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Vikings Get A+ in CBS Sports' Regrade of 2015 NFL Draft

Posted May 15, 2018

The Vikings knocked the 2015 NFL Draft out of the park. 

In fact, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports thinks no team navigated that year’s draft as well as Minnesota’s front office.

Prisco recently regraded the 2015 draft and handed out an A to the Vikings, who were the only team to receive that distinction.

The Vikings and General Manager Rick Spielman snagged a handful of players who were immediate contributors back then, and who have grown into vital pieces of the defending NFC North champions.

A trio of the members of the 2015 class are starters on defense.

Cornerback Trae Waynes was the 11th overall pick and has five career interceptions while growing from a special teams standout to full-time starter. Linebacker Eric Kendricks was a second-round selection who has led the Vikings in tackles in each of his first three seasons in the NFL. And defensive end Danielle Hunter has 25.5 sacks while growing from a third-round pick to a starter on the league’s top defense.

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs, a fifth-round pick who was named to the NFL’s Top 100 list Monday night, has 2,472 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in 40 games over the first three games of his career.

Prisco wrote: 

They landed four starters in this draft, which makes it a big part of why the Vikings were contenders last year. It started with first-round corner Trae Waynes, who has developed into a good starter. Second-round linebacker Eric Kendricks just got a new deal because he's a big part of their defense. Third-round pass rusher Danielle Hunter is a rising star, and fifth-round receiver Stefon Diggs has developed into a big-play threat. That's quite a haul from one draft.

Prisco mentioned the play of Kendricks and Hunter as a reason why Spielman and the Vikings had perhaps the best draft of any team that year.

I loved the pick of Kendricks in the second round, which has played out right. I questioned taking Hunter in the third, calling him a boom-or-bust player, and he's become a boom player.

Prisco’s lone perfect mark was an improvement from when he graded the Vikings immediately after the 2015 draft and gave them a B .

Vikings look to continue home-field advantage

It’s hard to believe the Vikings are already headed into their third season at U.S. Bank Stadium.

But it’s no surprise that Minnesota has played well on its home turf.

John Holler of Viking Update recently took a peak ahead to the 2018 season and found that the Vikings could be favorited in all of their home games for the upcoming season. 

Holler said that shouldn’t be a surprise based on the Vikings home atmosphere that includes a raucous crowd that is known for the SKOL Chant.

Holler wrote:

When the Vikings have been dominant, it has been predicated on being dominant at home. In 2015, the Vikings went 11-5 due in no small part to in a 6-2 home record that set table. In 2017, their 13-3 record was set up by going 7-1 at home.

The Vikings have earned the reputation, whether via game simulations on a logarithm formula or by those who have actually set foot into U.S. Bank Stadium and have figured out that Minnesota has a distinct home-field advantage.

This time, logic and analytics agree. When the simulators put in a ton of variables, it comes out pretty sweet for the Vikings.

Besides hosting its three division rivals in 2018, Minnesota will also play San Francisco, Buffalo, Arizona, New Orleans and Miami at U.S. Bank Stadium.