We’ll be chewing on the NFL draft for awhile, so it seems like a logical thing to provide some grades of the Vikings first-round picks as a way to aid that digestion.
Here are thoughts from around the nation by people who follow the draft closely. We encourage you to click on the links and read their full reviews.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports gave the Vikings at A for taking Justin Jefferson and a B for Jeff Gladney. About Jefferson, he wrote: “He's not (Stefon) Diggs, but he's also not going to complain every play like Diggs did. I thought he would go before this.”
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter gave the Vikings an A grade for the picks: About Gladney, he wrote: “They found a feisty corner in Gladney after trading back with the Niners, picking up fourth- and fifth-round selections to drop only six slots. He's a solid value at an important position.”
USA Today’s Luke Easterling gave both picks an A, saying this about Jefferson: “Kirk Cousins lost a polished pass-catcher in return for this pick, so it’s only right for his team to pay him back by filling that hole here.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News also gave both picks an A, pointing out that Jefferson’s skill set also includes speed that is sometimes overlooked.
Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports wasn’t overly impressed. He gave both picks a B grade: “Not wildly athletic or big, but Jefferson is a talented slot wide receiver for a team whose depth at that position had been pretty rough after the Stefon Diggs trade.” He called Gladney “a Mike Zimmer (cornerback)."
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report was the toughest of the evaluators, giving Jefferson a B+ and Gladney a B-. About Jefferson, he said: “He's a big dude who can be a load to bring down, but he is not elusive. Jefferson dragged a defender into the end zone against Oklahoma, and his ability to generate yards after contact results in lots of 5-to-7-yard gains on screens and short stuff.” On Gladney: “It’s another safe, prudent selection. The Vikings are going to ride all of these safe, prudent selections all the way to an 8-8 record. At best.”