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Evaluate the Vikings 2020 draft


How would you grade the Vikings 2020 draft?  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you grade the Vikings 2020 draft?

    • A/A+ (excellent)
    • B+/A- (above average, very good)
    • C+/B (average, pretty good)
    • D+/C (below average, not good)
      0
    • F (terrible)
      0

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  • Poll closed on 05/31/2020 at 02:44 AM

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Year Rnd Player Pick Pos
2020 1 Justin Jefferson 22 WR
2020 1 Jeff Gladney 31 CB
2020 2 Ezra Cleveland 58 OT
2020 3 Cameron Dantzler 89 CB
2020 4 D.J. Wonnum 117 DE
2020 4 James Lynch 130 DT
2020 4 Troy Dye 132 LB
2020 5 Harrison Hand 169 CB
2020 5 K.J. Osborn 176 WR
2020 6 Blake Brandel 203 OT
2020 6 Josh Metellus 205 S
2020 7 Kenny Willekes 225 DE
2020 7 Nate Stanley 244 QB
2020 7 Brian Cole 249 S
2020 7 Kyle Hinton 253 G
 

How well did the Vikings do in the 2020 draft?

Grade each pick, and/or the draft as a whole (poll above). 

How many of the 15 players drafted will make the team this year? How do you see them contributing this year and in the future?

Edited by Krauser
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I wouldn't grade a draft this early. I would have more interest in grading drafts from 1, 2, and 3 years ago.

That said, I really like that they came out of the draft with a couple '21 picks. If I was forced to grade it, even though I do not believe it the grade, I would give the Vikings '20 draft a C+ right now.

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4 minutes ago, Cearbhall said:

I wouldn't grade a draft this early. I would have more interest in grading drafts from 1, 2, and 3 years ago.

Also an interesting topic, feel free to start a new topic. I wrote something up on the 2017 draft in a thread on NFL general. 

Quote

If I was forced to grade it, even though I do not believe it the grade, I would give the Vikings '20 draft a C+ right now.

Average grade, OK. 

Is that just because the future is unknown so who's to say if any of these players are good or bad yet?

Or were there things you liked about the draft (players, process, etc) that were counterbalanced by things you disliked?

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Minnesota had undoubtedly one of the best drafts.  The first 4 picks (Jefferson, Gladney  Cleveland, and Danzler) are as good or better than any other team’s top 4. They followed that up with the 3 4th (Wonnum, Lynch, Dye) rounders who should all contribute this year as rotational players/special teamers.  Then they added  another 8 players in rounds 5-7 along with some quality UDFA, with avnumber of potential back-ups, special teamers, and strong practice squad players. 
The combination of the quality of picks in the first 3 rounds, the strength of the middle rounds, and the depth of the late rounds and UDFA is tough to match. 

Edited by Snake Plissken
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Wonnum, was a selection i thought they could have done more with. They traded down 11 picks at the end of the 3rd, and then 3 of the following 6 picks directly afterwards was on Guards. If they liked some of those guards, and they all went that sucks, but we'll never know. Wonnum better ball out!

Jefferson was a reasonable selection given the board, Gladney is ok but didn't like him as much as Noah who was snashed 1 pick before (after they traded down). Esra was great value at #58. Danzler I liked, though wish they went with another position. Like Lynch and Dye selections. Dislike the Osborn pick\value. Remaining 7 draft picks are fine, didn't know that much about them pre draft.

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36 minutes ago, CriminalMind said:

They traded down 11 picks at the end of the 3rd, and then 3 of the following 6 picks directly afterwards was on Guards. If they liked some of those guards, and they all went that sucks, but we'll never know.

That's a really good point.

I think that means they weren't looking for a guard, or at least that they didn't see a guard prospect left who they would want to have start as a rookie. 

The 3 guards they traded down past weren't great scheme fits: Tyre Phillips, John Simpson and Solomon Kindley are all ~330 pounders, and of them only Simpson tested well athletically. For better or for worse, the Vikings have been targeting lighter OL with better speed and agility testing.

The Wonnum pick was questionable anyway, but trading down and then taking a raw backup DE is not something you do if you're looking to fill a starting guard spot in the draft. 

