Minnesota Vikings 2019 NFL Draft grades
The 2019 NFL draft is over and of course people are quick to judge how teams did.
But who is kidding who — we all want to know what others think of the selections made by our favorite team now. And there are plenty people doing just this.
We’ve tried to compile as thorough a list of Minnesota Vikings draft analysis as you’ll find anywhere on the internet, complete with a GPA for the first-round picks and overall draft. Without further ado, enjoy.
Andy Benoit of SI.com: A+. “However it shakes out, this is case of player and need meeting together perfectly. New offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski wants to employ an outside-zone scheme to fit Kirk Cousins, who is at his best throwing play-action off those outside zone looks. Bradbury is viewed unequivocally as the best outside zone blocking interior lineman in this draft.”
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report: A-. “A starter for several seasons at guard and center who has blocked for a variety of NFL players and prospects (quarterback Ryan Finley, running backs Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels), Bradbury is experienced and dependable. He will quickly develop into a capable NFL starter. The crippling ennui of Vikings football aside, this is a fine pick.”
Luke Easterling of Draft Wire: A. “Another great matchup of need and value, Bradbury is the best interior blocker in this class, and the Vikings desperately need to reload the offensive line across the board. There’s not a flaw in Bradbury’s game, and he’ll be an immediate upgrade inside for Minnesota.”
Walter Cherepensky of Walter Football: B+. “I expected them to choose Andre Dillard when he slipped to them. Minnesota apparently wanted to stick to the plan and upgrade the middle of the offensive line. Pat Elflein was the worst center in the NFL last year, so he absolutely needed to be upgraded. Elflein will now move to guard, where he should perform better, meaning the Vikings are getting two upgrades with one pick. This is a good choice, as the Vikings absolutely had to bolster Kirk Cousins’ protection.”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation: B+.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “Bradbury is athletic and tough, considered one of the best center prospects to be picked in some time. Minnesota’s offensive line was in dire need of improvement so this selection will make quarterback Kirk Cousins and running back Dalvin Cook extremely happy.”
Danny Kelly of The Ringer: A. “Bradbury has quick feet and other-worldly balance, and his innate ability to reach and seal play-side defensive tackles on runs could be the spark that Mike Zimmer needs to ignite the team’s disappointing ground game. The first-team All-American and winner of the Rimington Trophy (as the nation’s top center) is strong in pass protection, plays with an edge, and should be a plug-and-play starter at either center or guard.”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: B+.
Steven Ruiz of For The Win: C-. “If you’re going to take a center with a top-20 pick, I suppose Garrett Bradbury is the kind of center you take. He has the movement skills and power to develop into a top center. But Minnesota needed a tackle and Andre Dillard, the best pass protector in the class, was on the board and the Vikings passed.”
Nicklaus Gray of The Tennessean: A-.
Darryl Slater of NJ.com: A.
Detroit News staff: B+.
Yahoo Sports staff: B. “He’s not big for an interior linemen, but he’s quick, agile (he is a former tight end) and smart. He has the goods to start immediately for the Vikings and stay there for the next decade.”
Nick O’Malley of MassLive.com: A. “This is the football equivilant [sic] of drafting a bucket of water when your pants are on fire. Good job. You nailed it.”
Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports: A+. “Here’s a perfect marriage of team need and the top player at the position in several years. He’ll be a nice upgrade calling plays up front and has a good shot at being a Game 1 starter based on how prepared he is.”
Mike Farrell and Adam Gorney of Rivals: Farrell – B+; Gorney – A-.
Loaded Box Podcast: B+.
Andy Benoit of SI.com: Irv Smith Jr. – B+ | Alexander Mattison – B.
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report: Irv Smith Jr. – B- | Alexander Mattison – B.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: Irv Smith Jr. – B | Alexander Mattison – C.
Steven Ruiz of For The Win: Irv Smith Jr. – A- | Alexander Mattison – C.
Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: Irv Smith Jr. – B+ | Alexander Mattison – C.
Kevin Manahan of NJ.com: Irv Smith Jr. – C+.
Walter Cherepensky of Walter Football: Irv Smith Jr. – A | Alexander Mattison – C.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “Smith is a move tight end who was a nice value. He could replace Kyle Rudolph as a receiver and throw his body around as a blocker. Minnesota needs to have a solid backup at running back due to durability concerns with Dalvin Cook, and Mattison is a durable power back who can handle those duties.”
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: Dru Sami – B+ | Cameron Smith – B- | Armon Watts – A | Marcus Epps – B | Oli Udoh – B+ | Kris Boyd – A- | Dillon Mitchell – A | Olabisi Johnson – C | Austin Cutting – D+.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: B+. “Epps is an athletic safety who likes to hit, something the Vikings needed to add in this draft. Watts is a disruptive guy inside who is just scratching the surface of his potential. They hit the OL again with Udoh, a good value in the sixth round. The Spielman residence should be harmonious with a cornerback not being picked until Round 6 (Boyd was also a good value). Johnson was overshadowed by Preston Williams at Colorado State, but he has a chance to make the Vikings’ roster.”
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report: Dru Samia – A- | Cameron Smith – B | Armon Watts – Satisfactory | Marcus Epps – Satisfactory | Oli Udoh – Excellent | Kris Boyd – Excellent | Dillon Mitchell – Excellent | Olabisi Johnson – Satisfactory | Austin Cutting – Patriots-esque.
Walter Cherepensky of Walter Football: Dru Samia – B+ | Cameron Smith – C | Armon Watts = A- | Marcus Epps – D | Oli Udoh – A- | Kris Boyd – A | Dillon Mitchell – B+ | Olabisi Johnson – B | Austin Cutting – C.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post: B+. “The Vikings’ best pick was getting TE Irv Smith in the middle of the second round. His presence will help QB Kirk Cousins as he and the Vikings try to rebound from Cousins’s highly disappointing first year in Minnesota. Bolstering Cousins’s offensive line with first-round C Garrett Bradbury also was wise.”
Pro Football Focus staff: Below average.
Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire: B+.
Nate Davis of USA Today: B. “The offensive line (and run game in general) got needed assistance with first-round C Garrett Bradbury, fourth-round G Dru Samia and a back (third rounder Alexander Mattison) who could take the load off injury-riddled Dalvin Cook. Second-round TE Irv Smith should do quite a bit of damage against defenses understandably eyeing this club’s wideouts.”
Andy Benoit of SI.com: A.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A.
Darryl Slater of NJ.com: A. “Bradbury is the best center in this draft, and Smith will really help Kirk Cousins. That was obviously the goal of Minnesota’s early picks — to put pieces around Cousins.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: B+. “Rick Spielman knew he had to upgrade the offensive line for Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins, but he didn’t ignore getting insurance for Cook and expanding the group of receivers for Cousins. Smith, Udoh and Boyd all had the potential to go much earlier in the draft. Bradbury will be their O-line anchor for a decade.”
Thor Nystrom of RotoWorld: B. “Bradbury was a slam-dunk pick (I would have taken Dillard, but Bradbury is a perfect fit and was a fine value at 1.18). I also thought the Vikings absolutely pillaged on Day 3, consistently getting tremendous value all the way into Round 7. But I can’t go higher than a B because I thought the Purple had a disastrous Friday. Irv Smith is a tweener at a position that wasn’t of pressing need. I liked Mattison more than most, but you can’t take him with the last pick of R3 over superior talents Hakeem Butler, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Anthony Nelson and Julian Love, all of whom were snapped up immediately when the draft re-opened on Saturday.”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation: B.