The Minnesota Vikings continue their defensive revamp during the 2022 NFL Draft. In the 3rd round last night Brian Asamoah was selected by the Vikings at pick 66. Asamoah plays inside linebacker and stands 6’1″ and weighs in at 222 pounds. Asamoah ranked in the upper 20’s from NFL scouts at the linebacker position but has potential upside. While as an overall recruiting prospect Asamoah landed in the 40s. Many people thought he could go in the fourth round, but there was always the possibility of him going a bit sooner depending on team needs.
Leading The Sooners Defense
After completely dominating in High School as a running back (1,697 rushing yards/18 touchdowns) and as a linebacker (36 tackles), Asamoah headed to Oklahoma as a full-time backer. Asamoah redshirted year one but after that, the Sooners’ defense was his to lead. In 2020, he lead the team with 66 total tackles.
Despite only starting in nine games of 11, he also had two sacks. As a Junior, Asamoah started in 10 games and again lead the team in total tackles with 90. A nice increase from the previous season. After making it to the semi-finals for the Butkus Award, Asamoah would declare for the NFL Draft.
Once A Sooner, Now A Viking
Now that Asamoah has been drafted by the Vikings let’s see what he brings to the table. You know the stats as mentioned above, but what does it all mean? The Vikings have their exterior linebackers ready, as well as their leader in the middle. There is always a need for more in a 3-4 defense and if they happen to get on a rotation, or even injured. There is nothing wrong with depth.
Asamoah displayed great bursts of speed in college and was able to fill gaps and get into the backfield. Not only did he lead that defense in tackles in Oklahoma but the players looked to him for advice in the defensive huddle. His vision and ability to watch a play develop helped lead the defense in tackles. If you can see where a play is going, you’re obviously a step ahead in making a tackling decision. That is a key aspect of an inside backer position, and once the Vikings can help utilize Eric Kendricks.
Asamoah does have work to do to a certain extent. Many scouts saw him as needing to pack on some power to his resume to be a solid NFL linebacker. If he is going to get into the backfield or bust through an NFL offensive line, muscle and power is a must. He is excellent at working the field laterally, but if he can’t help get through the line and even avoid blocks then those running lanes will be open.
He has a great group of linebackers and defensive players to learn from. It will be a fun transition for him. As a Vikings fan, you should be excited to see what he can pick up and bring to the table.