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Vikings 2022 Draft Report Card: Minnesota Gets Decent Marks From Pundits

EAGAN, Minn. – Ahhh, draft grades. You either love them or can't stand them.

But with the 2022 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, pundits have produced their instant reaction to every team's draft.

This is a comprehensive roundup of 18 draft grades for Minnesota's 2022 draft class of 10 players, a list that begins with first-round safety Lewis Cine and goes all the way to seventh-round tight end Nick Muse.

Minnesota also added Andrew Booth, Jr., Ed Ingram, Brian Asamoah, Akayleb Evans, Esezi Otomewo, Ty Chandler, Vederian Lowe and Jalen Nailor to the squad.

Ten of the 18 draft grades below were "B" or better for Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who was running his first-ever draft, along with the entirety of Minnesota's front office.

For those who like visuals, René Bugner on Twitter compiled his annual eye-pleasing chart of draft grades:

Here's what the experts had to say:

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Grade: A-

The Vikings do get knocked a little for making multiple intradivision trades to help the Packers and Lions, but otherwise GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had a good first draft to help his fellow rookie, Coach Kevin O'Connell. Cine and Booth are great complementary players to their secondary and can learn well from Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson. They threw it back to load up on welcome revamped defensive depth at every level. Ingram also has a good chance to start somewhere inside for the offense. Chandler, Nailor and Muse are good bottom-roster offensive skill adds.

Click here for Iyer's full grades.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Grade: A-

The Vikings did a nice job grabbing draft picks in trades with desperate division rivals Detroit and Green Bay. The secondary needed help and it got two immediate contributors in Cine and Booth, who would have been a first-rounder if not for injuries. Ingram's a likely future starter inside and Asamoah is the ball-hunter the Vikings needed in their new 3-4 scheme.

Evans is an athletic, big-bodied corner worth the fourth-round pick, but patience would have been a better play than giving up a 2023 fourth-round pick. Chandler adds quickness to the Vikings offensive backfield as does Jalen "Speedy" Nailor to the receivers room. Lowe was a very good selection because of his length and agility on the edge, and Muse is a fantastic late pick-up as a No. 2 option at tight end. Otomewo has the size to shift from a 4-3 end to the five-technique in the Vikings new three-man front.

Click here for Reuter's full grades.

Doug Farrar and Michael Schofield, TD Wire (USA TODAY Sports)

Grade: A-

The Vikings agreed to move from 12 to 32 in a trade with the Lions, and still got the second-best safety in this draft class in Lewis Cine. Cine is a hammerhead downhill safety with violent intentions and the range and athleticism to win all over the field. And in Andrew Booth, Minnesota gets what it desperately needed — a legitimate cornerback who can play off and press, and has the range to match with NFL receivers. LSU's Ed Ingram is an underrated, butt-kicking pulling guard who will fill another huge need, and Brian Asamoah has the traits to make his name as the kind of three-down 'backer the Vikings have expertly cultivated over time. Watch out for Illinois tackle Vederian Lowe, who somehow lasted to the [sixth] round, and gave George Karlaftis all he could handle when he was on point last season. In that they were able to grab extra picks and still refill a really bad secondary, this draft appears to be a success.

Click here for TD Wire's full grades.

View college action photos of every Vikings pick from the 2022 NFL Draft.

DraftKings Nation

Grade: A-

The Vikings are one of the few teams that successfully addressed every single one of their team needs in the draft. They addressed their defense at each level and shored up their offensive line. With later-round picks, they added depth to each offensive position other than quarterback. They may not have gotten the best names at any position, but they got a lot of talent and certainly got better on the other end of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Click here for DraftKings' full grades.

View photos from Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft from inside the Thomson Reuters Vikings Draft Room, of first round draft pick Lewis Cine and in Las Vegas.

