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Vikings Draft Grade, What Do You Think ?

I don’t pretend to be any sort of a NFL draft guru.  What I’d like to find out here is what grade you would give the Vikings on their recent draft.  Mel Kuiper is considered by many to be THE expert on this topic and he gave Minnesota a B- in his grading of their draft efforts.  The Vikings picked UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr with the ninth selection.  Then proceeded to move back into the first round so they could select Lousville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.  The remaining draft went like this:

3rd round 72nd selection Defensive End Scott Crichton of Oregon State

3rd round 96th pick Running Back Jerik McKinnon of Georgia Southern

5th round 145th pick Guard David Yankey of Stanford

6th round 182nd overall pick Cornerback/Safety Anton Exum of Virginia Tech

6th round 184th pick Cornerback Kenall James of Maine

7th round 220 Defensive Lineman Shamar Stephen of University of Connecticut

7th round 223rd pick outside Linebacker Brandon Watts of Georgia Tech

7th round 225th selection Cornerback Jabari Price of University of North Carolina

I trust Minnesota’s new Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner was consulted heavily on the Bridgewater pick and he’s worked with some pretty good quarterbacks over the years.  A number of draft experts state Bridgewater is the most pro-ready after working in a pro style offense in Louisville.  Head Coach Mike Zimmer says Bridgewater will be competing for the starting job this camp.  We’ve heard a lot about Anthony Barr’s incredible physique.  After just two years at linebacker in college his talent is raw.  In my mind that means there’s a lot of upside in Barr and Zimmer can mold him into the defensive playmaker he wants.  In 27 games at outside lineback Barr tallied 23.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for loss in the Pac-12.  That is wreaking havoc!  DE Scott Chrichton is not known as a pass rushing end.  Reports indicate he does what a DE should do and that’s contain.  He’s very good against the run.  Something the Vikings were very poor at last year.  Actually they weren’t very good at anything on defense.  G David Yankey played on a very good Stanford team and has played both tackle positions.  It’s nice to have a player with that kind of flexibility, because chances are during the course of the season the Vikes are going to need someone to fill in somewhere on the offensive line.  CB/S Antone Exum fell all the way to the 6th round because he tore up his knee in 2013 and wasn’t the player he was in 2012.  The Vikings are clearly gambling here and hoping he returns to his 2012 form.  OLB Brandon Watts was one of the fastest linebackers in the draft.  I have an idea he could be a animal on special teams.  After losing Toby Gerhart, Minnesota clearly needed to choose a running back.  Again I’m no expert, but I didn’t understand choosing a back who had just 10 catches in college.  I thought Norv Turner would want a more Sproles type back, catching passes and getting out in the open.  CB Kendall James is an incredible athlete, but he’s very small and going up against some giant receivers in the NFL.  James is 5’10, he does have a 39 inch vertical.  I guess you can’t expect too much at number 184 on the draft board.  The seventh rounders Shamar Stephen, Brandon Watts and Jabari Price all have a good chance of making this team according to what I’ve read.  Believe me, the Vikings would be happy if five or six of these guys became starters soon.  I would love to hear what you think of the Vikings choices.

Mel Kuiper gave Vikes draft a B-

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