Connor Van Hulzen—Staff Writer
For the Minnesota Vikings, the 2022 NFL Draft offered a chance to revamp a roster that disappointed in recent seasons. It also provided a first look at how new General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah conducts a draft and builds his team.
I was disappointed by the Vikings’ draft.
The Vikings held pick number 12 in this year’s draft, the result of a 8-9 record. However, the Vikings did not pick from the 12 slot, opting to trade their pick with the Detroit Lions.
The choice to trade with an in-division team, gifting their rival a player of their choosing, confounded me. Even worse, the Lions were allowed to pick Jamesone Williams, a standout wide receiver and a player who will pose a concern for the Vikings, who lack a fully developed secondary to cover Williams.
The Vikings did acquire additional draft capital due to their decision to trade down, though, but the return proved underwhelming. In exchange for allowing the Lions move up 20 spots in the first round, the Vikings were given the Lions’ third-round pick and swapped second round picks.
The fact that Adofo-Mensah didn’t extract any more value out of this trade was disappointing. Dropping 20 places in the first round without acquiring a future first or second round pick is almost hard to believe.
With the 32nd pick, the Vikings picked Georgia safety Lewis Cine. While this pick is not one I find issue with, it is a little confusing. Had the Vikings kept the 12th pick in the draft, they would have been able to select the consensus number one safety in the draft: Kyle Hamilton. Instead, the Vikings got an underwhelming return in a trade down and arguably a worse player than they could have had had they stood pat at 12.
With the 34th pick in the draft, which they received in that trade with the Lions, the Vikings selected Andrew Booth Jr., a cornerback from Clemson. The Vikings addressed a position of need with a player that many considered a first-round talent. However, there is a reason Booth Jr. dropped into the second round. Booth Jr. has an extensive injury history. In interviews after the draft, he went as far as to say that he had not played healthy since high school.
With their first two picks, the Vikings managed to confuse and disappoint. Their third pick would be even worse.
With their third pick, 59th overall, the Vikings selected LSU guard Ed Ingram.
While guard was a definite position of need, the person the Vikings picked to address that need leaves much to be desired. With higher-ranked guards still on the board, the Vikings selected a player accused of sexual assault of a minor.
In 2017, charges were filed against Ingram alleging he, at the age of 16, repeatedly sexually assaulted two sisters, both minors at the time. After these charges were filed, Ingram was suspended from the LSU football team for the 2018 season.
The final results of the Vikings’ 2022 draft won’t be known for a few years now. While I hope that these players positively impact the franchise for years to come, I am underwhelmed and disappointed by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s first draft.
Here’s to hoping that Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings prove me wrong.