Tim Bielik, Cleveland.com

Grade: B+

Former Browns executive Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had a solid first draft as a GM. Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth, Jr., are good additions to help boost the secondary. I like Brian Asamoah because he fits the modern linebacker mold as he is smaller but fast. They had a lot of picks, but those three anchor a decent draft class.

Click here for Bielik's full grades.

View photos of Vikings first round draft pick, S Lewis Cine, and his first time meeting the team at the TCO Performance Center.

Pro Football Network

Grade: B+

In honor of former General Manager Rick Spielman, the Vikings kept the tradition of trading back going by trading with the Detroit Lions. Days 1 and 2 featured Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth, Jr., two players that will elevate a secondary that needs talent. The Ed Ingram pick was a stretch for many reasons, but Brian Asamoah brings great athleticism to the linebackers room. Day 3 was hit or miss. Esezi Otomewo and Vederian Lowe are picks that felt like reaches, while Akayleb Evans, Ty Chandler and Jalen Nailor are more proven commodities.

Click here for PFN's full grades.

View exclusive photos of Vikings first round pick, S Lewis Cine, in his first photoshoot with the team since being drafted.

John McClain, Houston Chronicle

Grade: B+

Click here for McClain's full grades.

Pro Football Focus

Grade: B

The Minnesota Vikings traded all the way back from No. 12 to No. 32 in the first round, picking up No. 34 (second round) and No. 66 (third) in the process and sending No. 46 (second) the other way.

After trading back, the Vikings land PFF's No. 2 safety and 26th-best prospect overall, Lewis Cine, at No. 32. The Georgia Bulldog — like most players on the team — is an elite athlete. He posted a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and an 11-foot-1 broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was one of the best safeties in college football last year, turning in an 82.4 PFF grade that ranked eighth in the Power Five. Cine was also one of the best tacklers in the country at Georgia, with just 11 misses on 159 career attempts. He was primarily a deep safety in college, but he can fill a more versatile role in Minnesota.

Click here for PFF's full grades.

View behind-the-scenes photos from the Thomson Reuters Vikings Draft Room during Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Nate Davis, USA TODAY

Grade: B

New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first draft was short on sex appeal but arguably just what the Vikes needed. Perfectly content to swing trades with the division rival Packers and Lions, Adofo-Mensah worked the board on the way to adding S Lewis Cine, CB Andrew Booth, G Ed Ingram and LB Brian Asamoah in the first 66 picks. All project as opening-day starters, especially important for a Minnesota defense that consistently betrayed this offense in recent seasons.

Click here for Davis' full grades.

Luke Easterling, The Draft Wire

Grade: B

The Vikings started out by making a puzzling trade, moving down 20 spots in the first round, and not getting much in return. They made the most of their first two selections, though, reloading the secondary with two athletic playmakers in Booth and S Lewis Cine. Ingram wasn't the best guard available, but he's got potential. LB Brian Asamoah is undersized but athletic, and packs a punch.

Minnesota's Day 3 were highlighted by a handful of solid value picks for the offense in RB Ty Chandler, OT Vederian Lowe and WR Jalen Nailor. EDGE Esezi Otomewo also brings intriguing upside to the other side of the ball.

Click here for Easterling's full grades.

Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN

Grade: B-

Adofo-Mensah's first draft in Minnesota featured some wheeling and dealing, as he made trades with the rival Lions (which I liked) and Packers (which I didn't love). The result was two potential starters in the secondary in Lewis Cine (32), a versatile and thumping safety, and cornerback Andrew Booth, Jr. (42), who was a little inconsistent last season. The Vikings reached to try to fill a starting guard spot with Ed Ingram (59); I thought his strength and mobility was worth an early Day 3 pick. Brian Asamoah (66) is a fun but undersized inside linebacker who will fit their scheme.

I didn't see a lot to write home about with their Day 3 picks, though running back Ty Chandler (169) has some upside as a pass-catcher. The trades helped Adofo-Mensah avoid a C here, and if Booth becomes an above-average rookie starter, it should move even higher.

