lewis cine draft grades
lewis cine draft grades

The 2022 NFL draft is over and of course people are quick to judge how teams did with their selections.

Normally, you really need three or five years to grade a class (like we did here and here).

But who is kidding who — we all want to know what others think of the picks made by our favorite team now. And there are plenty people doing just this.

There were definitely differing opinions on the Minnesota Vikings’ draft class. We’ve included all the grades we could find – and added in appropriate comments – and tabulated the grade-point averages.

With that said, here’s this year’s draft grades for both individual players and the overall haul for the Vikings.

LEWIS CINE

Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “I projected Cine to the Vikings in Round 2 of my seven-round mock draft, so I wasn't surprised when they traded down and selected him at No. 32 overall. He'll play right away because he's a big hitter who can cover. Cine's size and athleticism allowed him to stay with receivers and tight ends on crossing routes and downfield; he'll serve as a much-needed nickel defender for Minnesota. New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah got excellent value in his deal with the Lions -- he moved up 12 picks in Round 2, added an early third-round selection (No. 66 overall) and landed an impact player in Cine, all for 20 spots in Round 1.”

Kevin Hanson of SI.com: B. “Cine is an outstanding athlete with good size who could be a long-term replacement for Harrison Smith. He ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the combine and led all safeties in the broad jump (11’1”). He’s a smart defender and sees the game well. Cine delivers some big hits in run support and is a reliable tackler in space with sideline-to-sideline range.”

Danny Kelly of The Ringer: B. “After trading out of the no. 12 spot, the Vikings still manage to land a starter at no. 32. Cine is long, explosive, and rangy, bringing a hard-hitting downhill style with coverage chops and a knack for blitzing. He pairs well with Harrison Smith in the short term and should be his replacement down the line.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: A. “Low-key this was one of our favorite picks of Round 1. Trading down felt like the play for the Vikings at 12, but we had no idea they’d be able to go this far down and get a top-20 talent in Cine. He’ll pair with Harrison Smith as one of the best safety duos in the NFL. Outstanding first selection for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Cine will start for a decade.”

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): A. “I love what Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did here. He read the market well, picked up additional draft capital and got one of my favorite defensive players in this year’s draft.”

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: B+. “They need a safety next to Harrison Smith and he's getting a little older. Cine is a good-looking player who will cover and hit you. He has the range you like in the back end. This is a good, solid pick.”

Pro Football Focus: Good (we’ll quantify this as a B). “After trading all the way back from the 12th overall pick, the Vikings land PFF’s No. 2 safety and 26th-best prospect overall, Lewis Cine at No. 32. The Georgia Bulldog — like most of the people on the team — is an elite athlete, who posted a 4.37 40-yard and 11-foot-1 broad jump at the NFL Combine. He was one of the best safeties in college football last year, turning in an 82.4 PFF grade for the season that ranked eighth in the Power Five. Cine was also one of the best tacklers in the country at Georgia, with just 11 misses on 159 career attempts. He was primarily a deep safety in college, but he can be more versatile in Minnesota.”

Bryan Fisher of Athlon Sports: B+. “Cine is a quality complement for Harrison Smith who can start right away in the secondary that needs some additional playmakers. It's also good value in moving down so much too given how much more the new regime has to do in getting the Vikings back to the playoffs.”

Cam Mellor of Pro Football Network: A. “With an enforcing type of play, Lewis Cine brings a similar identity to the Minnesota Vikings defense. Cine hits hard but is a sure tackler. He comes downhill in the run game very well and can play either safety position. Yet, allowing him to play free safety next to Harrison Smith will only elevate his game. Cine is athletically gifted and does everything at an elite level. He can high-point the ball in the air and play very well in coverage when tasked, but his best attribute is his ability to do everything and do everything well. A versatile playmaker opposite Smith improves the Vikings’ defense tenfold.”

WalterFootball.com: B+. “I absolutely hated the Vikings' trade with the Lions. This selection, however, is much better. Minnesota easily could've drafted Kyle Hamilton at No. 12. They needed a safety, so they'll settle for Lewis Cine, who definitely fits the range at the end of the first round.”

Brett Sobleski of Bleacher Report: B. “The Minnesota Vikings traded all the way back to the 32nd overall pick after starting the evening with the 12th selection. In doing so, Minnesota was still able to land the most intimidating safety in the class. As talented as Notre Dame's Kyle Hamilton is, he's not the same type of hitter Cine is. Nor does this year's highest-drafted safety possess as much speed.”

James Dator of SB Nation: C. “I really like Cine. This was the correct spot for him to go, albeit the team is a little surprising. Defensive back was a big-time need for Minnesota, and their huge trade back from 12 to 32 forced their hand a lot. Cine is a good player, but man... I hate the talent Minnesota missed out on by making this drop back and not getting a great return for it. Trent McDuffie, Kaiir Elam, Daxton Hill — all better DBs and all gone because of this trade. Unless the Vikings get something incredible with the No. 34 this was an awful trade.”

Rob Rang of FOXSports.com: B+. “There is some poetry to the first round of the draft both beginning and ending with a Georgia Bulldog, with Cine the appropriate capper as the last line of defense for the reigning national champions. For so long, the Vikings boasted one of the NFL's best free safeties in Harrison Smith, but age is catching up to the veteran. Cine catches up with opponents in a flash, and he brings the thunder as a hitter.”

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: A. “It’s fitting that the first round began and ended with national champion Georgia defensive players (five in all). The Vikings get an intimidating cleanup man next to venerable Harrison Smith who also showed he had the athleticism to make a lot more plays in coverage in the NFL. For the team moving down 20 spots, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did well with his first pick as GM with a fine talent that fits a need and matches the value.”

Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire: A. “The Vikings came into the 2022 draft with all kinds of needs in their secondary, so it was probably a bit of a surprise when they traded from 12 to 32. But here, they get the second-best safety in the class outside of Kyle Hamilton, and Cine is a hammerhead defender who will make this defense better right away. Moreover, there are still a lot of good cornerbacks on the board, and Minnesota has extra picks to deal with that.”

Tim Bielik of cleveland.com: A-.

Tim Capurso of Clutch Points: B.

Logan Ulrich of NFL Trade Rumors: B+.

C.J. Doon of the Baltimore Sun: C+. “It was a little surprising to see the Vikings take a safety in the first round. Cine is a hard-hitting, athletic prospect who can make an immediate impact, but new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had a chance to take a big swing on a quarterback like Malik Willis or even a wide receiver like George Pickens or Skyy Moore. This might be a pick they regret in a few years, especially when star wideout Justin Jefferson is due for a big raise.”

Barry Werner of List Wire: B+.

Vincent Frank of Sportsnaut: C. “A record five defenders from one team went in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. This culminated in Minnesota selecting a potential heir-apparent to Harrison Smith moving forward. However, this could also be seen as a reach.”

Nick Gray of the Nashville Tennessean: B. “Cine is a solid versatile player who can play around the line of scrimmage. Cine should specialize mostly against running backs and tight ends to start his career.”

Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: A.

Christian D’Andrea and Robert Zeglinski of For The Win: C+. “It might look better once the dust settles, but I don’t like the ins and outs of this move for new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. If you’re going to trade back with the division rival Lions and garner more picks in, what I assume, is a rebuild (or retool?): Is it too much to ask to get a better player? Cine is fine. Fine. A plug and play starter, really. But he’s someone who fits more in the NFL of 2011 — a bruising, big safety — than someone who can hold their own against quarterbacks who now throw 40-plus times game. He’ll stay afloat in the league for the most part, but at first glance, Minnesota got fleeced.”

GPA: 3.27

FIRST-ROUND TRADE

Christian D’Andrea of For The Win: A-. “Jimmy Johnson’s draft value chart says: The Vikings got excess value equal to the 68th pick by making this deal (1,410 points out, 1,660 points in). The modified Belichick scale says: The Vikings got excess value equal to the 102nd pick by making this deal (440 points out, 475 points in).”

WalterFootball.com: F. “I can't believe the Vikings made this trade. When the Lions moved up from 32 to 12, I thought they gave up a future first-round pick for a receiver. I was ready to laugh at them, but then the details were revealed. For moving up 20 places, all the Lions did was trade down 12 spots in the second round and give up a third-round choice. That's insane value. Not only were the Vikings robbed in this trade; they gifted a superstar receiver to a divisional rival - one that they were incapable of covering at the moment!”

ANDREW BOOTH JR.

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): B. “If Booth can stay healthy, this could be a home-run pick. But that’s obviously a big if. I don’t mind taking a swing on his upside here.”

Pro Football Focus: Good (we’ll quantify this as a B). “Booth projects as a scheme-versatile starter on the outside with some of the best feet in the class. Medical concerns pushed him into Day 2, but he’s a first-round talent. Patrick Peterson, who is playing on another one-year deal, is a short-term solution for the Vikings, who need to continue to add competition at the position.”

Chet Gresham of Draft Kings: A. “Booth fell a bit due to injury, but was mocked in the first round more than once. His upside is great and the Vikings secondary is getting very good.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: A-. “Booth could easily have gone in the first round, possessing above-average skills (or better) in most areas and the potential to be a rookie starter. Well done by the first-year GM.”

Barry Werner of List Wire: C+.

Kevin Hanson of SI.com: A.

Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: A-. “First-round caliber talent who fell due to injury during pre-draft process. Lightning quick feet, unhinged hips. Flashes of unreal ball skills. Tackling is hit or miss. Man/zone versatility. Could blossom into star learning from Patrick Peterson for a season.”

WalterFootball.com: A. “The Vikings needed someone to cover all the talented receivers they gave to their divisional foes. Andrew Booth is whom I mocked to Minnesota at No. 34 in my re-draft, so I love this value. Booth could've gone at No. 25, so this is a stellar pick.”

Nick Gray of the Nashville Tennessean: A-. “Booth plays the ball really well and is very physical when engaged near the line of scrimmage. I have no idea why he dropped. Good size, good movement skills. Consistency will prove key.”

GPA: 3.49

ED INGRAM

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): C. “But there are off-field concerns. Ingram was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault involving a minor in 2018. The charges were dismissed a year later, and he was reinstated to the football team. Ingram was ranked No. 114 on Brugler’s big board.”

Pro Football Focus: Below average (we’ll quantify this as a C-). “Ingram started as a true freshman in 2017 as a four-star recruit coming out of DeSoto, Texas, but he missed all of 2018 after he was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault. The charges were eventually dropped, and he went on to play over 400 offensive snaps in all three seasons following (2019-21). He never earned a PFF grade above 75.0 in his career due in large part.”

Chet Gresham of Draft Kings: A-. “Ingram is a strong run blocker that should start for the Vikings sooner than later. He’s going to help Dalvin Cook and company.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: C+. : The bull-strong Ingram has been a fixture for LSU since 2017, believe it or not, developing into a very good college guard even while the team fell far following the national title season. He was suspended in 2018 and had to answer character questions in the pre-draft process but has the makeup to become a solid NFL starter. He's more powerful than most of the Vikings' current linemen.”

Barry Werner of List Wire: B.

Kevin Hanson of SI.com: C+.

Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: C-. “Masher type on the inside. Moments of punishing power. Balance is not good. Recovery ability is noticeably lacking. As is his hand work. Not exactly a zone-blocking scheme fit. Strange selection although interior OL needed to be addressed.”

WalterFootball.com: A-. “I mocked Ed Ingram to the Vikings at No. 46, so I like this pick. Ingram is a tough run blocker with good athleticism. He'll fill a big need for Minnesota's miserable offensive line. Kirk Cousins' pass protection absolutely had to improve, and Ingram will make that happen.”

Nick Gray of the Nashville Tennessean: C+. “Ingram is a good run blocker whose pass blocking needs work. I don't see the footwork and consistency that makes up a quality starting guard.”

GPA: 2.52

BRIAN ASAMOAH

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): B.

Pro Football Focus: Good (we’ll quantify this as a B). “Few linebackers have the same range and potential in coverage as Brian Asamoah. At the Senior Bowl in drills set up for losses on the defensive side, Asamoah was able to cover backs and tight ends well. The Vikings have a need alongside Eric Kendricks, and Asamoah has the capacity to complement him very well.”

Chet Gresham of Draft Kings: B. “He has good speed, but he’ll need some time to develop his NFL game. There’s upside here.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: B+. “Like with their first-round pick, the Vikings took an athletic prospect well worth his draft position. Asamoah's lack of size makes him a tricky fit in every system, but his speed and tackling ability make him an ideal 'Will' linebacker.”

Barry Werner of List Wire: C.

Kevin Hanson of SI.com: B-.

Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: A. “Rangy, high-energy second-level defender who doesn't have much coverage experience but possesses the speed and change-of-direction ability to eventually become a quality player in that regard down the road. Speed pops on film too. Nasty taking on blocks. Good player.”

WalterFootball.com: C-. “Brian Asamoah is a bit of a reach here, as he was projected to go late third at the very earliest. He's an athletic player, and he fills a need, but the Vikings could have moved down and gotten him or taken someone better.”

Nick Gray of the Nashville Tennessean: C+. “Asamoah could be a really good special teamer, but I'm unsure if he can be a three-down linebacker.”

GPA: 2.78

OTHER

Chad Reuter of NFL.com: Day 2 grade -- A. “The former Clemson CB likely would have been picked earlier had an injury not kept him from participating in the combine and his pro day. The athletic, tough-minded corner was still a strong value. Ingram brings power off the ball, which is something the Vikings needed, though the selection came at least one round earlier than I expected because of a run on interior offensive linemen. Asamoah isn't big but gets to the ball and brings it as a tackler, meeting a need.”

DAY 3

Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: Akayleb Evans – C+; Esezi Otomewo – A-; Ty Chandler – A-; Vederian Lowe – C; Jalen Nailor – C+; Nick Muse – C+.

Pro Football Focus: Evans – Below average; Otomewo – