The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone. With their ten picks, the Minnesota Vikings have picked up several players who will help determine the future of the franchise. Let’s go round by round and recap the selections and how they will fit in on the roster.
First Round: N/A
The Vikings traded their first round pick last year to the Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford has been passible thus far in Minnesota, but certainly has not lit the world on fire and the jury remains out whether he is a good enough quarterback to lead the team to championship contender.
Second Round: Dalvin Cook RB-Florida State
Cook is a slam dunk pick for the Vikings. He is a first round talent who slipped all the way to Minnesota, who gladly scooped him up. Cook will fit right in and attempt to be part of the running back core with Latavius Murray. At Florida State, he was a natural runner who could turn any play into a big gain. He is smooth and also possesses solid catching ability, an important trait in the modern NFL. I expect Vikings fans to quickly move on from Peterson thanks to the addition of one of the finest Seminole running backs ever.
Third Round: Pat Elfien C-Ohio State
Minnesota’s offensive line was a garbage fire for much of last season due to injuries and lack of talent. Elfien will help address this issue although the team still lacks depth. The Ohio State product played center in college, but possesses the ability to also play at guard or tackle. He was the top center in the draft and represents great value for the Vikings to scoop him up at this point.
Fourth Round: Jaleel Johnson DT-Iowa and Ben Gedeon ILB-Michigan
Johnson is an explosive run stopper who may have been picked to give Minnesota a fallback option while they weigh whether to offer current DT Shariff Floyd. Johnson did not test well at the combine, but his play spoke volumes on tape. He menaced Big Ten offensive lines and could get after the quarterback, two things that head coach Mike Zimmer will love.
Gedeon is a classic smart linebacker. He does not possess the same physical gifts that some of his peers do. However, he makes up for it with smart positioning and awareness. The Vikings will not have to press him into action as their linebacking depth is solid with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. Gedeon is fully capable of offering valuable snaps as a backup or on special teams.
Fifth through Seventh Round: Rodney Adams WR-South Florida, Danny Isidora OG-Miami, Bucky Hodges TE-Virginia Tech, Stacy Coley WR-Miami, Ifeadi Odenigbo DE-Northwestern, Elijah Lee OLB-Kansas State
In the later rounds of the draft, Minnesota focused on bolstering their offense. The two most intriguing selections may be Rodney Adams out of South Florida and Bucky Hodges from Virginia Tech. Adams can fly, running a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine. He will be groomed into Cordarrelle Patterson’s replacement after the incumbent kick returner left during free agency. Hodges, on the other hand, is a match-up nightmare. The tight end stands 6’7 and can split out into the slot and terrorize nickel cornerbacks. He will represent a big target, and can help consistently move the chains.