The Minnesota Vikings entered the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28 with eight picks over the three-day draft.
The Vikings entered the first round with the cornerback as their greatest need. But with the reported target, Derek Stingley Jr., the Texans’ third overall, their big board wasn’t preparing particularly well. So, the Vikings traded No. 12, sending that pick and No. 46 to the Lions for picks Nos. 32, 34 (second round) and 66 (third). At 32, Minnesota finished the first round by catching talented Georgia safety Lewis Cine.
Cornerback was a position the Vikings needed to tackle on Day 2, and they did it early. After a trade to the Bears and then a trade to the Colts, Minnesota picked up cornerback Andrew Booth from Clemson with the No. 42 pick. Later in the second round, the Vikings released guard Ed Ingram from LSU.
Early in the third round, Minnesota filled a linebacker need by taking Brian Asamoah from Oklahoma.
The Vikings kicked off Day 3 by trading with the Browns to take Missouri cornerback Akayleb Evans at pick No. 118. Then, after trading the fourth round, the Vikings stayed on defense at pick 165 in the fifth, grabbing the University of Esezi Otomewo, attacking edge of Minnesota. Later in the fifth, the Vikings selected North Carolina running back Ty Chandler.
Minnesota started the sixth round by taking Illinois offensive tackle Vederian Lowe, then followed it up with another Big Ten player, grabbing Michigan State wide receiver Jalen Nailor. With their final pick, the Vikings selected tight end Nick Muse from South Carolina in the seventh round.
Meet their draft picks:
No. 32: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
How it fits: The Minnesota Vikings traded, landed additional picks in this draft and will sleep Thursday night with Lewis Cine in their secondary. That’s exceptional for first-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. The Lions get the player they want in Jameson Williams at 12, Minnesota adds value and lands one of the best hitters in this draft, regardless of position. Cine tackles everything, an advanced run defender for his age. The Vikings are back in the board early Friday night at No. 34, Detroit’s first second round.
And with that, Georgia sets the record with five defenders off the board in the first round: Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt and Lewis Cine. Florida State (2006) and Miami (2004) held the previous record. What a race for Kirby Smart’s group. —Nick Baumgardner
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Cine isn’t the ideal size by NFL standards and has marginal ball skills, but he’s an enforcer against the run with the athleticism in coverage to make plays. He’s a rising talent with starting skills in the NFL, similar to Xavier McKinney as a prospect.
Arif Hasan’s analysis: Vikings take over Lewis Cine, doubling coverage in pass-first league
Seth Emerson’s analysis: What reliable security in Georgia Lewis Cine brings to the Vikings
Note from Sheil Kapadia: A
No. 42: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
How it fits: It’s fair to wonder at No. 42 if Booth’s medicals gave teams pause, as Clemson’s junior corner didn’t undergo test workouts due to a reported quad injury. Minnesota seemed to agree with the reports, however, as the Vikings traded numbers 53, 77 and 192 to Indianapolis for 42 and 122 and snagged Booth, another player with the first-round ability to reach 40s.
The 6-foot, 194-pound Booth plays with great anticipation and recovery, is very disruptive, and knows how to use his length in the air. He’s a good football player and a great value here if the medicals are OK. There was speculation that Minneosta could come up to snag a QB here, but the Vikings are filling a need with a good one. — Nick Baumgardner
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Booth’s strip has some volatility and he needs to mature his sense of spacing, but he has fluid athleticism, finding the football and disrupting the catching point, three important ingredients for playing the position at a high level. He has NFL starting traits (if he stays healthy) and projects better in a male-heavy pattern.
Chad Graff’s analysis: CB Andrew Booth could be a steal if he can stay healthy
Grace Raynor’s analysis: What Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. brings to the Vikings
Note from Sheil Kapadia: B
No. 59: Ed Ingram, OL, LSU
How it fits: Ingram will come in as an immediate contender at Minnesota guard. He continues to focus on writing rookies with extensive experience for winning programs: Lewis Cine, Georgia; Andrew Booth, Clemson; Ed Ingram, LSU. Each of these players has won championships or made multiple college football playoff appearances.
In Kevin O’Connell’s heavy zone scheme, Ingram can execute runs and perimeter runs, and he’s good enough to handle nose tackles and three techniques as a next-level passer. With his experience, he should be able to step in and identify the different fronts and blitzes the NFL will throw at him, and if he can play early, expect to see him on the field. — Diante Lee
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Ingram needs to clean up his lean and hand mechanics, but he has the explosive upper body, solid base and competitive temperament to take on next-level defensive inside linemen. He’s versatile and looks like a future NFL starter.
Arif Hasan’s analysis: Minnesota bolsters offensive line with LSU guard Ed Ingram
Note from Sheil Kapadia: VS
No. 66: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
How it fits: The Vikings become a linebacker at 66, but (as they have with others thus far) not who you might think. Sources said Georgia LB star Nakobe Dean’s upper body injury – and more specifically, his decision not to have surgery on the injury before the combine – was a flag. So his fall continues. And the Vikings side Asamoah on Christian Harris from Alabama, Chad Muma from Wyoming, Leo Chenal from Wisconsin and Channing Tindall from Georgia here.
Asamoah, 6-0, 226 pounds, is undersized. But he moves very well in the box, can play under blockers and navigates traffic as a blitzer. He can move and hunt, that’s for sure. — Nick Baumgardner
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Asamoah is undersized and underpowered, but has sideline speed with reliable tackling skills and upside coverage. He projects himself as a run-and-chase linebacker with starting potential in the NFL.
Chad Graff’s analysis: Vikings take on Brian Asamoah, a depth linebacker who fits the scheme well
Note from Sheil Kapadia: B
No. 118: Akayleb Evans, CB, Mo.
Chad Graff’s analysis: The Vikings traded, sending a future fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick this year to take Evans. This is their third defensive back in this draft. Four of Minnesota’s top five picks have been on defense.
Arif Hasan’s analysis: Evans was a bit of a surprise pick at 118, ranking 154th on the consensus chart. He does, however, have good forced fumble production and has the size and athleticism to be a problem for offenses. Heavily penalized and without a lot of picks to his name, the Vikings should make sure they can get Evans to fire up quicker to get what they need from him.
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Evans doesn’t have the CV or quick reaction of a point guard corner, but he has an appealing combination of size, length and speed to hold in man or area coverage. He projects himself as a rotational corner in the NFL with an upside start.
No. 165: Esezi Otomewo, Edge, Minnesota
Arif Hasan’s analysis: Esezi Otomewo is an interesting prospect. Some teams see him as a point defenseman, but the Vikings could use him as an inside defenseman in their 3-4. An older prospect in need of technical development, he nonetheless relies on a great set of athletic tools.
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Otomewo has scrappy edge moves and needs to maximize his power with more consistent biomechanics, but he’s a five-technique prospect who’s yet to hit his football cap.
No. 169: Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
Chad Graff’s analysis: The Vikings must consider Chandler as a potential replacement for Dalvin Cook next year assuming Alexander Mattison leaves in free agency. For now, he is No. 4 on the RB depth chart behind Cook, Mattison and Kene Nwangwu.
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Chandler isn’t the most creative runner between tackles, but he is a multi-dimensional fullback with above-average speed and solid contact balance. His versatility will be appreciated by NFL teams who put a lot of strain on their backs.
No. 184: Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
Arif Hasan’s analysis: By recruiting Lowe, the Vikings supplemented their thin backup tackle situation. Even with Oli Udoh back on the outside, they don’t have much body there. Lowe isn’t a sportsman for some programs, but he’s got plenty of experience and size.
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Lowe is an average athlete and tends to be overly dependent on his top half, but he stays in check to take on defenders as a pass blocker or lead them in the running game. He’s ready to compete for a backup position in the NFL as a rookie.
No. 191: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
Arif Hasan’s analysis: Michigan State’s Jalen Nailor helps the Vikings fill their reception hall with depth. It’s the place to be, but it’s hard to find smaller receivers without blazing speed that end up succeeding. That said, he has gained depth and can run routes but doesn’t have a lot of physicality. There were still more intriguing wide receiver candidates on the board.
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Nailor has the fluid athleticism that creates conflict for defenses, but he’s more of a gimmick weapon than a polished receiver right now, and you need to be creative in how you get him to hit. Its lack of durability complicates its draft projection.
No. 227: Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina
Dane Brugler’s analysis: Muse is up and down as a blocker and needs to cut drops, but he’s a “successful” competitor with enough athleticism to compete for a backup role in the NFL.
(Photo by Akayleb Evans: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)