and Smith in the first year or two as well. I am excited to see how he works into the system.

Pick 2 (R2:P42), again I am sticking with the guy we actually took. Andrew Booth Jr (CB). CB is the biggest need of the team, and I actually have him ranked 8-spots higher than Cine, but due to the aforementioned rules, I can't take him first if I want to also get Cine, and I would have been thrilled to get Cine with our 2nd pick, so it works out either way. I'm looking forward to him and Dantzler becoming the 2 starting CBs before the end of the season, and hopefully to remain a solid duo for plenty of years after that. Only time will tell if they can pull it off.

Pick 3 (R2:P59), here is where I start to change things up. My chart says Ed Ingram should have been a 4th rounder at best. His legal history is not winning him any fans either, and with a decent competition at RG already, I think this pick was just plain wrong. I would have been making the pick with the idea of getting competition for Bradbury early on, and eventually replacing him as the starter so we aren't forced into re-signing him or paying big for someone else in free agency next year. There's not a whole lot of guys at decent value here, but I don't have issue making a bit of a reach, and I think Sean Rhyan (C) will be able to take over nicely once his time comes. He's the 74th best player on my board, so I'm only taking him about 15 picks early rather than the 40-pick reach that Ingram was for a player in a position that I wasn't seeing nearly as much of a need.

Pick 4 (R3:P66), now again I am looking to go in a different direction. The Vikings took Brian Asamoah (ILB) with this pick, who is ranked #92 on my board. While I don't mind a future replacement at ILB, I just don't think he is the guy to do it and that there were better players available. But I also want to address a different position. I see a more immediate need at the DL and EDGE. I'm not sold that we currently have a quality starter at one of our DE positions now that we switched to a 3-4, and I think it would be nice to have a rotational guy in the wings behind Hunter and Smith, while also ready to be a starter should their injuries resurface. On top of that, it's really hard to not take a QB after the historic slide that has happened at the position. Malik Willis (QB) is just sitting there begging to make everyone regret passing on him for at least 2 rounds longer than they should have. But ultimately, I like DeMarvin Leal (DL) too much to go with anybody else. I don't think it would be too long before he starts getting first team reps and helps to make things insanely easy for our talented pair of EDGE rushers.

Pick 5 (R4:P118), this is where we took Akayleb Evans. After reading about the kid, I like him well enough and hope he can become a solid contributor before his second season begins, but I think taking another DB so early is too much. Plus, he's another guy I had rated nearly a round lower than where we got him. I'm liking the potential offensive talent available here instead, and guys like Isaiah Spiller (RB), Isaiah Likely (TE), and Darian Kinnard (OT) are looking like solid value to grab, all having slid further than they should have. But I don't think we are going to be getting another shot at a WR with as much potential as Calvin Austin III (WR) after this, so he is who I am targeting. He'll be buried on the depth chart in his first year, but I expect him to start contributing big after that, giving us plenty of comfort moving on from the inflated contract of an aging Thielen when the time comes.

Pick 6 (R5:P165), now the Vikings are drafting guys I hadn't even heard of, so I was not thrilled at all when I learned they took Esezi Otomewo (EDGE). And he's from MN, so I probably should have heard of him, but he was graded 57 picks below where we took him, and I see plenty of higher potential at the position. Dominique Robinson, Isaiah Thomas, Amare Barno, and Kingsley Enagbare are all much higher rated at the same position. I have Kingsley Enagbare (EDGE) rated higher than anyone else as the 83rd best prospect in the draft, and as an added bonus, I keep him from going to GB too. Big win there!

Pick 7 (R5:P169), here's where we picked Ty Chandler. He wasn't nearly the reach other picks were, graded 16-spots later than where we took him, and I have been seeing plenty of people projecting him as a 3-down back with starter aspirations in the next couple of years. So maybe he is better than my board lists him, but I still see more pressing needs on the roster. Depth at ILB and a future replacement for Kendricks looks like it can be grabbed right now, and I like the value here more than I did back when we grabbed Asamoah in the real draft. Darrian Beavers (LB) and Damone Clark (LB) are listed back-to-back on my chart at a value of 108 and 109 respectively, so you probably can't go wrong with either one. With that in mind, a coin flip makes Beavers my pick here.

