The 2022 NFL Draft finished up last weekend and with it came a new class of NFL rookies. Many fans were happy, and some were unhappy with their team’s GM’s decisions throughout the draft. Prior to the draft, I broke down why the DB position was the primary position that the Minnesota Vikings should focus on, 2022 NFL Draft: Top 5 DB Prospects the Vikings Could Select at No. 12 Overall.

How the board fell

Unfortunately, the main three defensive back studs were chosen prior to the Vikings’ first pick at 32. Stingley went to the Texans, Gardner went to the Jets, and Elam went to the Bills. Honestly, the only one that was really upsetting was Buffalo’s pick. Even though I wanted either Stingley or Garnder to fall to 12, I am not surprised that they did not, given their respective talents. With these two off the board, it made sense that the Vikings would want to trade back in the draft which is exactly what they did. New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah sent the 12th and 46th picks to the Detroit Lions for their 32nd, 34th, and 66th picks. Now, some think that this trade was one of the worst trades in recent memory. However, the value for the players they got is seemingly worth it to me.  

Breaking down the trade

The original NFL Draft value chart was created by Jimmy Johnson during his time with the Cowboys in the early 1990s. He assigned numerical values to each draft pick as a way to evaluate the worth of picks for potential trades. However strong, his chart was limited when it comes to statistics and historical trends. In recent years, teams have started to use the Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit value chart which assigns the No. 1 pick 1,000 points instead of 3,000. Hill’s chart was created in 2018 and it is not a perfect model either, such as when teams have to pay a premium when moving up for a top-tier prospect like a quarterback. 

After the trade down to 32, the Vikings selected Georgia safety Lewis Cine and then traded No. 34 to the Green Bay Packers for the 53rd and 59th overall picks. Finally, the Vikings traded the 53rd, 77th and 192nd overall pick to the Indianapolis Colts for No. 42 overall. In total, the Vikings turned No. 12 and No. 46 overall into Lewis Cine, Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (42nd pick), LSU guard Ed Ingram (59th pick), and Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah (65th pick). Using the 2022 Rich Hill Model of trade value, that goes from a value of 393 to 498. In other words, the Vikings came up on top. So let’s look at all of their picks. 

Round: 1 Pick: 32 – Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

With the 32nd pick, the Vikings took the Georgia safety as the fifth Bulldog defensive player picked in the first round. While this player was not fully analyzed by myself prior to the draft, he does have a lot of promise. He won the defensive MVP of the national title game in January. 

Based on PFF, the most important qualities for safeties are their weight, arm size, ten yard split time, their vertical and forty times. 


40 Time (s)

Weight (lbs)

10 yard (s)

Vertical (inch)

Arm Size (inch)












31 ¾ 






32 ¼  






32 4/8 

Average S





31 11/16


Based on his numbers, however, he would fall in the top 3 safeties of the draft. He was the fastest among the others I looked at and also jumped the second highest. Cine also had the second-biggest arms and was the second-fastest in the 10-yard dash. This seemingly would show that he’s going to be successful in the league. According to many other scouts, he’s a smart defender and sees the game well. Cine apparently can deliver some big hits in the run game and is a good tackler in space. In theory, he’ll compete with Camryn Bynum to start alongside Harrison Smith and should be the long-term replacement for the aging Smith. At the time of the draft, it was surprising that Kwesi took him over Brisker, however, after further analysis, it seemingly was a good call to take the Championship Defensive MVP. 

Grade: A-

Round: 2 Pick: 42 – Andrew Booth Jr, DB, Clemson


Prior to the draft, I thought Booth had a high ceiling that could have had a lot of benefits for the Vikings. The main flaw was that he was slightly inexperienced and unfortunately, he didn’t participate in Clemson’s Pro Day. Also, he has now underwent surgery on a core muscle. In addition, Booth didn’t test at the NFL scouting combine because of a hamstring injury. Because of his injury-prone situation, I thought it would push him away from the Vikings at least in the first round. However, prior to his injuries, he recorded four tackles in 2019, and as a sophomore in 2020, he started four of 11 games, recording 27 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. In 2021, he was a first-team All-ACC member with 37 tackles and 37 interceptions.

