Draftseason’s Draft Grade A Day is back! This is where we look at each team’s 2019 Draft class and grade it based on PRODUCTION ONLY! Points will be awarded per round and the scale is determined on the expectation of the round the pick was made. Fractional points are given out as well as bonus points for any player who outplayed their Draft ranking. We will add up the total points to determine the final grade. We started with the Arizona Cardinals who had the first pick in 2019 and will work our way up.
Grading Scale: (total possible per round)
Round 1 – 5 points
Round 2 – 4 points
Round 3 – 3 points
Round 4 – 2 points
Round 5 – 1 point
Round 6 & 7 – 0 points
Pick: C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
Analysis: Bradbury started all 18 games for the Vikings this season. His pass protection needs work, but his run blocking was pretty great overall.
Pick: TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
Analysis: Irv caught 36 balls for 311 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not bad when you consider all the mouths Kirk Cousins had to feed targets to this season.
Pick: RB Alexander Mattison, Boise St.
Analysis: Mattison ran for 426 yards and 1 touchdown. He caught 10 passes for 82 yards and proved to be a viable relief runner for Dalvin Cook.
Pick: G Dru Samia, Oklahoma
Analysis: Samia was active for just 2 games, which was surprising after the preseason buzz that surrounded him.
Pick: LB Cameron Smith, USC
Analysis: Smith was on and off the team and ended up with just 8 tackles on the season.
Analysis: Round 6
Pick: DT Armon Watts, Arkansas
Analysis: Watts only played in 7 games but had 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks, and the Vikings should be excited about his potential.
Analysis: Round 6
Pick: S Marcus Epps, Wyoming
Analysis: Epps didn’t do much for the Vikings and is now on the Eagles. The team has changed but his lack of production has remained consistent.
Analysis: Round 6
Pick: OT Oli Udoh, Elon
Analysis: Udoh was a project in year one, and only saw action in one game.
Pick: CB Kris Boyd, Texas
Analysis: Boyd got progressively better as the season went on. He developed into a solid special teamer, and flashed potential as a corner, with 22 tackles.
Pick: WR Dillon Mitchell, Oregon
Analysis: Mitchell made the practice squad, but isn’t guaranteed anything moving forward.
Pick: WR Bisi Johnson, Colorado St.
Analysis: Bisi Johnson was a huge steal for the Vikings. He worked his way into becoming the team’s no. 3 wide receiver and had 31 receptions for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Pick: LS Austin Cutting, Air Force
Analysis: Cutting earned the Vikings long snapping job and played in every single game. That’s a great value from what many thought to be a throwaway pick at the end of the Draft.
FINAL GRADE & ANALYSIS
Final Grade: 12.75/12
Rick Spielman and the Vikings front office nailed their 2019 Draft class. They got production from all levels from their first pick down to their very last. Center Garrett Bradbury started every game for the Vikings and while he had his struggles in pass protection, his run blocking was very good. He just needs to bulk up a bit and get a little stronger so he can better anchor in his second season. Second-round tight end Irv Smith Jr. showed what he can do as a pass-catcher. He had over 36 receptions and over 300 yards on the season. There were many times he was just an arm tackle away from breaking off a big gainer. He should be in line for a much bigger role next season. Third round running back Alexander Mattison was a surprising choice on Draft Day. Though it was evident why the Vikings took him on Day 2 after seeing him run. Mattison’s power, speed, and vision made him an excellent complement to Dalvin Cook and he ran for nearly 450 yards despite missing a handful of games. The Vikings got some production out of late picks too. 6th round defensive tackle Armon Watts proved to be a playmaker. He had 1.5 sacks in limited duty. They found their long snapper of the future in Austin Cutting who they took near the ass end of the Draft. Their biggest steal by far was seventh-round wide receiver, Bisi Johnson. Johnson slowly worked his way into the third receiver role for the Vikings. He doesn’t possess blazing speed or elite size but used his solid hands and precise route runner to earn Kirk Cousins’ trust and haul in over 30 balls for nearly 300 yards and 3 scores. The only misses in this class as far as year one goes were the team’s 4th and 5th round choices. Guard Dru Samia was getting a ton of buzz in OTAs and the preseason with his massive frame, but he was only active twice. Linebacker Cameron Smith was a fifth-round choice who didn’t really flash at all, and his future with the team is in doubt. Overall this is a very good Draft whose grade should hold steady over time.