#92Noon: Official #Vikings Draft Grades!

Yet another successful NFL Draft for the Minnesota Vikings! Off a 13-3 record and a NFC Title game appearance (with a Miracle in between), there's not a lot of hope-selling needed for a "Journey to Georgia" adventure in 2018. 

Let the Browns rally around all their highly-touted draft picks and pray that passing on Bradley Chubb wasn't a massive mistake. Let the Packers select every single draft-eligible cornerback and still end up starting Quinten Rollins in half the games. Let New Orleans mortgage next year's draft to move up 13 spots and take Marcus Davenport, only the second best player in UT-San Antonio history...David Morgan isn't blushing, people.

It's not about picking up the pieces for Minnesota, it's about the finishing touch. These new Vikings players are part of the masterpiece being built before our eyes.

But now that the draft is over, everyone has draft grades. Big opinions from these physic soothsayers, laying out the future for NFL teams before one practice, one snap, one game has taken place. So, I figured I'd put together some "unbiased" #92Noon grades and analysis, to get it on the record. You heard it here first.... don't @ us!


-Ask Deion Sanders, the real "DBU" isn't Florida State. It's Mike Zimmer's classroom. Also, ask Deion Sanders in 3 years, who he thinks most resembles his own HOF-quality play....and he'll say "Mike Hughes." Fitting that our new CB would choose jersey #21. The ball skills and playmaking ability for an elite defense that lacked turnovers? (Tell me more.) How about electric return ability with a total of 3 punt/kick return scores last year alone? (I like that.) One rube source close to the situation considered him the combination of peak Darrelle Revis and Devin Hester. That's high praise, which is why I added the rare, fourth +.


-When you're 13-3 and only a "nail biter" loss in Philly from advancing to your first Super Bowl in 4 decades, you can afford to think out of the box. That's where stud Pitt Tackle Brian O'Neill comes in. Picture bringing in the heavy package, O'Neill reports as eligible, and suddenly Cousins is throwing an end-zone fade to his right tackle. They'll...never...see...it...coming! He's clearly the most athletic OLineman in the draft. 6'7", 290lbs, used to play basketball. There were those that once wondered what it would look like if Lebron James ever played football. Brian O'Neill is the answer. He'll shed blocks and get to the second level for Dalvin Cook like lightning, and he's boxing people out like Tony Gonzalez in the redzone. He once scored a touchdown on a reverse. You wanted depth, he gives you options.


-Jalyn Holmes might be "steal of the draft" when we look back on this down the road. The physical stats don't lie, the ability to rush from the edge or inside next to Linval, working with elite DL coach Andre Patterson, etc....that's the really boring part. What I like most about Jalyn is that as a 4-star recruit in high school from Virginia, he was already so comfortable with his eventual NFL future, he decided to help his teammates achieve the same dreams. When Urban Meyer wanted to play scrubs like Joey & Nick Bosa, Jalyn said "no problem, coach." When Meyer asked him to play out of position so that Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis could eat, Jalyn said "with pleasure, coach." Jalyn makes his teammates better. Jalyn knew that he was more versatile and valuable than his fellow DLiners, so he sacrificed. Now that his ticket is punched, he can shed the leash and go to work. Clearly, he'll be an asset in the locker room as well.


-I only gave this an "A" because I don't want to seem overly homer-ish about these draft picks. Tyler is exactly what Kirk Cousins needed. The catch radius is incredible, his arms are so long he can hug himself twice, he has hands like Cris Carter. He also continues the "former basketball player" theme, which contributes to his athleticism and ability to use his body to win catch battles. He's 6'3" 254 with a 38" vertical, so he's sure to be dunking the poor Packers safety that gets stuck on him in coverage. My conservative comparison for Tyler is a certain former hoopster and undrafted kid out of Kent State. Hopefully Antonio Gates doesn't read this.


-You don't think about him until he misses an extra point in the first quarter that makes the difference at the end of the game. You couldn't care less about him until he squares up and smacks the upright on a 35-yard game winner that costs you a division game. He's the kicker. And you wanted Rick Spielman to be aggressive in this draft. You wanted Rick to have big opinions on players and get his guys. That's why he traded up...to get a kicker. Daniel Carlson will bring the peace, tranquility and serenity to the kicking game that hasn't been seen since Gary Anderson in January of 1999. SEC Special Teams player of the year and All-Conference SEC in both 2016 and 2017. Please don't call Kai Forbath to get his reaction to this post.


-The O-Line is complete. The final piece to the puzzle has been located. It was under the couch the whole time, or in this case, Boone NC. You will say things like "Late round O-Lineman???? Give me a break!" You will say things like "What about Jeff Baca, Damarcus Love or Chris DeGeare?" You will say things like "What about Travis Bond, David Yankey, Austin Shepherd, Tyrus Thompson or TJ Clemmings???" I will only say, "well, you forgot about Willie Beavers, too!" Colby Gossett is built like Steve Hutchinson and plays like Marshal Yanda. The Giants can take Will Hernandez. We'll take the best guard in the draft. He'll push to start day 1.


-You want someone to take the heat off, take the snap-counts off Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter...without losing the ability to pressure a quarterback? Why not take Ade Aruna, who ran a faster 40(4.6) than Laquon Treadwell, with 45 extra pounds on his body. He's limited in experience, coming from Nigeria to play basketball in high school before switching to football as a senior. I'm not telling you he's the next Demarcus Ware, I'm just saying he's a better, faster version of Ware. He'll be a rotational guy to start, dominating the edge for passing downs. Remember Josh Rosen saying that he wanted to prove the 9 teams that didn't pick him, before being chosen 10th overall, that they made a big mistake? That's nothing. Aruna believes that 217 mistakes were made, and he's ready to play angry.


-The Vikings are putting a lot on the line with the 225th overall pick in this draft, but it's a supreme value play with Devante Downs. Brilliant move by Spielman here, giving Mike Zimmer another Pac-12 linebacker to develop. This is the classic situation where it gets late in the draft, people are getting tired and they forget about certain players. You've scribbled on your draft board so many times, it's messy and difficult to tell who's still available. You don't want to be the guy that selects a player, only to find out he was taken by some jerk in the division two rounds ago. That's embarrassing. 31 NFL franchises forgot about Downs. They forgot about his 5.5TFLs, his 3 sacks and 2 picks he had in 2017 before a devastating knee injury ended his season less than seven games in. Now, he's ours. He'll begin as a special teams demon, with hopes of getting reps on defense when the purple have a two touchdown lead and Eric Kendricks needs a breather....as soon as he completes his rehab on the knee.

And that's that!!!! OFFICIAL #92NOON DRAFT GRADES. To be fair, this is just pre-season speculation. It's difficult to factor for circumstance, injury, growth and such at this time of the year. It's just good to know that the Vikings drafted 8 starters in case they're needed. 

**NOTE: When you begin adding in the Undrafted Free Agents the Vikings signed, it only gets better. The Bears would rather have our UDFAs than their actual draft class according to an unnamed, fictional individual with an understanding of the team's thinking...

Finally, Corey Chavous joined #92Noon Monday morning and gave his thoughts on the NFL Draft as well....must-listen from Co-Chave! ------> 

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