2022 NFL Draft: Grades for Lewis Cine and Every Other Minnesota Vikings Pick

The Minnesota Vikings entered the offseason in dire need of support at cornerback, and that need didn’t change heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. Patrick Peterson is a big name with eight Pro Bowl selections under his belt, but he’ll also be 32 years old at the start of the season and has declined rapidly in the last few years. Pairing him with Cameron Dantzler and Chandon Sullivan is a recipe for more unkind words from fans.

Most of the other needs fell on defense, as well. 

The Vikings lost significant depth at linebacker this offseason, and they could stand to make improvements at safety. Plus, the offense is locked and loaded with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison at running back as Kirk Cousins — still effective even if you have to live with some letdowns — tosses the pigskin to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. 

2022 NFL Draft picks by Minnesota Vikings

  • No. 32 Overall: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
  • No. 42 Overall: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
  • No. 59 Overall: Ed Ingram, OG LSU
  • No. 66 Overall: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
  • No. 118 Overall: Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
  • No. 165 Overall: Esezi Otomewo, DL, Minnesota
  • No. 169 Overall: Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
  • No. 184 Overall: Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
  • No. 191 Overall: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
  • No. 227 Overall: Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina

No. 32 Overall: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

Minnesota Vikings draft pick, S Lewis Cine, is the team's top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine | Mike Calendrillo/Sportscasting

The Minnesota Vikings needed a cornerback more than anything else, but they smartly traded out of No. 12 and will have to address that later. For now, they got an excellent defensive back and team leader in Georgia safety Lewis Cine. The former Bulldogs DB is 6-foot-2, 199-pounds but plays much bigger. He is a downhill banger who is going to set the tone for the new Purple People Eaters. Cine is also the type of player who can replace Harrison Smith both on the field and in the locker room as soon as 2023. For now, Cine makes a good partner for him.

Grade: B+

No. 42 Overall: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson

The Minnesota Vikings need a cornerback badly but missed out on the top group after repeatedly trading back in Round 1 and early Round 2. Those moves paid off when the Vikes drafted Andrew Booth. He’s a first-round talent but has had knee issues ever since having Osgood-Schlatter Disease as a kid. If his knees hold up, Minnesota got a steal and a lot of extra draft capital in the process.

Grade: B+

No. 59 Overall: Ed Ingram, OG, LSU

The Vikings need some depth at guard, especially if last year’s third-round pick Wyatt Davis doesn’t pan out. That said, there are some better guards on the board right now than Ingram. This was a reach.

Grade: C

No. 66 Overall: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma

Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah is a sideline-to-sideline tackler who has good speed and can bring down offensive players all over the field. He’s a little undersized at 6-foot, 226-pounds, but he’s athletic enough to make up for it. The only thing that knocks this pick down from a B+ is that Georgia LB Nakobe Dean is a better player, fits the same profile, and is still on the board.

Grade: B

Day 3 Picks

No. 118 Overall: Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri

The size (6-foot-2, 197-pounds) and measurables are good on Evans. However, he has a pretty rough injury history. The Vikings do need to load up on corners but there are better, safer options on the board at this point and Minnesota traded up to make this pick.

Grade: C+

No. 165 Overall: Esezi Otomewo, DL, Minnesota

Otomewo is a big defensive end at 6-foot-5, 282-pounds who will play end and tackle and allow new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell play multiple fronts. He’ll mostly be an early-down rotation player but he has the physical traits to become more if the Vikings develop him right.

Grade: C+

No. 169 Overall: Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina

Chandler is a solidly built running back with 4.38-second 40 speed. He’s not an every-down back but the 5-foot-11, 204-pound back is an excellent pass-catcher and can return kicks, too. The former Tar Heel will be a nice compliment for Dalvin Cook.

Grade: B

No. 184 Overall: Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois

Lowe is a high-character player with some upside and versatility. He can play tackle or guard and should be a good backup at worst.

Grade: B

No. 191 Overall: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State

The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Nailor plays with impressive speed and was a high school track star but injuries have taken their toll. He’s a very skilled receiver but one of the most important abilities in the NFL is availability and Nailor never provided that in four years of college.

Grade: C

No. 227 Overall: Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina

Muse is a big, athletic tight end with decent production in college. He could become a solid TE2 in time.

Grade: C+

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Related: Justin Jefferson Reveals Why He Likes New Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell Better Than Mike Zimmer: ‘You Know He’ll Play Music in the Locker Room’