My theory is that they expect Cleveland to start as a rookie and plan to push Reiff inside to LG. With Samia seemingly being given the RG spot with the release of Kline, my guess is the OL will be Cleveland - Reiff - Bradbury - Samia - O'Neill. 

They probably keep Elflein as a fall back plan to start at LG in case Cleveland isn't ready (though he looks like he should be) and Reiff needs to stay at tackle to start the year. Elflein and Dozier are probably good enough IOL depth that they can keep one of the rookies as a redshirt, instead of Jones.

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36 minutes ago, Krauser said:

Average grade, OK. 

Is that just because the future is unknown so who's to say if any of these players are good or bad yet?

Or were there things you liked about the draft (players, process, etc) that were counterbalanced by things you disliked?

Yeah, you captured the reason for the grade I gave pretty well in the implication of your first question. Like I said, I don't even really believe my grade. I heavily default my nescient grade towards average. I watch college football almost every Saturday but it is FCS level. I do not watch big college football. As such, all I know about these guys is what I have seen in highlights posted to a couple Vikings message boards. I do not find basing a grade for these picks on highlight reels to be a very sound way of coming to a conclusion*.

What I do know, based on perspective of paying attention for several years, is that the draft wonks are wrong a lot. They are not very good at projecting how college players will do in The League. I assume they know more than me since they pay more attention to prospects than I do in college, which puts me worse than average** at prognosticating how the players will do.

I see the draft as the primary source of talent infusions into successful NFL teams. However, I start with the assumption that no single draft pick can be counted on to start their rookie year. Many of them will never become reliable starters. Some will never see a single snap at all on offense or defense. Others will not see snaps even on special teams. Still others will never make a 53 man NFL roster. I do not believe it is possible, even for profession scouts, to predict which of the picks will end up becoming above average starters in The League. The further you get from the first pick in the draft the harder it is to predict.

To your last question, there were things that I liked, which is why I added the + onto the C that I find myself naturally drawn towards***. One of the things that I liked, as already mentioned, was coming out of the draft with a couple '21 picks. I also appreciated Rick Spielman amassing plenty picks**** this year -- a testament to my belief that even the best scouts in ideal situations***** are wrong over 50% of the time. Based on averages, I start with the belief that it is likely that one of Jefferson and Gladney will never show themselves to be worthy of a starting job long-term. That is, the team may try them in the starting lineup but they won't stick for more than three years. Likewise, there is probably a 50% chance that Cleveland will never become an average starter in The League.

There were also some things that I disliked, but on balance they are not a complete counterbalance to what I liked. Again, that is why it is a + instead of a - attached to the C I so munificently handed out. The main thing that I didn't like was the fact that the Vikings didn't get themselves in position to draft a couple of the top five rated (by them) guards in the draft. I don't happen to know how they rated the guards. Also, I understand the other needs. Consequently, the effect this had on my grade is fairly deferential. After all, for all I know every single guard in this draft class will be worthless as starting guards still by next year, which is the earliest year I was hoping they would be able to count on any of them as a starter.

* Doubly so since I haven't even seen the highlight reels of the guys drafted in the surrounding positions
** I believe that average at this skill is quite inaccurate so saying I am worse than average basically means that without the benefit of some time in the NFL I think I am more likely to be wrong than right.
*** I think a C grade might have negative implications in today's participation ribbon culture but I grew up believing this to be average.
**** This is not all unlike the allure I feel towards broad index funds in the market. which if we were to talk about putting our money where I mouth is literally shows a great majority of my investments tied to this concept.
***** And lets be honest, this year was nowhere near the ideal situation. Teams have prodigious travel budgets for their scouting departments for a reason.

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1 hour ago, battle2heaven said:

That would be the lowest grade from literally any big time analyst. 
 

 

These are the best draft classes in the NFL I feel without question.  Anyone can draft well with a ton of high picks, Bengals did well but they should have with the picks they got, was not amazing though.  These teams all had depth and some good finds.   But yes ultimately all that matters is how they players play on the field.  I thought the Bengals last year had a great draft scheme wise, and a few of the players did quite well, but still were the worst team in the NFL and sure sucks when the 1st pick gets hurt obviously.  So it is hard to say this early clearly.  Still the Bills and Colts were some of the more impressive drafts based on the lack of 1st round picks for them.  