According to Lance Zierline of

“[Booth] is a press/zone combo corner with good size and length, Booth plays with an urgent, competitive nature. He has the strength, balance, and foot agility to press and slow the release. He has limited starting experience, though. He will need more development to prevent route specialists from manipulating his feet and hips. Booth has the ball-tracking and plays strength to find and maintain top-dog positioning through catch tries. He’s more effective in off coverage underneath than tight man. He needs to play more football, but his ball-hawking instincts, burst to close and toughness in run support will be very appealing for zone teams looking for an upgrade at cornerback.”

If he can break the ceiling, Booth’s value at 42 is a huge steal for the Vikings and was a great decision by Adofo-Mensah. 

Grade: A/A-

Round: 2 Pick: 59 – Ed Ingram, G, LSU

After taking two secondary players, the Vikings definitely added good depth to the roster in that department. Another need was to add depth to the OL which Minnesota has struggled with in past years. By picking Ingram from LSU, they added another player from purple and gold to purple and gold. Ingram is one of four former LSU players now on the Vikings roster, joining Patrick Peterson, Danielle Hunter, and Justin Jefferson. Ingram was ranked high at 8th in his position. Last year, he led all SEC guards with an 82.6 pass-blocking PFF grade. Ingram played 806 offensive snaps, including 484 pass-blocking plays, and only gave up two sacks. PFF also issued him a 73.0 as a run blocker and he was a Second-Team All-SEC selection last year. Overall, he appeared in 45 total games with 23 starts at left guard and 12 at right guard for LSU from 2017 to 21.

The big concern however was that Ingram was charged with two counts of sexually assaulting minors when he was 16 years old. The case was brought in 2018 and Ingram was suspended for the season at LSU. The case was later dismissed and Ingram returned to the team in 2019. Adofo-Mensah stated in a press conference that

 “We did extensive research with people in and around the situation, in and around the program, in and around him. We were extremely comfortable with the person.”

Otherwise, Ingram was reported to not be that strong and has a less than ideal frame. But these things can be fixed with a little time in the gym. Hopefully, he ends up strengthening the OL more so than others have in the past. 

Grade: B

Round: 3 Pick: 66 – Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma


Continuing to commit to helping their defense, the Vikings selected a linebacker to help out. This may be a pick for the future given the depth that the team already has. However, they did elect not re-sign Anthony Barr in the offseason. In his collegiate career, Asamoah had 168 total tackles with 106 of those being solo efforts as unassisted tackles. 12.5 of those tackles were for a loss and five of those were quarterback sacks. This shows that he can easily go after the quarterback or be good in run support. He also defended four passes in 2020, including an interception that he returned for 29 yards.

He does have an interesting frame standing 6-foot and weighing 226 pounds at the NFL Combine. This seems to be more of a safety frame. Asamoah also apparently does not recover well if his initial read of the play was wrong. He has a lot of potential to be a great player, but he’ll need to find a place on the team. Asamoah can easily work alongside Pro Bowler Eric Kendricks and newly signed defender Jordan Hicks. This will help his game a lot and hopefully in a few years, he’ll be a prime linebacker in the league.

Grade: A-

Round: 4 Pick: 118 – Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri

Once again going for a secondary position, Vikings went for the 75.5 overall PFF grade corner. PFF also gave Evans a 72.1 coverage grade and a 75.0 run defense grade at Missouri, where he appeared in 11 games with eight starts. In this one season, he recorded 30 total tackles (27 solo) with a tackle for loss, one interception, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

According to PFF’s long-term study on combine testing, 40 times are the weakest indication of a corner’s overall success and the player’s weight, 10 yard, and vertical jump are the best indicators. Additionally, the 10 yard run is the most indicative of success.


40 Time (s)

Weight (lbs)

10 yard (s)

Vertical (inch)



















5’11 ½







Average DB






So based on numbers alone, Evans ranks similarly to Gordan, MCreary, and McDuffie. In the pre-draft ranking, these players were 5, 7, and 6, respectively. If this represents anything, the Vikings got a steal here. Evans does have some injury concerns as he missed multiple games in 2018, 2019, and 2021 due to various injuries. However, even with the already added secondary players, this will potentially add depth to the roster for a position that the Vikings were lacking in prior to the draft. 

