Mel Kiper Jr Not Impressed by Minnesota Vikings 2024 NFL Draft

minnesota vikings nfl draft
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Mel Kiper has been in the NFL Draft game longer than Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been alive… and that’s not even me being hyperbolic. Mel has been a part of ESPN’s draft coverage since 1984 and he’s been making draft guides since high school, which would have been the mid-late 70’s.

In other words, he was the original self-taught online draft guru… before the internet existed. Back when finding information/footage of each individual player would have been next to impossible. I mean, this dude has been chatting and sparring with NFL GMs since before phones went wireless, and I’m not talking cell phones (which he still doesn’t own, apparently).

The only thing more timeless than Mel Kiper’s draft acumen is his hair. Anyway, when I flipped thru Mel’s draft grades on Sunday morning, it caught my eye when I noticed that he was VERY down on the Minnesota Vikings 2024 draft class. How down, exactly?

Mel Kiper Jr grades the Minnesota Vikings draft near bottom of NFL

Well, out of all 32 NFL teams, Kiper only graded five in the “C” range. The 27 other teams got a B- or better. At this point, you’ve probably already realized as much, but the Vikings were one of those five C’s. But hey, at least we aren’t the Falcons, who received Mel’s only C. Minnesota, and a few others were awarded C+.

  • Cleveland Browns: C+
  • Denver Broncos: C+
  • Minnesota Vikings: C+
  • Tennessee Titans: C+
  • Atlanta Falcons: C

It isn’t the 1st round picks that Mel hates so much, regarding the Vikings’ draft, though he clearly would have rather Kwesi waited for a cornerback to fall to them at pick No. 23, instead of trading up to No. 17 for Dallas Turner.

Related: Vikings Make it Clear a Justin Jefferson Contract Extension is Happening… and Soon

Still, his issue is more so with all the picks that they gave up both in this year’s draft and for 2025. Minnesota have only three total picks next year (for now), after the move they made for Dallas Turner on Thursday night.

My qualm about GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s class has more to do with mortgaging the future of this Minnesota roster. He made the move in March to get an extra first-rounder at No. 23, which cost him a second-round pick next year. And to trade up from No. 23 to No. 17, he had to give the Jaguars his 2025 third- and fourth-rounders. That means the Vikings have just three selections next year: one in Round 1 and two in Round 5. With a rookie quarterback under center, are they really in position to go all-in right now? This is after they had just two picks in Rounds 1-3 this year.

Dallas Turner (17) is my top-ranked edge rusher, but Minnesota had a greater need at cornerback. This defense ranked 28th in the league in passing yards allowed to receivers (3,019) last season. I was a little surprised Adofo-Mensah didn’t target one of the top corners instead. He finally went corner with his next pick, but that was all the way in Round 4.

Mel Kiper – ESPN+

At the end of the day, only the future knows how well Kwesi Adofo-Mensah performed in this draft. But given his short history of underwhelming prior draft classes — which includes misses like trading back for Lewis Cine, instead of sticking and picking Kyle Hamilton amongst a plethora of other questionable decisions — Kiper’s criticisms is worrisome, if nothing else.

In the past, however, we’ve criticized Kwesi for using too much of an analytical approach and trusting the “value chart” over acquiring the most talented players. Now, we’re getting the polar opposite reactions. Does that mean the Vikings flipped too far in the wrong direction? Again, time will tell us the answer to that question.

Read More: Vikings 2024 NFL Draft Grades, Pick Analysis, Undrafted Free Agent Signings

  • 1 (10) : J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
  • 1 (17) : Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama
  • 4 (108) : Khyree Jackson, CB, Oregon
  • 6 (177) : Walter Rouse, OT, Oklahoma
  • 6 (203) : Will Reichard, K, Alabama
  • 7 (230) : Michael Jurgens, C, Wake Forest
  • 7 (232) : Levi Drake Rodriguez, DT, Texas A&M-Commerce
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