2022 NFL draft: Round 1 grades for Vikings

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The first night of the 2022 NFL draft is in the books, and the Minnesota Vikings have managed to create more questions than answers.

First-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was expected to come into the draft with the mindset of maximizing his opportunities. The Vikings were clearly in a position to do so without any glaring holes on their roster.

Granted, they did need help in the secondary, but they hadn’t reached a point of desperation after signing cornerback Patrick Peterson to a contract extension and restructuring safety Harrison Smith’s deal.

So they traded to the back of the line in the first round and came away with former Georgia safety Lewis Cine for their troubles. Did they get enough value back for that decision?

Let’s get into it.

Vikings trade No. 12 and No. 46 picks to Detroit Lions for No. 32, 34 and 66 picks

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

This trade could come back to haunt the Vikings for years to come.

It’s frustrating enough that they would make a trade with an NFC North rival, but they also failed to get much value in the deal. They got pushed all the way to the end of the line on day one and watched as the top cornerbacks got taken off the board.

Meanwhile, the Lions moved and selected arguably the best receiver in the entire draft in former Alabama speedster Jameson Williams.

The Lions will have two chances every year to remind the Vikings of the mistake they made with Williams torching the same secondary that gave up the fifth-most passing yards last season.

At the very least, the Vikings should have fought to keep the No. 46 pick.

I don’t give out F grades here because judging a team this early in the process is always tricky business. But this might be as close as it gets.

Grade: D+

Vikings select Georgia safety Lewis Cine with No. 32 overall pick

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

This was a win for the Vikings after starting off on the wrong foot with the Lions trade.

Cine is a player capable of stepping into the defensive backfield and helping the team right away. He’s a versatile playmaker on the field and an absolute terror for opposing ball-carriers. This is not the guy you want to be coming face-to-face with in a phone booth.

He’s a thumper at safety with the feel in coverage to drop back and be effective in defending against the pass as well.

People undersold the Vikings’ need for a safety heading into this draft. Harrison Smith just turned 33 years old, and Camryn Bynum only started in three games as a rookie last season. The team was an injury away from big problems in the defensive backfield.

With Cine, they have a player that can help them in the present, while also setting themselves up nicely for the future.

Grade: A-

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