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Vikings Earn an ‘B’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Vikings, who according to Kiper got an ‘B’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

The Minnesota offseason is obviously all about Kirk Cousins and making a Super Bowl run in 2018. This team is built to win now, and it has one of the NFL’s best rosters from top to bottom. Don’t forget about the addition of Sheldon Richardson to the defensive line. He’s a game-wrecker when he’s right. So GM Rick Spielman went with needs for the Vikings’ first three picks, and all three could fill a role as rookies.

We know Mike Zimmer loves defensive backs, and he believes in drafting and developing them to be his guys. Spielman got his coach another talented corner to mold in Mike Hughes (pick 30), who is only 5-10 but was a ball hawk in his lone season at UCF. He had four interceptions and three touchdowns in the return game. The end of Round 1 was right where I expected him to go. Brian O’Neill (62) is a great athlete who is built like a tight end. He could play right tackle with Mike Remmers moving inside to guard. Jalyn Holmes (102) was a rotational player on one of the best defensive lines in the country at Ohio State. I would have liked to have seen better production.

Tight end Tyler Conklin (157), a former basketball player, could contribute. Defensive end Ade Aruna had a down season, but if he gets back to his 2016 form, he could be a steal.

This is a solid, if unspectacular, haul for Minnesota, and it gets better if Hughes can be special as a kick and punt returner.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/30 Mike Hughes CB UCF
2/62 Brian O’Neill OT PITTSBURGH
4/102 Jalyn Holmes DE OHIO STATE
5/157 Tyler Conklin TE CENTRAL MICHIGAN
5/167 Daniel Carlson K AUBURN
6/213 Colby Gossett G APPALACHIAN STATE
6/218 Ade Aruna DE TULANE
7/225 Devante Downs ILB CALIFORNIA


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