NFL Draft Insiders
The 2017 NFL draft is over, and it's time to review how your favorite team fared. Where did it reach? Did it get a potential steal in Round 5? Is there a bust waiting to happen?
ESPN Insider's draft experts break down each draft class, starting with Mel Kiper Jr.'s grade, Todd McShay's favorite pick, and Scouts Inc.'s analysis on how each player fits into his new team.
Mel Kiper's Draft Grade: B+
Kiper: I think everyone who watched the Vikings last season knows their offensive line was a disaster. They addressed that need in free agency at a premium price with tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, and getting Pat Elflein, my No. 1 center, at pick No. 70 was solid. I wonder if he could play guard next to Joe Berger, too. Dalvin Cook dropped a little throughout the pre-draft process, but he's a home run threat and will help out in the passing game, too. He had 40 total touchdowns over the past two seasons. Those are big shoes to fill to replace future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings now have the trio of Cook, Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon fill that hole. The only quibble with these is that Minnesota traded up for both, though it did pick up another fourth-rounder with the Chiefs.
Jaleel Johnson, an interior pass-rusher, and inside linebacker Ben Gedeon were both value picks in the fourth round. I liked 6-foot-6 tight end Bucky Hodges in the sixth round as a pass-catcher with upside. Stacy Coley and Rodney Adams both ran 4.45 40s at the combine.
|2/41||Dalvin Cook||RB||FLORIDA STATE|
|3/70||Pat Elflein||C||OHIO STATE|
|5/170||Rodney Adams||WR||SOUTH FLORIDA|
|6/201||Bucky Hodges||TE||VIRGINIA TECH|
|7/232||Elijah Lee||OLB||KANSAS STATE|
|7/245||Jack Tocho||CB||NC STATE|
Todd McShay's favorite pick
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (No. 41 pick)
Cook fell to the second round amid concerns over his durability and who he surrounds himself with off the field. But the Vikings did well to take a chance on Cook (our No. 17 overall player) in the second round, even if they had to trade up to do it. (GM Rick Spielman was able to recoup the fourth-rounder they gave up in the Cook trade later on in a different deal.) Minnesota averaged a league-low 3.17 yards per carry last season, but Cook, who is a true three-down back, should help rectify that. He had 18 touches of 25 yards or more in 2016, tied for first among all Power 5 RBs.
Scouts Inc. on 2017 class
2 (9) Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State | Highlights
What he brings: Cook is the most natural runner of running back class. He is elusive, has outstanding vision and patience and acceleration out of cuts, as well as bringing quality versatility in the passing game. Durability and ball security are slight concerns. -- Kevin Weidl
How he fits: With the addition of Cook, the Vikings continue to look to fill the void left by Adrian Peterson. Cook is the most natural runner in the class and adds a big-play element to the backfield. In addition, they signed RB Latavius Murray in free agency, which provides a safety net for Cook's durability and ball security concerns. -- Kevin Weidl
3 (6) Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State | Highlights
What he brings: Elflein, who is the top-ranked center on our board, is on the smaller side. He doesn't have great athletic ability, but he has the length, toughness and smarts to be a Day 1 starter at center. He's also versatile enough to line up at guard. -- Steve Muench
How he fits: Minnesota needed to address its interior offensive line, and Elflein is an excellent value at this point in the draft, as he's the best center on our board. Look for him to compete for and win a starting spot at one of the interior offensive line positions for the Vikings. -- Steve Muench
4 (2) Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa | Highlights
What he brings: Johnson didn't test as well as expected at the combine, but what shows on tape is that he's an effective run-stopper with above-average initial quickness. He is one of the most explosive interior pass-rushers in this 2017 class. -- Steve Muench
4 (14) Ben Gedeon, ILB, Michigan | Highlights
What he brings: Gedeon possesses fast eyes and quick recognition skills as a run-defender to go along with quality awareness in coverage. He has some physical limitations that may prevent him from becoming a full-time starter, but he's capable of contributing as a backup linebacker and core special teams player. -- Kevin Weidl
5 (27) Rodney Adams, WR, South Florida
What he brings: Adams needs to add strength and more polish as a route runner but he has explosive speed and brings big-play upside. He provides added help as a returner where he could replace Cordarrelle Patterson who departed in free agency for Oakland. -- Steve Muench
5 (37) Danny Isidora, OG, Miami
What he brings: Isadora has the size, tenacity and enough power to develop into an adequate reserve, but he needs to play with better pad level and is a liability in pass protection. -- Kevin Weidl
6 (17) Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech | Highlights
What he brings: Hodges showcased his rare natural ability at the combine and flashes the potential to develop into a difference-maker in the passing game. However, his tape doesn't always match up with his talent, and he's one of the bigger boom-or-bust prospects in the 2017 class. -- Steve Muench
7 (1) Stacy Coley, WR, Miami
What he brings: Coley has the speed, athleticism and ball skills to develop into a dangerous slot receiver and return man if he gets stronger and improves his route-running skills. His work ethic and football character have been questioned though, so he may never realize his upside. -- Steve Muench
7 (2) Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE, Northwestern
What he brings: Odenigbo lacks ideal length and needs to get stronger at the point of attack to become an every-down player. He can be a help in pass-rushing situations; he flashes good quickness off the edge. -- Kevin Weidl
7 (14) Elijah Lee, OLB, Kansas State
What he brings: He has above-average athleticism and range as a finesse linebacker in space but becomes far less effective when forced to play in tight quarters. He needs to continue to add bulk and improve strength, but he has the potential to add depth as weakside linebacker in a base 4-3 scheme and contribute on special teams. -- Kevin Weidl
7 (27) Jack Tocho, CB, NC State
What he brings: A team captain who graduated in three years, Tocho has enough length and top-end speed to provide depth in a press-heavy scheme. -- Steve Muench
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