Pick 8 (R6:P184), the Vikings took Vederian Lowe (OT) here. There's another player I haven't heard of, was taken 47 picks early, and I don't expect to even make the final 53 this year. Maybe he'll contribute in the future, but I see bigger needs in the present. I have some favorites that I was keeping an eye on throughout the draft, and I'm thinking this is a good spot to target one of them. Currently, the team doesn't have any youth that I am encouraged that can be a quality slot CB, so this is a great spot to start grooming one. I have Tariq Castro-Fields (CB) as the 145th best player, and am ready to make the call on him now. The kid is fast, has a nose for the football, and isn't afraid to make a hit. At the very least, I'd expect him to do a lot on special teams in his first year.

Pick 9 (R6:P191), the Vikings took Jalen Nailor (WR) here. Just a 17-spot reach in value, but as I already grabbed my WR, my draft no longer has a need for one. Cade Mays (IOL) is pretty much even value right now at a 190th best on my board, and should become a valuable depth player for the line having experience at all 5-positions, so he becomes my pick here.

Pick 10 (R7:P227), at this point the Vikings got an early start with their UDFA targets taking Nick Muse (TE) who I had rated way down at 391st best player. But clearly they saw something in him that they didn't want to wait until free agency to get a hold of it. I like the choice of TE here because I don't think we have a good receiving option outside of Smith Jr, but I don't trust that Muse will be that either. Another one of my favorites who actually didn't get drafted in the real world is Jalen Wydermeyer (TE). I have him listed at 172 value, but in mock drafts was seeing him go as high as the 2nd round frequently early in the offseason. He comes across as a good receiving target, especially in the red zone, but may not be a great blocker. And I think he could at the least provide some insurance on Smith Jr. if needed.

So in the end, I think I got enough to really provide value for a new head coach now and throughout their rookie contracts.

Here's my final results:
Pick 1 (R1:P32) Lewis Cine (S)
Pick 2 (R2:P42) Andrew Booth Jr (CB)
Pick 3 (R2:P59) Sean Rhyan (C)
Pick 4 (R3:P66) DeMarvin Leal (DL)
Pick 5 (R4:P118) Calvin Austin III (WR)
Pick 6 (R5:P165) Kingsley Enagbare (EDGE)
Pick 7 (R5:P169) Darrian Beavers (LB)
Pick 8 (R6:P184) Tariq Castro-Fields (CB)
Pick 9 (R6:P191) Cade Mays (IOL)
Pick 10 (R7:P227) Jalen Wydermeyer (TE)

I also see plenty of guys that I like who hit UDFA, so I will further be targeting these guys to add to the camp to compete for a shot:
Wan'Dale Robinson (WR)
Carson Strong (QB)
Justyn Ross (WR)
Josh Jobe (CB)
Kellen Diesch (OT)
Dare Rosenthal (OT)
Mykael Wright (CB)
Alec Lindstrom (IOL)
Mike Rose (LB)
Smoke Monday (S)
Charleston Rambo (WR) [Ok, maybe I only like him for the name]
Sterling Weatherford (S)
Jayden Peevy (DL)
Jack Sanborn (LB)
Bubba Bolden (S)
Austin Allen (TE)
Noah Eliss (DL)
Isasc Taylor-Stuart (CB)
Ben Brown (IOL)
Kolby Harvell-Peel (S)
Ty Fryfogle (WR)
Max Borghi (RB)
Ryan Van Demark (OT)
Myron Cunningham (OT)
Tyler Vrabel (OT)
Chase Allen (TE)
Blaise Andries (IOL)

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.