By Tayyib Abu

The NFL Draft is over, and we cannot head into the three-month abyss that is the offseason without looking at what all 262 selections mean for each franchise. Whilst too early to judge just how successful a draft class each team’s was, we can look at how rookies fit within schemes, where they stand on depth charts, and who we can expect to make an impact in 2022. We continue our team by team series with the Minnesota Vikings:

Draft Haul

132Lewis CineSGeorgia
242Andrew BoothCBClemson
259Ed IngramIOLLSU
366Brian AsamoahLBOklahoma
4118Akayleb EvansCBMissouri
5165Esezi OtomewoEDGEMinnesota
5169Ty ChandlerRBNorth Carolina
6184Vederian LoweOTIllinois
6191Jalen NailorWRMichigan State
7227Nick MuseTESouth Carolina

Day One

Credit: Fox9.com

Under new management in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, the Minnesota Vikings held the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft – ideal capital to kickstart a new era. The Vikings waited their turn as the picks rolled in until they were on the clock. When it was their turn, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn’t love any prospect at 12th overall, and the first-year GM answered a phone call from Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes…

The Lions moved up to 12th, and the Vikings traded down to 32nd plus pick 34 and pick 66. When the Vikings came on the clock with the last pick in round one, they selected Georgia safety Lewis Cine. Ranked 26th on PFFs final big board, Cine was an integral part of Kirby Smart’s national championship-winning side of 2021. 

Cine is an intelligent ‘center fielder.’ He mans the deep third of the field well and is a tremendous open-field tackler. Cine played 534 of his 800-plus snaps in the deep third of the field. The former four-star recruit bolsters the depth in the Vikings’ safety room, and he should play an important role in DC Ed Donatell’s scheme.

Donatell comes from the Vic Fangio system in Denver. If the veteran coach opts to install a split-safety/two-high shell, Cine is a good fit. Cine is smart enough to play in the two-high shell, Cine understands rotations, and his play recognition is excellent. Cine is a quick diagnoser, and the Bulldogs trusted him to track wheel and post routes in particular. Cine showed Georgia that he could handle different assignments with aplomb, whether man or combo coverages.

The one caveat may be the trade value, which the Vikings must live with for as long as Jameson Williams is a Detroit Lion. Was it worth passing on Kyle Hamilton and letting a divisional rival grab their future wideout in a draft with a limited group of first-grade prospects? 

Day Two

Credit: OU Sports

Day two started similarly for the Vikings as they traded out of pick 34 with the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings got picks 53 and 59 in return. When Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the front office were back on the clock at 42nd overall, they continued to strengthen the defensive backfield by selecting Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth. A former five-star recruit, Booth is a technician at the cornerback spot. Injury concerns perhaps pushed Booth into round two. However, he is a quality prospect. The jump for cornerbacks from college to the NFL is usually a big one, but Booth has some handy traits that should help the transition. 

Ed Ingram and Brian Asamoah were the two other picks the Vikings made on day two. After losing Dakota Dozier in free agency, Ingram adds depth and is an adequate pass-blocker. Questions surround his peak athleticism, motor, and run-blocking, but the Vikings filled a hole here. The Vikings ended day two with the selection of Brian Asamoah. The Oklahoma linebacker is an athletic defender against the pass, and his tigerish attitude helps him compete in pass defense. Some draftniks hold concerns about Asamoah’s build, and his play against the run needs work. Nonetheless, Asamoah is another athletic piece on defense to add depth and competition. 

Day Three

Day three was the busiest for the Vikings as they drafted six players in the late rounds. Missouri cornerback Akayleb Evans and Minnesota’s Esezi Otomewo bolstered the defensive ranks, before the Vikings selected four offensive players; Running back Ty Chandler, tackle Vederian Love, wideout Jalen Nailor, and tight end Nick Muse. 

“Akayleb Evans enters the NFL with a profile very similar to that of Tariq-Castro Fields; a toolsy prospect with the requisite measurements but not necessarily fully comfortable in all his assignments. The difference is that Evans is still developing and seems to possess much more upside; three successful years at Tulsa encouraged him to test himself at a higher level, and the SEC did just that. But despite some teething problems early at Mizzou, Evans raised his game - and I don’t think he’s finished yet. Evans needs a little more confidence reading his keys and trusting his instincts, something that did take a step forward in 2021. If he can continue that progression Evans has the rest in his locker to develop into a starting NFL cornerback by year three.”
Mock Draft
Simon Carroll
Head Of NFL Draft Content

One To Watch: Andrew Booth

Ranked 23rd on Pro Football Focus’ big board, Booth was the 7th cornerback selected. Analysts and front offices held concerns over his extensive injury record dating back to high school. Booth didn’t perform at Clemson’s pro day, which furthered the doubt amongst NFL teams. The five-star recruit out of Georgia also deals with Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, which may have contributed to his fall.

Booth’s flittering college career should mean he has plenty of tread on his tires, and the upside is appealing to a team like the Vikings. He is a tigerish, competitive corner with fast feet and the length to play on the outside. One caveat to Booth’s play is a propensity to be over-aggressive with his hands which could draw unwanted attention from officials.

Booth joins a laundry list of cornerbacks the Vikings have drafted. The last time the Vikes didn’t draft a corner was the 2014 NFL Draft. Cam Dantzler, Jeff Gladney, Mike Hughes, Cam Bynum, and Trae Waynes have all donned the Purple and Gold. And, yet veteran Patrick Peterson looks likely to start. Former GM Rick Spielman poured plenty of resources into his defensive backfield, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is doing the same. Booth is perhaps a better athlete, and his potential is untapped. Add his toughness and willingness to tackle, and the Vikings now have a potential long-term option at cornerback. 

UDFA Tracker

Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics
Mike BrownSMiami (OH)
Thomas HenniganWRAppalachian State
Bryant KobackRBToledo
Zach McCloudLBMiami
Josh SokolIOLSacred Heart
Tyarise StevensonIDLTulsa
Luiji VilainLBWake Forest
Ryan WrightPTulane
Tre TurnerWRVirginia Tech


The Vikings opted for the depth route in the draft. It netted them two solid defensive additions that should push for starting roles. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah also added depth pieces on a roster that lacked it. However, Minnesota dealt with divisional rivals in chasing trades and more picks. The legacy of this class will be determined not only in Minnesota but also in what happens in Detroit and Green Bay. And that is what fans will remember.



Tayyib is an avid NFL fan and, as a follower of the detroit lions, is a permanent resident in the honolulu blue heartbreak hotel. writing football articles since 2019, tayyib loves everything about the sport except that wins are not a qb stat. follow him on twitter @TayyibABU1