The Vikings are a championship-caliber team that doesn’t need to add a lot of players. Having a lot of draft picks doesn’t help in 2010. Having BETTER draft picks helps in 2010. Let’s look at the Vikings draft, pick-by-pick. For comparison purposes, I’ve added the position ranking, overall player ranking, and projected draft round(s) from NFLDraftScout.com. To make things easier, the format is like this:
(Actual round, Actual overall pick) Player: Position rank / Overall rank / Projected round.
(2, 34) Chris Cook: CB #7 / #51 / 2nd.
From everything I’ve read, it sounds like the Vikings were prepared to take CB Kyle Wilson at #30, when the Jets nabbed him at #29. Next guy on the list was CB Patrick Robinson. The Vikings gambled he’d be there at #34, and made the trade with Detroit to move down 4 picks. New Orleans drafted Robinson at #32. Cook seems to be the last of the top-tier CBs in the draft, although he’s viewed as a tweener. I’m guessing the draft room felt they had no choice but to grab Cook at #34, which seems to be a small reach – nothing I saw had him rated that highly. Most publications had him as a low-2nd / high-3rd pick. Regardless, the Vikings worked him out prior to the draft and everyone knew Cook was high on the Vikings’ wish list. Not a bad pick, but not inspiring. Grade: C.
(2, 51) Toby Gerhart: RB #4 / #59 / 2nd.
I know I’m in the minority, but I hate this pick. Not the player, but the pick. By trading up to get him, the Vikings essentially used a 2nd AND a 3rd round pick to draft a backup RB. He will never be a starter unless Peterson is hurt or traded. I just don’t see spending 2 picks on a career backup. Especially one that has a lot of mileage on him (tons of carries at Stanford). Yes, the Vikings need to replace Chester Taylor, but a decent backup could easily have been found later. Anthony Dixon (6th round) and Joe McKnight (4th) would have filled the bill, and the Vikings could have used the 2nd and 3rd round picks to get the eventual replacement for Pat Williams and OL depth. Grade: C.
(4, 100) Everson Griffen: DE #3/ #30 / 1st-2nd.
Although I gave the Cook pick a ‘C’ grade, the trade itself worked out great. Jahvid Best is probably available at #34, so I don’t believe Detroit had to trade up to get him. As stated earlier, we needed better picks, not more picks, and that’s exactly what the Vikings did here. By swapping 4th round picks with Detroit, the Vikings moved up 28 slots in the round to land 1st-round talent Griffen. No one available at the end of the round comes close to the value the Vikings received with Griffen. As far as being a player, the book on Griffen is he doesn’t bring it every play or every game. Anyone think that will happen with Jared Allen around? This is a brilliant pick. Grade: A+.
(5, 161) Chris DeGeare: OG #10 / #215 / 6th-7th.
The Vikings drafted DeGeare because of his versatility – he can play OG or OT. Think of him as the Artis Hicks replacement. Still, this was clearly a bit of a reach. Had the Vikings not traded to get Gerhart and used the 2nd round pick on an OL, they could have had either Vladimir Ducasse or Charles Brown. Grade: C.
(5, 167) Nate Triplett: OLB #33 / #397 / Undrafted Free Agent.
It’s great to draft the local kid, but this was one of the worst picks in the draft. No one had Triplett as even draftable, let alone as a 5th rounder. For comparison, fellow Gopher Simoni Lawrence went undrafted but was ranked much higher than Triplett, at #233 overall and as a 6th-7th round choice. Grade: F.
(6, 199) Joe Webb. WR #16 / #140 / 4th-5th.
Interesting choice. Uber-athlete who has played QB and WR. Seems like a practice squad candidate who will have a chance to develop. Also looks like a good value pick. Still, this pick wouldn’t have happened if the Vikings had selected WR Carlton Mitchell of South Florida instead of wasting a pick on Nate Triplett. And personally, I would MUCH rather have seen Myron Rolle picked by the Vikings. Grade: B.
(7, 214) Mickey Shuler. TE #15 / #232 / 6th-7th.
Solid pick this late in the draft. Has the chance to be a contributor. Solid blocker, largely unused as a receiver at Penn State. Grade: B.
(7, 237) Ryan D’Imperio.
No ratings provided. Why? Because he was a college LB the Vikings intend to turn into a FB. Sounds like an undrafted free agent signing instead of a draft pick. At this stage of the draft, why not pick a high-upside guy that was either injured or underperformed? Grade: D.
Overall Grade: C. No starters out of this group. Cook, Gerhart, and Griffen are likely to contribute immediately. DeGeare will make the team and provide depth. The other four are camp cuts and possible practice squadders. No idea why Triplett was drafted. None.