 

Ravens:
1 Patrick Queen
2 JK Dobbins
3 Justin Madubuike
3 Devin Duvernay
3 Malik Harrison
3 Tyre Phillips
4 Ben Bredeson
5 Broderick Washington
6 James Proche
7 Geno Stone
 
Dallas:
1 CeeDee Lamb
2 Trevon Diggs
3 Neville Gallimore
4 Reggie Robinson
4 Tyler Biadasz
5 Bradlee Anae
7 Ben DiNucci
 
Denver:
1 Jerry Jeudy
2 KJ Hamler
3 Michael Ojemudia 
3 Lloyd Cushenberry III
3 McTelvin Agim
4 Albert Okwuegbunam
5 Justin Strnad
6 Netane Muti
7 Tyrie Cleveland
7 Derrek Tuszka
 
Dolphins
1 Tua Tagovailoa
1 Austin Jackson
1 Noah Igbinoghene
2 Robert Hunt
2 Raekwon Davis
3 Brandon Jones
4 Solomon Kindley
5 Jason Strowbridge
5 Curtis Weaver
6 Blake Ferguson
7 Malcolm Perry
 
Vikings 
1 Justin Jefferson
1 Jeff Gladney
2 Ezra Cleveland
3 Cameron Dantzler
4 DJ Wonnum
4 James Lynch
4 Troy Dye
5 Harrison Hand
5 KJ Osborn
6 Blake Brandel
6 Josh Metellus
7 Kenny Willekes
7 Nate Stanley
7 Brian Cole
7 Kyle Hinton
 
Detroit
1 Jeffrey Okudah
2 D'Andre Swift
3 Julian Okwara
3 Jonah Jackson
4 Logan Stenberg
5 Quintez Cephus
5 Jason Huntley
6 John Penisini
7 Jashon Cornell
 
Jets
1 Mekhi Becton
2 Denzel Mims
3 Ashytn Davis
3 Jabari Zuniga
4 La'Mical Perine
4 James Morgan
4 Cameron Clark
5 Bryce Hall
6 Braden Mann
 
Bills
2 AJ Epenesa
3 Zach Moss
4 Gabriel Davis
5 Jake Fromm
6 Tyler Bass
6 Isaiah Hodgins
7 Dane Jackson
 
Carolina
1 Derrick Brown
2 Yetur Gross-Matos
2 Jeremy Chinn
4 Tony Pride
5 Kenny Robinson
6 Bravvion Roy
7 Stantley Thomas-Oliver
 
Colts
2 Michael Pittman
2 Jonathan Taylor
3 Julian Blackmon
4 Jacob Eason
5 Danny Pinter
6 Robert Windsor
6 Isaiah Rodgers
6 Dezmon Patmon
6 Jordan Glasgow
 
 

Just missed the cut of top 10.

 

 

Tampa Bay just missed the cut, amazing first three picks but then the rest are a little less impressive but still solid.  Wirfs is the steal of the draft potentially but it had nothing to do with any skill in drafting outside of lucky he fell.

Tampa Bay:
1 Tristan Wirfs
2 Antoine Winfield Jr
3 KeShawn Vaughn
5 Tyler Johnson
6 Khalil Davis
7 Chapelle Russell
7 Raymond Calais

 

 

They had a great draft but again, Josh Jones falling was not skill just luck it happened and not sure he is a scheme fit but is a need for the team obviously.  Super lucky he was there 3rd round.  Fotu is a fine DL and so is Lawrence but again they just kind of fell to that point.  Benjamin I love as a RB but again just fell to them and Weaver I love at LB and was sad he fell so far but some teams question him in coverage which is not a massive issue if he plays in a 3/4 defense which he will, could even play edge I think at times on the outside.  Still ultimately I question the identity of the team moving forward and that is a big issue regardless of the talent they have, I greatly question the HC on the team as well.  

Arizona:
1 Isaiah Simmons
3 Josh Jones 
4 Leki Fotu
4 Rashard Lawrence
6 Evan Weaver
7 Eno Benjamin

 

 

PS Wish the Packers had this awful draft but it is not nearly has bad as some are making them out to be, but they need to give an F to someone of course, not everyone can get average to good grades so have to find something.

