Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Minnesota has selected will fit.
Round 1, No. 32 overall: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
My take: There's no way to round off this edge. The Vikings didn't get the kind of slam-dunk value you would hope to get in exchange for trading down 20 spots in the first round. They in essence swapped first- and second-round picks with the Lions, going from No. 12 to No. 32 in the first and from No. 46 to No. 34 in the second, in exchange for an early pick in the third round (No. 66 overall). Ultimately, new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided he was better off making the deal than turning it down, even if it wasn't a rout on any trade charts. In the process, he passed at No. 12 on a higher-regarded safety in Notre Dame's Kyle Hamilton. If nothing else, Adofo-Mensah left a clear trail for second-guessing his first-ever draft pick.
Cine's versatility could be key: The Vikings seemed set to move forward with Harrison Smith and Cam Bynum as their starting safeties this season. Would Cine have to beat out one of them to get on the field? Both Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O'Connell suggested there could be ways to get all three of them on the field at the same time. Cine played 605 snaps at safety last season for Georgia but added 110 as a slot cornerback and another 61 as a linebacker. In other words, Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell has a chance to be creative if he wants to be.
Trading in the division: Adofo-Mensah acknowledged he thought twice about trading with the Lions, an NFC North foe. Ultimately, though, he decided the Vikings would have a better chance for a good outcome by making the deal. "But we really looked at it as, 'Hey, what is your outcome if you do this trade, versus what is your outcome if you stay and pick?'" he said. The Lions got a pretty formidable receiver in the deal, Alabama's Jameson Williams, while we'll have to wait until Friday to see the Vikings' full return. It's also possible that the Lions could have made a deal with another team, Adofo-Mensah said, allowing them to get Williams without the Vikings picking up any additional picks.
Round 2, No. 42 overall: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
Andrew Booth's NFL draft profile
Check out some highlights from cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. during his time at Clemson.
My take: It might have been the biggest positional need for the Vikings, and Booth will have a chance to step in right away for major playing time, if not as a starter. But first Booth will have to prove he can stay healthy. He had surgery to repair a torn patella tendon in 2020, and he didn't participate in workouts at the combine or Clemson's pro day because of a core muscle injury. That's a pretty long list of injuries for a second-round pick, and something to genuinely be concerned about, but senior football advisor Ryan Grigson said Booth is a "tough, tough kid."
Round 2, No. 59 overall: Ed Ingram, G, LSU
Ed Ingram's NFL draft profile
Check out Ed Ingram's best moments from his stellar collegiate career at LSU.
My take: On the positive side, Ingram is a big (6-foot-3, 315 pounds) and experienced guard, which helps address one of the Vikings' biggest positions of need. He will have a good chance to compete for a starting job right away. Ezra Cleveland is slated to start at one guard spot, but the other is wide open. However, new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah went out on a limb to make this selection. Ingram was arrested in 2018 on two counts of aggravated sexual assault and was suspended for all of 2018 and part of 2019 until the charges were dropped. The allegations were serious, and the ability of the Vikings' front office to vet him properly will be scrutinized.
Round 3, No. 66 overall: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
Brian Asamoah's NFL draft profile
Check out the highlights from Oklahoma's talented linebacker Brian Asamoah.
My take: At first glance, the Vikings got a player who projects as a part-time nickel linebacker. To be clear, that's an important role in today's game, given how often offenses are in three-receiver sets, and Asamoah is built to function well in that role. He's fast (4.56 in the 40-yard dash) and was a hitting machine at Oklahoma, leading them in tackles over the past two seasons. But at 6-foot and 220 pounds, he's a bit undersized to be a full-time player in a 3-4 scheme. Should a team expect to get a full-time starter in the third round? Not necessarily. But Asamoah has a chance to be on the field a lot as a rookie, even if he never starts a game.
Round 4, No. 118 overall: Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
My take: The Vikings have smartly recognized that their need at cornerback extended beyond one player. So even after taking Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr. in the second round, they moved up to grab Evans. He offers a different body type at 6-foot-2. It's hard to project a fourth-round pick as a likely contributor in his rookie season, but Evans will help the Vikings build their depth at the position.
Round 5, No. 165 overall: Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota
Esezi Otomewo's NFL draft profile
Check out some of the biggest stops of DE Esezi Otomewo's college career.
My take: If anything, this part in the draft was a little late to start building depth at the edge position. You could argue the Vikings are set at outside linebacker in their new 3-4 scheme, with Danielle Hunter on one side and newcomer Za'Darius Smith on the other. But both players are returning from significant injuries, and counting on them both to play a full season might be optimistic. Otomewo has some burst but by the time you get to Round 5, the starting-caliber prospect group is usually picked clean. Perhaps he could fit as a defensive end rather than an outside linebacker.
Round 5, No. 165 overall: Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
My take: This is exactly where you would want a team to acquire a running back, a position where talent and playmaking ability can be stacked fairly horizontally. In this case, the Vikings got one who will force defenses to account for him and his 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash. There is plenty of tape showing what he did when he got to the second level during a college career at Tennessee and North Carolina. With Dalvin Cook entering his sixth season and backup Alexander Mattison one year away from free agency, this was a strong selection.
Round 6, No. 184 overall: Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
My take: If you are about measurables in offensive linemen, this is your guy. If you were building a left tackle, you would want him to look like Vederian Lowe. At 6-foot-6 and with arm length of 35 3/8th, he has the body type to ward off pass-rushers. But body type is only part of the picture, of course, and on this team, at least, Lowe projects as a backup.
Round 6, No. 191 overall: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
My take: The Vikings waited a long time to get in on what was projected to be a very deep receiver class. On the one hand, they are fairly set at the top of their depth chart with Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn. On the other hand, Thielen is coming off surgery and will turn 32 this summer. Regardless, Nailor is likely to be a player who needs time to work his way into that conversation.
Round 7, No. 227: Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina
My take: Muse generated some attention at the East-West Shrine Bowl with some pass-catching skills that suggested he could be more than a 260-pound blocking tight end. But it's fair to look at the Vikings' relative inattention to the position during the draft as an indication that they feel comfortable with the return of Irv Smith Jr., and plan to use free agent Johnny Mundt as his backup.