Over the course of May, both Joe Marino and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Minnesota Vikings.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|41||RB||Dalvin Cook||Florida State|
|70||G||Pat Elflein||Ohio State|
|170||WR||Rodney Adams||Central Florida|
|201||WR||Bucky Hodges||Virginia Tech|
|232||LB||Elijah Lee||Kansas State|
|245||CB||Jack Tocho||North Carolina State|
Best Value: LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State
The obvious answer here was the Vikings landing Dalvin Cook at 41, thirty something spots lower than I had him on my draft board. But even I weighted all the picks according to importance, Lee comes out as the BEST value comparing where I slotted him and where he went. Lee can scoot and went under the radar through the draft process due to not being invited to the NFL Combine.
But when you watch Lee play the game, he’s an impressive product. Big, lean, long and explosive. Whatever else may be going on under the surface with Elijah Lee that caused him to slip not withstanding, he’s instantly a tantalizing addition to a super athletic LB group already with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr (both of whom were top 15 players on respective draft boards in my assessments).
Worst Value: LB Ben Gedeon, Michigan
It turns out Gedeon is a better athlete than I considered him to be; yet I’m still left with the impression that he’s not a notable playmaker. Too frequently he’s just off the scent of the play and as a result misses the chance to finish splash plays.
Gedeon was a reach of over 100 selections in line with my personal draft selections this year, so it felt like a wasted opportunity to add a more high end impact and reliable player on either side of the football.
Could Surprise: OL Pat Elflein, Ohio State
If Lee was a grand slam and Dalvin Cook was a home run, the Pat Elflein pick was a two run walk off. The Vikings by and large crushed this draft. For a team that needed offensive line help, they managed to land my top rated interior offensive lineman and a top 15 overall player at 70.
Elflein should be a plug and play piece that instantly stabilizes the offensive interior and helps to ease the transition from Adrian Peterson to Dalvin Cook.