Minnesota Vikings: Grading Each Pick Of The 2015 NFL Draft
1 (11): Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
The Vikings selected a long, sticky cover corner in Xavier Rhodes in the first round two years ago, and now they get a guy like just him. Trae Waynes has good length at 6-foot-1 and is both strong and fast. The issues with him is that he played too physical at times and did not seem quick enough to keep up with the shiftier receivers. However, he definitely has what it takes to make a living as a perimeter corner, he will just need to play more disciplined. If he lives up to expectations and Rhodes continues to get better, the Vikings could sport one of the best secondaries in the league.
2 (13): Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
Eric Kendricks was considered the best inside linebacker by many, as his combination of athleticism and instincts make for a quality starter in the NFL. He is a bit small, both in height and weight, but he has everything else you want in a linebacker. Paired with last year's first-round pick, Anthony Barr, the Vikings have one of the most athletic backer duos.
3 (24): Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU
Danielle Hunter is as raw as they come, but his ceiling makes him difficult to pass up towards the middle of the draft. He is extremely athletic and has great size, and the presence of Everson Griffin, Brian Robison, and Scott Crichton means that he will not be rushed onto the field. Given a few years to develop, he can become one of the more dangerous edge threats in the league. However, they passed on receiver and guard to get him.
4 (11): T.J. Clemmings - OT, Pittsburgh
While injuries are a concern for the Pittsburgh tackle, this was a great pick for the Vikings. In the fourth round, where few starters are drafted, T.J. Clemmings comes at a great value. Outside of his foot, his biggest flaw is how raw he is on the field. The Vikings have two entrenched starters at the position though, Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt, so Clemmings will not be expected to jump in anytime soon. Kalil has had some struggles, but it looks like Clemmings will be Loadholt's replacement, as the 29-year-old tackle is unlikely to re-sign with the team after the two years left on his contract expire.
5 (7): MyCole Pruitt - TE, Southern Illinois
Rhett Ellison is a good blocking tight end and will likely keep his job as the number two guy. Kyle Rudolph though, has been mediocre outside of his 2012 season, when he recorded career highs in receptions (53), yards (493), and touchdowns (nine). In his three other seasons, Rudolph has totaled just 80 receptions for 793 yards and eight touchdowns. MyCole Pruitt is a shorter tight end, measuring in at just 6-foot-2, but he is 251 pounds, a capable blocker, and possessing the traits of a quality pass catching tight end. The knocks on him are his lacking level of physicality and his inconsistent play. As a fifth-round pick, he will not be expected to overtake Rudolph as the team's top tight end threat, but he is capable of that.
5 (10): Stefon Diggs - WR, Maryland
Stefon Diggs does not have the physical traits to match up outside, but he is more than capable of being a weapon in the slot. He possesses more than enough quickness to create separation in the NFL while he has good hands and after-the-catch ability. He is unlikely to make an impact in his rookie year, with a solid receiver in Jarius Wright likely to keep the starting job for his contract year. He will however, be expected to replace Wright in his sophomore season. By then his routes and style of play should improve. Injuries could be a concern for him, but he will not see the high volume he did in college, with other playmakers on the team.
6 (9): Tyrus Thompson - OT, Oklahoma
Tyrus Thompson is an athletic player, having more than enough athleticism to play tackle in the NFL. What he lacks though, and is the reason he was a sixth-round pick, is technique and good playing strength. Thompson was often sloppy on the field and despite his size was overpowered by some linemen. He is unlikely to make it as a starter in this league, but with is athleticism, teams will definitely see him as a quality backup if he can play smarter and harder.
6 (17): B.J. Dubose - DE, Louisville
At 284 pounds, B.J. Dubose is a smaller guy and is thus a little quicker than most interior linemen. He has decent strength for his size, but he will get bullied in the running game from the inside and is not good enough as a rusher to play outside. He will likely be a backup and special teamer for the Vikings.
7 (11): Austin Shepherd - OT, Alabama
Austin Shepherd's physical traits are just average, but he has a lot more technique than some of the guys drafted ahead of him. Many do not see him as having starting potential due his lacking overall game, but he can be a quality backup.
7 (15): Edmond Robinson - OLB, Newberry
Edmond Robinson has the explosiveness of a quality pass rusher, but nothing else. He is a raw, low-level school prospect that lacks the strength or overall size to hold up as a starter in the NFL. He can and will need to add weight, but he could lose some of his burst in the process. He may be able to contribute as a situational pass rusher, but he is likely just a special teamer at this point.