Kwesi Adofo- Mensah’s first Vikings draft started with an epic trade down with division rival Detroit Lions. Then followed with another In-division trade with the Packers. Kwesi ended up making six trades overall in three days. Minnesota took 10 players in seven rounds.
The Vikings improved quantity-wise from eight to 10 selections. Weeks after the draft the 10 players won’t be the only players connected to this for years to come. Trading down from their first two spots within the division can haunt them. It’s what comes with the price of trading within the division.
“I’m not dumb. I know every touchdown catch [Williams] scores against us, TV will show me or show my name. That’s life. If my feelings are going to get in the way of us making decisions to improve the team, I shouldn’t be in this seat. I made the decision because I’m in charge… “according to Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Peter Kings this week’s Football Morning in America.
Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Williams was taken by the Detroit Lions at 12 after they traded up for him from 32. The Lions gave up 32,34 and 66 while getting 12 and 46 from Minnesota. Moving up 20 spots and not giving up anymore is a huge win for Detroit. Going up and getting their guy without mortgaging the future. The Lions are still in rebuild mode and do not have high expectations. With two first-rounders next drafts, they have the ammunition to move up and get the top quarterback. They can also have a bad season without any pressure and good QB prospect will fall into their laps.
Williams will be linked to the Vikes because they traded the pick to the Lions and will have to face him twice a year. Coming into the draft the Vikings’ defense was the worse unit and had the most holes. Only adding veteran free agent guards to the offensive line was the only addition they made for the offense. So why does it matter if they passed on Williams? This was an opportunity to add a game-changer to an already good offense. Adam Thielen is coming off ankle surgery and will be 32 for the season. Vikings are one injury away again from Jefferson or Thielen being double covered every play. Vikings should have given themselves more insurance for the present and future.
Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
Hamilton was viewed as the best safety during the draft process. From being mocked as high as second in the mock drafts. Bring called a unicorn for being 6’4 with tremendous range and smarts. Hamilton falling to 12 would have never been on anyone’s radar until a few weeks before the draft. This fall was expected after Hamilton ran a 4.6 40-yard dash at the Combine and then a 4.55 at his pro day. These numbers are considered slow for defensive backs. Still, Hamilton had one of the best tapes of the draft and résumés. Still, after his slow 40 Hamilton’s athletic score was a 9.30 out of 10 according to rasfootball.
The Norte Dame product will be followed by the Vikings fans for eternity because Minnesota took the same position at a much lower selection. The Vikings draft board must not have been high on Hamilton compared to the rest of the media. The Vikings took Lewis Cine at 32 who wasn’t seen as a much prominent prospect. All notable draft analysts had Hamilton the top safety in his class and then a fall off to Cine. This selection comes down to the Vikings passing up on the consensus number one safety at 12 and taking the second-best at 32. Was the trading down too pretty and overthinking? The Vikings could have filled the hole without giving the Lions their WR in Jameson Williams. Yes, they gained the extra picks but then went on to trade those with the Packers and then trade up.
Christian Watson, Wide Reciever, NDSU
Green Bay Packers came into the draft with one of the worst wide receiver rooms in the league. They needed to replenish it after the draft. After a WR run in the first round, the Packers didn’t get the chance to take the WR they wanted in the first round. They opted to take linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt both from Georgia. The hole left by trading Devante Adams and letting Marquez Valdes-Scantling walk in free agency was still there after day one of the drafts.
At pick 34 the Vikings were sitting ready to make a pick or trade out. The Packers came calling and offered picks 53 and 59 to the Vikes for 34. First-year Gm Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took the deal and traded it down for the second consecutive time. Green Bay took 6’4 208 lb Wr from NDSU Christian Watson. Watson ran a blazing fast 4.36 40 and leaped 38.5 inches high. Watson is out on a show at the combine following up on his great Senior Bowl performance. Minnesota got tremendous value in the trade and won it on paper. What comes with it is knowing you gave your rivals a chance to fill their biggest need with your pick. Knowing you have a hall of fame QB Aaron Rodgers is another weapon to use on his journey to win a Super Bowl. If this pick hits for green-bay it can help boost the offense and keep it running like Adams never left.
All these trades marked a new time in Minnesota. Kwesi is going to wheel and deal and do it with confidence. He does have the experience as he was a trader on Wall Street. Kwesi understands what comes with the risk of trades and the rewards. If you don’t agree with the trades whether it’s from the charts saying they lost or passing on your favorite prospect. We need to admire the grit and no fear attitude the new regime is showing. They are going make trades with whoever they want and are going to have faith and believe in their team every time.