Vikings earn high marks on post-draft report card


The NFL is a world of "what have you done for me lately." The draft is barely 48-hours-old and the rookies haven't suited up for a single practice, with their new teams – much less a game – but that doesn't stop the "NFL experts" picking the draft's winners and losers.

As you might expect there are about as many opinions on the Vikings draft as their are experts who are qualified to tell you about it.

Sports Illustrated is touting the Vikings' draft as one of the strongest. S-I says the Vikings, Packers and Raiders receive the highest marks following the draft. The publication gave the Vikings an A-plus.

On paper at least, the Vikings had one of the top drafts in 2014. UCLA’s Anthony Barr was a slight reach as a pass rusher under development, but the team really scored by trading back into the end of the first round and grabbing Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Their third-round picks — Oregon State defensive lineman Scott Crichton and Georgia Southern do-it-all back Jerick McKinnon — should provide valuable depth right away. And grabbing Stanford guard David Yankey in the fifth round could amount to highway robbery in a few years. An outstanding haul for first-year head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff.

Viking Territory uses different formulas and tables to take a scientific look at the draft. By all accounts, the blog shows the Vikings were at the top of the list, by several different measures.

Mass Live includes the Vikings in it's thunderous applause section and has the Viking amongst its top 10.

A very strong class overall was led by a playmaking linebacker in Barr and a much-needed quarterback in Bridegwater. The Vikings, who had 10 picks, did a nice job upgrading most areas of the defense. Many thought Crichton could have gone in the second round. Watts, meanwhile, is a talented linebacker who could provide great seventh-round value. Needing help at corner, the Vikes took three in the final two rounds.

FOX Sports Wisconsin wasn't quite so kind. They have the Vikings ranked 24th of 32 teams in their draft recap.

The Vikings really tried to continue their focus on rebuilding the NFL's 31st ranked defense last season. They selected seven defensive players in those 10 draft picks and also drafted Bridgewater to hopefully become their quarterback of the future.

Scout.com took notice of the picks and thought the Vikings did a very good job of filling their needs.

Regardless of how the experts feel about how the Vikings did, it was the third straight year the Vikings have had multiple first round draft picks. Barr and Bridgewater were the Vikings two first rounders this year, they had three first round picks in 2013 and two in 2012.

According to the Star Tribune, no other team in the last 25 years of NFL draft history has had seven first round draft picks, during a three-year span.

Only three times during that span has a team had six first round draft choices in a three-year span, including the Dallas Cowboys of the early 1990s.

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