Vikings score two of The Athletic’s best NFL Draft picks

NFL: MAY 10 Minnseota Vikings Rookie Camp

One obvious one, the other not so much

The superlatives continue to roll in for a few members of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2024 NFL Draft class as they take the field for their first official practices with the team.

Over at The Athletic, Nick Baumgardner and Scott Dochterman have of their favorite picks at each position, and two of the players that the Vikings selected in last month’s Draft appear on the list.

The first one is one that you might expect because he was selected in the first round, as Baumgardner (who handled the defensive picks for the list) cites the Vikings’ selection of Alabama edge defender Dallas Turner as one of his favorite selections.

The edge class was super interesting. It’s hard to disagree with Colts GM Chris Ballard when he says he got the most complete pass rusher in the draft, Laiatu Latu at No. 16 — Latu is the most polished pass rusher. But Turner has the type of true three-down potential everyone covets. He also has the athleticism that makes him extremely versatile. He’s just 21 years old, ran a 4.46 at the NFL Scouting Combine and jumped more than 40 inches. Even after posting 23.5 sacks in three years at Alabama, he has not played his best ball yet.

I know that we’ve pointed this out before, but a lot of the mock drafts leading into Draft weekend had Turner as the first defensive player off the board and, in a lot of cases, a Top 10 pick. That the Vikings managed to get him at #17 is a pretty darn good value based on that. People might not be completely thrilled with what the Vikings gave up to move up and get him, but if it works out the way it has the potential to that’s not going to matter.

The other pick was made by Dochterman, who handed the special teams selections (as well as the offense) on the list, and he likes the Vikings’ selection of Turner’s college teammate, kicker Will Reichard.

Reichard drilled all 55 extra points and 22 of 25 field goals for Alabama last year. He finished his college career the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader and heads to a place with perplexing (and perpetual) placekicking issues. Reichard has kicked in big games seemingly every week for five years, however, so the NFL won’t faze him. He doesn’t have to worry about the Minnesota cold, either.

I don’t know. . .if history is any indicator, the cold has been the last thing that Vikings’ kickers have really had to worry about over the years. Still, if Reichard can help stabilize the kicker position for the Vikings, I think fans of this team would appreciate it.

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Title: Vikings score two of The Athletic’s best NFL Draft picks
Author: Christopher Gates

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