Thursday, May 5, 2022

2022 Viking's Draft Class Expectations

 The Minnesota Vikings had a very active 2022 NFL Draft. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah maneuvered around in the draft like a seasoned pro, even if we all didn't agree on the trades, the new GM didn't hold back from moving around the board. The Vikings ended up with 10 selections in the draft, and picked defensive players with five of their first six picks. Ed Donatell will have a lot of fun coaching up the likes of Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth Jr., Brian Asamoah, and others. Coming into the draft, we now know what the focus was going to be on, defense, and rightfully so.

Lewis Cine, S

Cine is a very active and hard hitting safety. Many coaches, including Kirby Smart, have praised his awareness and IQ on the defensive side of the ball. Pairing him with Harrison Smith is going to be huge. Having two on the field coaches is going to mean a ton for this defense. Add in Camryn Bynum, and the Vikings have three super smart and talented safeties that they will be able to use in multiple different ways. Ed Donatell is going to have a lot of fun in the back end of this defense.


Starter from week one.

Andrew Booth Jr., CB

It's no secret, Andrew Booth is a stud. The only thing that was a big question heading into the draft was his health. If the corner out of Clemson is able to stay healthy and on the field, he will be one of the biggest steals in the 2022 draft. He's the total package. Ball skills, aggressiveness, length, good footwork, and much more. The kid can flat out ball. With Patrick Peterson and Cam Dantzler as your outside corners, it may be hard to start from day one. But Andrew Booth is going to contribute.


Instant contributor with a chance to start towards season's end.

Ed Ingram, OL

Ingram is a mauler. He is a big guy who's going to take up space, but also has good footwork to stay in front of quick defensive lineman. Ingram at times, was a little rusty in pass protection, but he has the ability to be an above average starting guard in this league. The LSU alum has the experience and traits to make an impact early on in his Viking's career.


In the mix for the right guard starting position.

Brian Asamoah, LB

One of my favorite picks from the 2022 draft. Asamoah is a fast and rangy linebacker who flies all over the football field. Vikings' fans will love him because he will be involved in almost every single tackle that is made on the field. Asamoah can cover, he can tackle, and he will be able to contribute on special teams early in his career as well.


He will get defensive snaps, but is more than likely behind both Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks on the depth chart.

Akayleb Evans, CB 

Evans was Kwesi's draft crush. A lengthy corner who loves to compete. Evans may not be ready day one, but he has the ability to be a core special teamer his rookie year. Evans eventually could turn into a starting outside corner, he's got all the traits to do so.


Core special teamer with minimal defensive snaps.

Esezi Otomewo, DL

The former Minnesota Gopher went a little higher than people expected, but the Vikings obviously see potential in his game, and rightfully so. He's a monster. A physical freak, who can eventually turn into a rotational piece along the defensive line.


Practice squad, with a chance of being elevated to the 53 man roster certain weeks.

Ty Chandler, RB

Chandler is an interesting prospect. A lot of draft experts liked him coming out of college, but the Vikings snagged him in the 5th round. Chandler has the chance to make an impact in 2022, but the opportunity might be scarce with Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, and Kene Nwangwu on the roster.


On 53 man roster, but will have a bigger impact in 2023.

Vedarian Lowe, OT

Lowe is a FIVE year starter coming out of college. But he has a lot to work on when it comes to his technique. He's raw in that aspect. Lowe could eventually turn into a swing tackle for the Vikings but I doubt it'll be this year.


Practice squad candidate.

Jalen Nailor, WR

Nailor was a sneaky good pick towards the end of the draft. His game speed is way faster than what he ran at his pro day. Nailor is a good route runner, with the ability to make plays after the catch.


WR 5 or 6 on the depth chart.

Nick Muse, TE

The spot for the second tight end is wide open. Behind Irv Smith Jr., there is a lot of unknown. Johnny Mundt was signed over from the Rams, and Ben Ellefson is another tight end who just mostly blocks. If Muse can make some plays in training camp and the pre-season in the passing game, he may not only make the roster, but get some playing time come the regular season.


TE3, but could end up TE2.

All in all, it looks like the Vikings will get some contributions early from this draft class, unlike their 2021. If the Vikings get solid impact from a handful of these players, their quest to get back to the playoffs will be a lot easier.

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