Grade: B+

Round: 5 Pick: 165 – Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota

PFF gave the rusher a 79.5 overall, 84.3 run defense, 65.4 pass rush, 67.3 true pass rush set, 13.4% pass rush win rate, 7.8% run stop rate for his play in 2021. Otomewo also became part of the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors when he totaled 30 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and a safety in 13 starts. In four seasons with the Minnesota Gophers, he started 20 of 46 games, recording 81 tackles and 7.5 sacks. While that does not seem like a lot, he has a lot of upside that if he hones in his skills more, he could be a good d-lineman in a year or two. 

Grade: C+

Round: 5 Pick: 169 – Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina


While the Vikings are seeming set at the running back position with Cook, Mattison, and Nwangwu, it is always good to prepare for the future. Cook is arguably in the prime of his career with Mattison being a good backup and Nwangwu is still working to be more in the lineup. Chandler is probably one of the more intriguing picks because of his speed. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, which is faster than Cook’s dash by 0.11 seconds. Of the other backs on the team, his speed is only beat by Nwangwu’s 4.32 seconds. Chandler started all 13 games for the Tar Heels last season, racking up 1,092 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns and became the 20th UNC player in school history to record a 1,000-yard rushing season. He also added 15 catches for 216 yards and one touchdown through the air. Since the roster is quite packed already, he’ll likely begin his career with the Vikings as a 3rd down back and/or special teamer. If the offensive line can open up a hole, Chandler will be very dangerous. 

Grade: B

Round: 6 Pick: 184 – Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois

In 2021, PFF graded Lowe with an 80.2 overall, 80.3 run block, 82.3 zone run block, 60.2 gap run block, 72.2 pass block. He started 52 games for Illinois and earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors in 2020 and 2021. A lot of scouts have said that Lowe isn’t particularly dominant and is not someone who’s going to give up bull rushes. While he did improve in his final year in college, taking 5 years to do so is somewhat concerning. This is probably why he was taken so late in the draft. Lowe is unlikely to start but if he continues to improve every year, he could be in the top of the depth chart in a few years. 

Grade: B-

Round: 6 Pick: 191 – Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State

PFF graded this receiver 77.0 overall, 75.2 receiving, 2.7 yards per route run (@ top 10%), 71.2 vs. man coverage, 9.5% drop rate (4 drops) in 2021. Nailor also had 449 receiving yards vs. single coverage last season which was better than notable given two OSU receivers went #10 and #11 overall in the draft. According to scouts, Nailor is a good route runner, has good YAC ability, good at the catchpoint, can track the ball well, and can be an effective blocker. His size is pretty average at 6’0” and 190 pounds but that’s not awful for a team that is pretty set on receivers. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds at the Combine, which ranked 19th among this year’s receivers. However, Nailor will be lower on the depth chart and possibly compete for the fourth spot with Ihmir Smith-Marsette. His skills give him a lot of upside especially when former NFL receiver and current Vikings receiver coach, Keenan McCardell, really wanted the Vikings to take him. So there is a lot seen in Nailor that will improve the Vikings offense down the road. 

Grade: B+

Round: 7 Pick: 227 – Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina

With their final pick, the Vikings selected the 6-foot-5- and 259-pound tight end. Muse played in 13 games in 2021, recording 20 catches for 222 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He had 67 catches for 805 yards (12.0 yards per catch) and three career touchdowns at South Carolina. With Gronklin leaving in free agency, adding depth to the tight end room was a good idea. Right now, the Vikings will probably have Muse competing with Ben Ellefson and Zack Davidson. Scouts have said that he needs to improve with his blocking but if he can, Muse has the ability to work his way up the depth chart. 

Grade: B


Time will honestly tell how good Adofo-Mensah’s first draft was and if the amount of trades was worth it. A lot of fans were mixed but hopefully this draft class will help lay the foundation for the future of the Vikings. However, based on the 2022 Rich Hill Model of trade value, the Vikings came out on top. As such, the Vikings had the most selections in this year’s draft with a lot of talent and a lot of high-upside players, emphasizing Days 2 and 3 picks. It should be a good turnaround, but only time will tell. 

Overall Grade: B+

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