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NFL Media Scout: Vikings Draft Class 2nd in 1st-Year Impact


**NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah liked what he saw from Minnesota's 2015 NFL Draft class members early and often when he evaluated the 256 players selected by 32 teams.

Jeremiah didn't take into account undrafted rookie standouts or injuries when he ranked the Vikings second in the NFL based on the first-year impact of Minnesota's 2015 class.

"Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter were major contributors on defense, and Stefon Diggs looks like a future No. 1 receiver," Jeremiah wrote.'s Lindsey Young recapped the help that rookies provided for Minnesota (11-5) to win its first division title since 2009 and complete its first road sweep of the NFC North (the division was formed in 2002).

The Vikings first-year players will extend their debuts to the postseason when Minnesota hosts the Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at noon (CT) Sunday.

Some believe it takes several years to fully evaluate a draft class, but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer didn't hesitate to task rookies with significant roles. Injuries also likely increased opportunities this season.

Nine of the 10 players selected are on the active roster, after the promotion of B.J. DuBose from the practice squad Wednesday.

Vikings draft class members combined for 43 starts and 111 games played this season, giving Jeremiah plenty of footage to evaluate the group's immediate returns.

A few notes on Vikings draft class members:

Kendricks became the first rookie to lead the Vikings in tackles (105) since Rip Hawkins did so in 1961, Trae Waynes led the Vikings in special teams tackles (14), and Hunter finished second on the squad with 6.0 sacks. Diggs became the first rookie to lead the Vikings in receptions in a season (52), and T.J. Clemmings tied a franchise record for starts by a rookie (all 16) after Minnesota lost Phil Loadholt in the preseason.

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