Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Team Grades: Minnesota Vikings

9th Overall Pick: Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLE

This could be where the slide for Johnny Manziel really takes off. The Vikings slid back one spot in exchange for a 5th round selection from the Browns. Like the Browns, the Vikings went defense instead of reaching for a quarterback. I thought for sure they would be going Aaron Donald if they went defense, but Barr isn't a bad option either. His stock has slowly slid over the past few months, as he was once considered a top 10 prospect. He definitely fills the pass rushing need, so this is a solid but unspectacular selection.


32nd Overall Pick: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The Vikings acquired this pick from Seattle in exchange for their second rounder and their fourth round pick. Not a bad trade to jump Houston and Oakland for a quarterback. I thought for sure it was going to be for Carr, but Bridgewater is just as solid of a selection. Some mocks had him sliding into round three, but I never bought that. I still think he's the most NFL ready quarterback from this class, and I'd be surprised if he wasn't the week one starter. I love this pick for the Vikings, who most people thought would be selecting their signal caller in the top ten.


3rd Round: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

I've thought that Crichton has been undervalued throughout the draft process, so I'm not particularly surprised that he fell into the third round. However, I personally think he's better than some of the other rushers taken before him such as Lawrence and Ford. Between Crichton and Barr, I think Minnesota won't miss the aging Jared Allen as much as people think. I love this pick.


3rd Round: Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern

This pick I'm not as much of a fan of. I expected Minnesota to find Peterson's new backup in this draft, but I think they could have waited another round or two to find someone of McKinnon's caliper. This is a pretty large reach for someone your drafting to solely be a backup.


5th Round: David Yankey, OT/G, Stanford

This is their best pick yet. I don't know why Yankey fell this far, as many other less talented guards and tackles were selected ahead of him. I wouldn't have had a problem with a team grabbing Yankey in the second or third round. Minnesota just found a guy who could easily start for them in the fifth round. Now that's value.


6th Round: Antone Exum, CB/S, Virginia Tech

I'm a bit surprised the Vikings waited this long to grab a player in the secondary, but this is a great pick. Exum would have been a lock for the second day of the draft if it weren't for some injury concerns. If he can stay healthy, Minnesota may have found yet another guy who can start for them on the third day of the draft. Love this pick


6th Round: Kendall James, CB, Maine

Back to back secondary players. Luckily, they've found two quality ones. James doesn't have a chance to start right away like Exum, but he will be solid depth who can be developed into a nice player.


7th Round: Shamar Stephen, DT, Connecticut

Stephen could have gone much earlier than this, so grabbing him in the seventh round is great value. He will be a decent rotational guy.


7th Round: Brandon Watts, LB, Georgia Tech

There were better linebackers available here, but there isn't much to argue about in the seventh round


7th Round: Jabari Price, CB, North Carolina

Minnesota is making up for not grabbing a defensive back early but grabbing a handful of them on day three.


Vikings fans should be thrilled with this draft. They found their potential franchise quarterback without spending a top ten pick on him. In my opinion, they found five players who could start for them right away, as well as some solid depth in the late rounds. The only pick I don't like is McKinnon in the third round, but other than that they received all A's and some B's. I really don't think they could have done much better here.


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