 

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2 hours ago, Cearbhall said:

Like I said, I don't even really believe my grade. I heavily default my nescient grade towards average.

Really thoughtful post, thanks. Excellent use of footnotes too. I had to look up nescient, but at least I get part marks for knowing munificent.

My main interest in the draft is as a reflection of how the team sees its roster, an indication of what it’s trying to accomplish. I have opinions about where their weaknesses are, and how they should go about addressing them. I also have some confidence in analyzing how the picks were used, in the sense of what moves were made. I don’t try to evaluate players beyond watching highlights and cutups of the Vikings picks, and even that’s mostly with an eye to what kind of players they are (skillsets, strengths and weaknesses), not comparing them to other players. I think there’s some value in draft evaluator opinions, especially those based on grading (like PFF, the last few years), but you’re right that they’re wrong a lot — we’re all wrong a lot.

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1 hour ago, SemperFeist said:

I think the Vikings had an A+ through the Hand pick, but about a C for the rest, with the Willekes pick saving it. So, in the end, A-/B+. 

What didn’t you like about rounds 6 and 7?

I thought the last 2 DBs were uninspiring. I wanted Geno Stone since PFF were high on him, but safety play is pretty hard to evaluate. 

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3 hours ago, CriminalMind said:

Wonnum, was a selection i thought they could have done more with. They traded down 11 picks at the end of the 3rd, and then 3 of the following 6 picks directly afterwards was on Guards. If they liked some of those guards, and they all went that sucks, but we'll never know. Wonnum better ball out!

Jefferson was a reasonable selection given the board, Gladney is ok but didn't like him as much as Noah who was snashed 1 pick before (after they traded down). Esra was great value at #58. Danzler I liked, though wish they went with another position. Like Lynch and Dye selections. Dislike the Osborn pick\value. Remaining 7 draft picks are fine, didn't know that much about them pre draft.

This. The IOL is going to kill this team, AGAIN. No real surprise to me......if Kirk is on the ground (or getting hit, or dumping it off all the time) and Dalvin is hurt again because he's hit all the time....well, everything else is meh to me. They needed an OG....that can start now. 

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5 minutes ago, PrplChilPill said:

This. The IOL is going to kill this team, AGAIN. No real surprise to me......if Kirk is on the ground (or getting hit, or dumping it off all the time) and Dalvin is hurt again because he's hit all the time....well, everything else is meh to me. They needed an OG....that can start now. 

The guard class was weak this year, by all reports. Not many who'd be considered plug and play rookie starters. 

The only IOL graded top 100 by PFF this year were:

  • Netane Muti, a big but athletic bulldozer guard who's hardly played the last 2 years to injury who the Broncos took on day 3
  • Jonah Jackson, a good zone blocking LG who the Lions took at the beginning of the 3rd
  • Cesar Ruiz, a C the Saints took at #23
  • Damien Lewis, a 330 pound gap-blocking guard who went to the Seahawks in the early 3rd
  • Tyler Biadasz, a C taken by the Cowboys in the late 4th with a similar profile to Bradbury (good run blocker, inconsistent pass pro) who's coming off shoulder surgery and didn't workout at the combine
  • Nick Harris, an undersized C who went to the Browns in the 5th

The only name on that list who could realistically be better in 2020 than Elflein was in 2019 was Jackson (and Muti if you feel confident he can stay healthy). The Vikings would've had to trade up 15 spots from the Dantzler pick, which probably costs them one of their 4ths.

Having landed Cleveland in the 2nd, the Vikings were reportedly looking to trade up in the 3rd, but for a DT (Gallimore), not a guard. 

I think they're planning to start Cleveland as a rookie next to Reiff, probably with the rookie at LT and Reiff inside, but the other way around if that doesn't work.

At RG, I think they're giving the job to Samia, which is why they let Kline go. Samia last year was at least as good a prospect as anyone they could've taken this year in the 3rd, and he's had a year to get stronger and work with the coaches, who it seems are expecting him to do well in that role. I don't think they could have realistically upgrade the IOL with any pick after #58 where they took Cleveland. 

In any case, I think they have their OL set, all claims of an "open competition" for the guard positions to the contrary. I'll be surprised if it's not Cleveland - Reiff - Bradbury - Samia - O'Neill in game one.

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