Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs 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: G Danny Isidora, Miami
Danny Isidora offers a balanced skill set as a sound pass blocker, run blocker, and player in space. He does have some minor technical issues to clean up. Isidora wins with good levels of power throughout his frame and especially in his punch, as he can jolt pads and win reps early. He effectively times his punch and controls blocks with his hands. As a pass blocker, Isidora has good foot speed and awareness, and is able to keep the quarterback clean. A factor in space, Isidora can be trusted as lead blocker to execute his blocks.
Isidora does have some issues with body control as a result of his base widening, which makes it difficult to redirect his weight and leads to lunging. I believe this can get cleaned up and that Isidora has the upside to start in the NFL.
Worst Value: LB Ben Gedeon, Michigan
Ben Gedeon profiles as an inside linebacker at the next level, where his physical presence in middle of the defense and natural feel for sniffing out inside run plays can be best utilized. Gedeon does well to greet ball carriers in the hole and plug blockers back into gaps when faced head on. He can cover short zones and has achieved success as a blitzer. Gedeon does lack lateral fluidity to make contributions in man coverage or into the boundary. Additionally, his hands are active in pursuit, but he easily get sealed and must improve his ability to deal with angular blocks.
Gedeon has been a proven special teams performer at Michigan in every season, and that will be his calling-card at the next level, while providing depth at linebacker.
Could Surprise: LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State
Elijah Lee projects as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 alignment, wherein he offers true three-down ability. Lee offers the range to flow from sideline to sideline and make plays. He takes good angles to the football and plays with active hands when navigating through traffic. Against the run, Lee closes down windows in a hurry and has great closing burst once he commits. Against the pass, Lee is a smooth mover in space with good awareness and can run into space in man coverage.
Lee does have some mental processing issues, and his tackling technique in space needs work. Lee’s year-one projection is a high-end special teams contributor and reserve on defense, but he has the upside to start by year three.