Click here for Kiper's full grades.

The Score staff

Grade: B-

This was some great work from rookie General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Cine is an instant-impact starter at safety from Day 1. Booth, who likely would have been drafted in the first round were it not for an injury, is a talented cover man who could easily be Minnesota's top corner this fall. Ingram is an immediate starter at a position of need, and Asamoah is a solid value in the third round. This class would have gotten more buzz if they added a long-term running mate for Justin Jefferson at receiver, but that wasn't necessarily a must this year with Adam Thielen still on the roster.

Click here for The Score's full grades.

Mark Maske, Washington Post

Grade: B-

The Vikings traded down from No. 12 in the first round and emerged with a deep class that perhaps lacks difference-makers. They certainly improved their secondary by taking S Lewis Cine to close the first round and getting CB Andrew Booth in the second.

Click here for Maske's full grades.

Steven Cheah of Barstool Sports

Grade: B-

I kind of like what they did, but they moved down 20 spots and only really picked up a 3rd rounder. That feels like a bad deal. They took Georgia S Lewis Cine who is a torpedo. Clemson CB Andrew Booth, Jr., can also be a good CB if he can stay healthy. North Carolina RB Ty Chandler in the 5th can also be a factor if he gets a chance. But that's not a given with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison already entrenched in the backfield.

Click here for Cheah's full grades.

View photos of Vikings S Lewis Cine's draft night as he was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Marc Berman, New York Post

Grade: B-

Trading down with rivals Lions (Williams) and Packers (Watson) was a strange strategy. Using three of the first four picks on defense was not. The secondary is a major concern after recent draft failures at those spots.

Click here for Berman's full grades.

Thor Nystrom, NBC Sports Edge

Grade: C+

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first two picks were strong, and both targeted a leaking secondary crying out for help. Cine joins Harrison Smith in what will become the hardest-hitting safety duo in the NFL. After that, it was hit-and-miss. I'm confused by the Ingram pick. It felt like the Vikings reached for a prospect with a serious off-field concern in his past by at least a round, a prospect who doesn't have the ceiling to justify the reach. The Asamoah pick was similarly odd. If you wanted to take an undersized linebacker, by all means. But why Asamoah over Nakobe Dean? Minnesota could have traded down half a round and still picked the latter.

Click here for Nystrom's full grades.

View photos of Vikings fans in Las Vegas for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Connor Orr, Sports Illustrated

Grade: D+

I usually make it a point not to give F's because I feel like this reflects negatively on collegiate players who have no control over their destination and less on the executives who are making the picks. We spent a lot of time rightfully hearing about Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who comes to Minnesota with great promise as the kind of executive who can finally bridge the gap between analytics and personnel. But for a team with a few pronounced needs, it's hard to stomach dropping from pick No. 12 to pick No. 32 and not netting more of a return. There were a handful of premium players remaining in the first round at the time of Minnesota's first selection, and instead they dropped back and replenished the secondary with a handful of players who may be slightly less talented than the ones they could have gotten if they remained at 12. Booth is a gem in this class and feels a little underrated. While the physicality he flashed in college was against ACC wide receivers, he has the hand-fighting skills that should translate quickly in the NFC North against some physical pass catchers.

Click here for Orr's full grades.

View photos from the 2022 Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party, hosted at U.S. Bank Stadium.

James Dator of SB Nation

Grade: F

I don't know what to say, except I'm sorry Vikings fans. I've never seen a team work this much and achieve so little in a draft. It's tricky, because I actually like Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth, and think they both make Minnesota better — but the issue is that these are guys I expect staple playoff teams to select, not an 8-9 team [that began] with the No. 12 pick.

The Vikings got fleeced in their trade with the Lions. They threw the Packers a lifeline and let them trade up to get a wide receiver. This team made their division rivals better while not getting top-tier talent.

Click here for Dator's full grades.

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