Pick #18- Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
The Vikings offensive line was a disaster last season especially the interior positions. With only one serviceable starter along the interior on the roster they were expected to use multiple picks to bolster the position group. In Bradbury they get one of the top center prospects to come out in years and his excellent athletic ability makes him an excellent fit for the Vikings zone scheme.
Pick #50- Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs make up one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL but after those two the Vikings did not get much production elsewhere in the passing game. Kyle Rudolph is still a serviceable tight end but has been around seemingly forever and is not the player he once was. Irv Smith was thought to be a first round player by many and could emerge as the Vikings third option in the passing game.
Pick #102- Alexander Mattison, RB, Boise State
After losing Latavius Murray through free agency the Vikings needed to find someone to back up injury prone Dalvin Cook. Mattison is a powerful runner with sneaky athleticism and should be the front runner to win the backup running back spot.
Pick # 114- Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma
As I previously stated Minnesota needed to find multiple players to bolster their interior offensive line in this draft. Samia is a powerful run blocker who plays with a serious mean streak and has a shot to be a day one starter at one of the guard positions.
Pick #162- Cameron Smith, LB, USC
Cameron Smith had an extremely productive collegiate career and was a tough, intelligent leader for the Trojans. While he is limited by his athletic ability he is a strong run defender and will have a chance to be the primary backup linebacker and special teamer for the Vikings.
Pick #190- Armon Watts, DL, Arkansas
Minnesota has invested mid round picks on the defensive tackle position in the last couple drafts but have yet to get much return for from these picks and will try again with the former Razorback Watts. Possessing ideal size strong run defense Watts will have a chance to make the team as a rotational defensive tackle.
Pick #191- Marcus Epps, S, Wyoming
While they needed to add some depth to their safety position with the release of Andrew Sendejo this off-season there were better options available than Epps. Pretty much an unknown until his selection Epps will need to wow in camp and create a name for himself on special teams if he wants to stick with Minnesota.
Pick #193- Oli Udoh, OT, Elon
Udoh is a massive tackle measuring in at 6’6” 323 who tested well at the combine. His athletic upside could lead to a 53 man roster spot but more likely is a season on the practice squad for Udoh as he develops his game further.
Pick #217- Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
Last year the Vikings hit on a talented but troubled Longhorn corner back in Holton Hill. They will try to replicate this success with Kris Boyd an athletically gifted but raw prospect who was a great value pick in the seventh round.
Pick #239- Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon
Minnesota needed to find some tertiary weapons outside of Diggs and Thielen for their passing attack. Adding Irv Smith was a good start but a prospect with the athletic upside as Mitchell in the seventh was a smart move. Mitchell might not be the most refined receiver prospect but is a burner who can stretch the field and should have a good chance at not only making the roster but should see decent playing time as well for Minnesota.
Pick #247- Olabisi Johnson, WR, Colorado State
Minnesota doubles up at the receiver position in the seventh round with the selection of Johnson. Another player who boosted his stock with strong pre-draft testing Johnson could make the roster thanks to a pretty shallow receiver depth chart in Minnesota.
Pick #250- Austin Cutting, LS, Air Force
This pick is a bit of a head scratcher, even late in the seventh round. On principle teams should never draft specialist as they are commonly found through free agency and should not take up a valuable draft pick. On top of that the Vikings current long snapper Kevin McDermott has been as steady as they come during his Vikings tenure.
Overall Grade: B
Best Pick: Garrett Bradbury
Biggest Reach: Alexander Mattison
Best Value- Irv Smith