The grades are in for the NFC North draft classes.
NFL.com's Gennaro Filice went through each team in the division, evaluated their respective draft classes and ranked them accordingly.
Filice gave the Vikings a "B-minus" for their first draft under General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Head Coach Kevin O'Connell. Minnesota had 10 draft picks overall, starting with Georgia safety Lewis Cine at 32 – after the Vikings traded with the Lions to move out of the 12th pick. Filice wrote:
I know the trade charts spit out various judgments on the move, but let's get down to brass tacks here: Essentially, for the price of the No. 34 overall pick, the Lions got to move up 20 spots on Day 1 and 20 spots on Day 2. I'll take the Detroit side of that trade all day long. Odd. Putting this procedural gripe aside, though, the Vikings did address a series of needs, starting with a serious infusion of talent into the secondary. Cine never got the pre-draft love he truly deserved because A) he played on the most loaded college defense in memory and B) Kyle Hamilton sucked up all the air in the safety room. But the speedy, instinctual deep-half defender is a heat-seeking missile against the run and a savvy zone processor against the pass. [Andrew] Booth's a highly pedigreed cornerback with the physical tools to excel in press-man coverage; he could've been a first-round pick if not for core muscle surgery in March. [Ed] Ingram could be a Day 1 starter at guard, a position that's befuddled the Vikings for years. And [Brian] Asamoah's a rangy modern linebacker who should benefit greatly from serving an apprenticeship under Eric Kendricks.
Filice liked what the Lions did beyond the trade with Minnesota. He awarded an "A-minus" for eight selections over the three-day event.
[Aidan] Hutchinson's a local product who fills a serious Lions need and fits [Lions Head Coach] Dan Campbell's culture to a T. Oh, and he just so happened to be the top overall prospect on many, many boards, including those of NFL Media draftniks Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks. Just a slam-dunk pick for the Lions. Then [General Manager Brad] Holmes poured it on … [by] dispensing a completely tolerable amount of draft currency to move up 20 slots and pounce on the most electric receiver in this draft class. [Jameson] Williams averaged a whopping 19.9 yards per catch last season. Shoot, he averaged 47.6 yards per touchdown – and the man scored 15 times! Also, with the franchise in the midst of a true rebuild, Detroit can allow Williams all the time he needs to fully recover from his ACL tear in the national title game. On Day 2 of the draft, the Lions continued to fortify their pass rush with a versatile power player (Joshua Paschal) and then nabbed a deep safety with great ball skills (Kerby Joseph). Don't be surprised if both contribute immediately, especially Joseph, who could seriously push for the starting safety spot opposite Tracy Walker.
The Packers had two first-round draft picks, No. 22 and No. 28, which they used to bolster their defense and reunite Georgia teammates Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt.
Green Bay made 11 total picks, and Filice gave the Packers a "B" grade. They received some critique for once again forgoing a wide receiver in the first round. Green Bay did take North Dakota State wideout Christian Watson with the 34th pick, a spot they gained via trade with Minnesota.
The Bears, who managed to draft 11 players despite not having a first-round pick, received a "C," the lowest grade in the division.
Chicago's offseason activity (or lack thereof) definitely raises an eyebrow. After the No. 11 overall pick's uneven rookie campaign – in an admittedly unfavorable environment – [Justin] Fields lost his No. 1 receiver (Allen Robinson), his best young offensive lineman (James Daniels) and the veteran tackle who competently protected his blind side (Jason Peters). In free agency, the Bears went the contemporary Texans route, signing a bunch of low-wattage vets on short-term deals. And then in the draft, Chicago used its top two picks on defense before adding a soon-to-be 25-year-old wideout (Velus Jones) with one year of solid college production and tossing a series of Day 3 darts at a depleted O-line board.
View college action photos of every Vikings pick from the 2022 NFL Draft.
Justin Jefferson in top 50 of NFL merchandise sales
Justin Jefferson has been turning heads in Minnesota since Day 1, but his reach goes far beyond the state border.
That much was illustrated Wednesday when the NFL Players Association unveiled its Top 50 NFL Player Sales list. The third-year receiver landed at No. 38 in the verified rankings of "all officially licensed NFL player products and merchandise."
This probably isn't a major surprise, but 10 of the top 11 were quarterbacks, with the list topped by Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
The only non-QB to make the list? San Francisco tight end George Kittle, who landed at No. 7 in the rankings.