The 2021 Vikings went 8-9, not only missing the playoffs for the second straight year but posting their second consecutive losing season. In January, the team fired both head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman. Zimmer had just finished his eighth season as the head coach in Minnesota.
In February, the team announced former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell as their new HC, with Vikings owner Mark Wilf describing him as “a strong leader, an innovative coach and an excellent communicator.” O’Connell has a past history with Vikings QB Kirk Cousins after spending a year as the QB coach in Washington while Cousins was with the team in 2017. O’Connell got a vote of confidence from wide receiver Justin Jefferson in April. “Just for him to come in and be a laid-back coach ready to change the whole program and get us back on that winning stage,” Jefferson said. “We’re all excited. We’ve seen so many new faces in here, so many new coaches. We have so much potential on this team. We’re all ready to get this thing started back up.”
Minnesota signed veteran DE Za’Darius Smith, and Danielle Hunter is back on the roster, but defense is still likely to be a priority for the Vikings this draft. With the 12th overall pick, the Vikings could go after Georgia’s Devonte Wyatt, or could prioritize a corner like LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Vikings will get back Irv Smith Jr. at tight end. Smith had surgery to repair a torn meniscus last fall and missed the 2021 season, but even with him back in the lineup, Minnesota could look to add tight end talent in this draft class, especially after Tyler Conklin signed with the Jets in free agency. There isn’t necessarily a standout TE talent in this draft class, but the Vikings could use later-round picks on options like Nevada’s Cole Turner or Trey McBride from Colorado State.
Click here for the entire 2022 NFL Draft order and keep reading to see where the Vikings will be making picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Coverage of the latest news from around the NFL is available all year round on PFT’s Peacock channel.
Minnesota Vikings 2022 Draft Picks:
Round 1: No. 32 (from DET via LAR) – Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
Round 2: No. 42 (from IND via WAS) – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Round 2: No. 59 (from GB) – Ed Ingram, G, LSU
Round 3: No. 66 (from DET) – Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
Round 4: No. 118 (from CLE) – Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
Round 5: No. 165 (from LV) – Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota
Round 5: No. 169 (from TEN via LV) – Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
Round 6: No. 184 (from NYJ) – Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
Round 6: No. 191 (from BAL via KC) – Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
Round 7: No. 227 (from LV via CAR) – Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina
Check out draft picks for other teams in the NFC North