Defensive line, Ohio State
Drafted: fourth round (102nd overall)
Holmes, the long-armed Ohio State defensive end, is another intriguing athlete for the Vikings defense. His 34-inch arms are just 1/4 inch shorter than defensive end Danielle Hunter. However, Holmes is about 30 pounds heavier than Hunter. So defensive tackle is in his future with the Vikings. He’ll need plenty of refining at his new position. Holmes wasn’t a standout for the Buckeyes, amassing 12 tackles for a loss and four sacks in two seasons as a contributor.
Tight end, Central Michigan
Drafted: fifth round (157th overall)
Conklin missed the first five games of his 2017 senior season because of a fractured foot, finishing with 35 catches for 505 yards in just eight games. He’s one of the draft’s most agile tight ends, posting top-five finishes in the three-cone drill (7.13), 20-yard shuttle (4.23) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.43) at the combine. At 6-3 and 254 pounds, he has the size and athleticism to be an all-around contributor for Vikings.
Drafted: fifth round (167th overall)
The Vikings traded up to draft a kicker in Daniel Carlson, the reigning SEC Special Teams Player of the Year. He has got a big leg, which Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer covets, having hit field goals from 55-plus yards in college. Carlson hit 4 of 8 attempts from beyond 50 yards last fall, when his career-low 74.2 field goal percentage was affected by three blocked kicks. Carlson will compete with incumbent kicker Kai Forbath for the job.
Guard, Appalachian State
Drafted: sixth round (213th overall)
A four-year starter at right guard, Gossett (6-5, 311 pounds) comes to the Vikings at a position of need. The retirement of Joe Berger this offseason means Gossett is in the mix for a spot on the Vikings’ regular season depth chart. Gossett made 46 straight starts at Appalachian State and got work at both left guard and center during the predraft process.
Defensive end, Tulane
Drafted: sixth round (218th overall)
Aruna is the latest hyper-athletic addition to the Vikings defensive line. He had a strong combine, measuring with massive hands (10 5/8”) and the top vertical (38.5”) and broad jump (128”) among all defensive linemen. He had his best year as a junior with 10 tackles for a loss and five sacks. The developmental addition could one day factor into the Vikings’ rotation.
Drafted: seventh round (225th overall)
Downs provides inside linebacker depth for the Vikings, who will be without reserve Kentrell Brothers at the start of the season due to a four-game suspension. Downs (6-3, 250 pounds) is coming off a season-ending injury that went undisclosed at Cal. He still finished with 65 tackles, second for the Bears, and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention.