So the virtual draft of 2020 is now done, as are the virtual boos and the forced virtual fun with the Commish! With time on our hands many fans are diving in on the multitude of picks taken by Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings. I decided to look at what our NFC North rivals did, in more detail, to see what lay ahead for the new season.
|Round 1||3||Jeffrey Okudah||Cornerback||Ohio State|
|Round 2||35||D’Andre Swift||Running Back||Georgia|
|Round 3||67||Julian Okwara||Defensive End||Notre Dame|
|Round 3||75||Jonah Jackson||Offensive Line||Rutgers|
|Round 4||121||Logan Stenberg||Offensive Line||Kentucky|
|Round 5||166||Quintez Cephus||Wide Receiver||Wisconsin|
|Round 5||172||Jason Huntley||Running Back||New Mexico State|
|Round 6||197||John Penisini||Defensive Tackle||Utah|
|Round 7||235||Jashon Cornell||Defensive Tackle||Ohio State|
Best Pick: The 3rd overall pick seemed telegraphed to be Jeff Okudah, they needed a corner. Some will point to the futility of trading away your best corner just to draft another, but this is the personnel side of the NFL. The Lions got a younger, cheaper player who projects to be better. He’s a CB1 in and consensus boards had Detroit as his landing spot most consistently.
Drafting the top corner puts out a statement in the division. The contest between Thielen and Okudah should be an interesting one, as Okudah is physical and sticky to his receivers.
What the F…: The drafting of D’Andre Swift raised some eyebrows in the early 2nd round. The Lions have Kerryon Johnson their 2018 2nd round draft pick returning from injury and he’s run the ball with reasonable consistency, when healthy.
Swift is a real talent, at the position, and a threat in the passing game. He likely slots in to be their primary running back. Even with the excellence of Barr & Kendricks, Swift can make people miss in the open field and is a scoring threat whenever he gets the ball
Day 2 Value: This was a tricky choice between Guard, Jonah Jackson and edge player, Julian Okwara. Okwara is an Outside Linebacker suited to a 3-4 system, due to his speed rushing tendencies. Okwara began the season on Bruce Feldman’s college freak list. He lost half of his college season to a broken fibula, however, which may explain the lack of love seen pre-draft. He will flash off the line and has tremendous upside, but might be out-muscled in the run game.
Day 3 Sleeper: I like the selection of interior lineman, Logan Stenberg, from Kentucky. He’s a giant interior brawler of a guard, suited to a power running scheme. Stenberg is a 3-year starter at Kentucky and blocked for a run game that set school rushing records.
Overall: I can’t help but feel like the Lions didn’t fully address the Defensive Tackle need. They certainly got the corner they needed to pair with Trufant, though. The early selection of Swift will also mean the Vikings have to game plan accordingly. Their selection of Guard Jonah Jackson, after trading with the Indianapolis Colts, was a good one. They needed to replace Graham Glasgow, after losing him in Free Agency. I think this is a solid B+ grade for the Lions.
|Round 2||43||Cole Kmet||Tight End||Notre Dame|
|Round 2||50||Jaylon Johnson||Cornerback||Utah|
|Round 5||155||Trevis Gipson||Defensive End||Tulsa|
|Round 5||163||Kindle Vildor||Cornerback||Georgia Southern|
|Round 5||173||Darnell Mooney||Wide Receiver||Tulane|
|Round 5||166||Quintez Cephus||Wide Receiver||Wisconsin|
|Round 7||226||Arlington Hambright||Offensive Tackle||Colorado|
|Round 7||227||Lachavious Simmons||Guard||Tennessee State|
Best Pick: Jaylon Johnson was the 2nd pick for the Bears and a position of need to play opposite Kyle Fuller. Johnson was predicted by some, to go Round 1 but potential medical issues caused him to drop. His length and coverage skills should make him an excellent addition and he certainly has a tenacious attitude you can’t teach. This is someone I thought the Vikings may take for a personality fit, over Gladney, due to his ball production and height.
What The F…: The Bears now have to take down a partition wall in their Tight End room to make room for their 10th one. Cole Kmet was regarded among some, to be TE1 in a low-talent class and I think he’ll be a contributor and fine player for Chicago. He had a good athletic profile from the combine drills but rarely shows elite shiftiness, when running routes. From a value perspective, they had other needs and had the pick of several safeties at the time.
Day 2 Value: See Above Johnson at Pick 50 was great…
Day 3 Sleeper: Darnell Mooney looks to be a developmental receiver prospect who will bring bursting speed to the slot receiver position and playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. Having lost Taylor Gabriel, he should see playing time in Year 1 and could be dangerous out of play action, where he found success at Tulane.
Overall: The Bears’ roster has elite players who have to be respected (Mack and Quinn rushing off the edge), but beyond those few guys, the roster is ordinary with uncertainty at Quarterback. Their draft, outside of the Johnson pick, did nothing to address immediate needs and I think it could be a long season for the Bears. An average C grade.
Green Bay Packers
|Round 1||26||Jordan Love||Quarterback||Utah State|
|Round 2||62||A.J. DIllon||Running Back||Boston College|
|Round 3||94||Josiah Deguara||Tight End||Cincinnati|
|Round 5||175||Kamal Martin||Linebacker||Minnesota|
|Round 6||192||John Runyan||Offensive Tackle||Michigan State|
|Round 6||208||Jake Hanson||Center||Oregon|
|Round 6||209||Simon Stepeniak||Offensive Tackle||Indiana|
|Round 7||236||Vernon Scott||Safety||TCU|
|Round 7||242||Jonathan Garvin||Defensive End||Miami|
Best Pick: I really like the Josiah Deguara pick. He instantly seems to me like a fit in Green Bay. He’s a tall and rangy pass-catching Tight End, who lacks any real bulk to his frame. He fills the hole left by Jimmy Graham and should contribute immediately on the Packers roster. He is a willing and aggressive blocker whose attitude and effort should endear him to GB fans.
What The F…: Green Bay extended Aaron Rodgers through 2023, back in 2018. They made it to the NFC Championship Game last season, with a 13-3 record. They haven’t drafted an offensive skill position in the first 2 rounds of the draft since 2014, when they selected Devante Adams in the 2nd round.
This had to be a draft to build round Rodgers? Apparently not… The most valuable asset you can have, when building a roster, is a Quarterback on a rookie deal. If what we’re being told is correct, then when Love takes over, he will be 2 years into the rookie deal and will have limited NFL experience. The raw talent is visible in Love, who has a lively arm, but the interception to touchdown ratio from last season can’t be ignored. His decision-making and pocket presence need work too.
Day 2 Value: Josiah Deguara wins this category by default because the A.J. Dillon pick in Round 2 was completely baffling. Deguara should contribute heavily in certain situations. He is a large man to bring down but limited in what he offers.
Day 3 Sleeper: Jake Hanson was part of the excellent Oregon offensive Line and should find a roster spot backing up Cory Linsley at center. He played for all 4 years of his tenure at Oregon and will provide depth and offers versatility along the Offensive Line
Overall: As I said in my mock draft analysis, Green Bay has players to play receiver but outside of Adams they are all big bodied types, who can’t separate. Instead, they win at the catch high point. In a deep and talent rich class, you’d expect them to take one. But then, they take a mid-round, limited running back and Aaron Rodgers’ premature replacement with their first two picks? I like some of the depth picks but Green Bay did not help their team win in 2020-21. C- grade for me
I may be biased, but I feel the Vikings won the draft. I expect us to compete for the Division next season with the Packers and a resurgent Lions team. I was also pleased to get another question answered, whilst watching the draft. Is the pencil surgically attached to Matt Patricia’s ear…… Yes…….Yes it is.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to interact on anything Vikings or draft related: @kevinsayer | Stats taken from:
Draft value consensus taken from https://grindingthemocks.shinyapps.io/Dashboard/
Kev | Minnesota Sports Fan