August 13, 2022

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First NFL draft below rookie Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah introduces uncertainty

For 15 years, Rick Spielman presided over Vikings drafts, and one may get a learn on what he would possibly do. The workforce was extra more likely to commerce down than commerce up within the first spherical they usually have been more likely to accumulate a bunch of Day 3 picks.

Now, normal supervisor Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is on the controls, having changed Spielman, who was vp of participant personnel from 2006-11 after which normal supervisor earlier than being fired in January. So there’s a lot uncertainty because the Vikings enter the three-day NFL draft Thursday with the No. 12 choose within the first spherical together with seven different choices.

“Spielman acquired predictable a little bit bit towards the tail finish of his profession,” ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid mentioned. “You can sort of pinpoint a number of the guys he was going to have a look at. … What makes it enjoyable is we don’t know with Kwesi and the brand new regime. We don’t know what course they’re going to go, whether or not they’re going to commerce up or commerce down or keep at quantity 12.”

Adofo-Mensah, 40, is a rookie normal supervisor after being in San Francisco’s entrance workplace for seven seasons and Cleveland’s for 2. Making Minnesota’s draft much more fascinating is the Vikings even have a brand new head coach in Kevin O’Connell, who changed the fired Mike Zimmer.

“It’s all the time intriguing when new folks are available in and to see how they function,” NFL Community draft analyst Charles Davis mentioned. “And it’s much more intriguing to see how (Adofo-Mensah) and a brand new head coach function in tandem.”

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With Spielman on the controls, the Vikings chosen cornerbacks within the first spherical in 2013 (Xavier Rhodes), in 2015 (Trae Waynes), in 2018 (Mike Hughes) and in 2020 (Jeff Gladney). They may take a cornerback once more within the first spherical this time, too, however Adofo-Mensah has been enjoying it coy.

Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, thought-about by most the highest cornerback within the draft, shall be lengthy passed by No. 12. However there’s an opportunity LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr., whom the Vikings covet, nonetheless may very well be round at No. 12. If not, do the Vikings commerce as much as get him?

If Stingley turns into out of attain, do the Vikings take Washington’s Trent McDuffie or Clemson’s Andrew Sales space Jr. at No. 12? Or would possibly they commerce down and nonetheless be capable to get one in every of them?

Because it stands now, Minnesota would begin Patrick Peterson, who turns 32 in July, at one cornerback spot and up-and-down Cameron Dantzler on the different. Adofo-Mensah was requested if the Vikings should draft a cornerback who may compete to begin as a rookie.

“Each workforce has wants,” he mentioned. “In the end, our job is to construct a workforce that provides us the most effective likelihood to be the final one standing. There are simply other ways to do it.”

If the Vikings don’t take a cornerback within the first spherical, they might choose an edge rusher, with Eden Prairie native Jermaine Johnson II of Florida State a risk if he slides. Or, if Notre Dame security Kyle Hamilton is on the market, they might take him to be a right away substitute for the departed Xavier Woods or an eventual substitute for 33-year-old Harrison Smith.

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The percentages are that the Vikings, who have been thirtieth within the NFL final season in complete protection, will take a defensive participant within the first spherical. It stays potential they might take a large receiver however Adofo-Mensah did provide one clue that they won’t when speaking about what receivers coach Keenan McCardell mentioned in a latest assembly.

“Coach McCardell raises his hand and we’re at a sure choose, and he provides this impassioned plea to select a special place than his,” mentioned Adofo-Mensah, wanting to offer an illustration of the team-first perspective on the teaching workers. “And there’s some nice choices which can be there at his place.”

The receiver class is certainly deep, and the Vikings determine to snag one sooner or later within the draft. Minnesota’s different picks coming into the draft are No. 46 total within the second spherical; No. 77 within the third spherical; No. 156 within the fifth; Nos. 184, 191 and 192 within the sixth, and No. 250 within the seventh.