The NFL Draft concluded on April 25 after an exciting three days and seven rounds took place.
There was no surprise on April 23 as to who the first two players off the board were going to be. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow went No. 1 to the Cincinnati Bengals and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young fell to the Washington Redskins.
The Detroit Lions took cornerback Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 pick and that was the first time in history that three players from the same school at one point were selected with the first three picks.
The Minnesota Vikings had a great draft, filling their needs and making several trades. At one point they had 17 picks, but after some smart moves, general manager Rick Spielman came out with a team-record 15 picks. Eventually he started making moves for future picks and the Vikings now had 12 for the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the 22nd pick in the draft, Minnesota was able to land wide receiver Justin Jefferson from Louisiana State University. Jefferson had no business falling into their laps this deep in the first round, but they will gladly take him. Jefferson should be Stefon Digg’s replacement and will fill that role nicely after raking up 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns his junior year.
Minnesota took cornerback Jeff Gladney from Texas Christian University with the 31st pick after trading back in the draft from 25. Gladney was a great pickup and was rated the No. 2 corner in the draft by some experts. He should help with losing Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander.
In the second round, Minnesota landed a player that was mocked to go in the first round, tackle Ezra Cleveland.
Some other picks the Vikings selected were cornerback Cameron Dantzler, edge D.J. Wonnum, defensive Tackle James Lynch, linebacker Troy Dye, cornerback Harrison Hand, wide receiver K.J. Osborn, guard Blake Brandel, safety Josh Metelius, defensive end Kenny Willekes, quarterback Nate Stanley, safety Brian Cole II and guard Kyle Hinton.
After what looked like an offseason in which the Vikings would be going into a rebuild soon, Spielman and the team made a quick turnaround on draft night that should keep them competitive this season.
Header photo: LSU quarterback Joe Burrow throws a pass against Clemson during the second half of the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game on Jan. 13, 2020 in New Orleans. The Cincinnati Bengals chose Burrow with the first pick in the NFL draft Thursday, April. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)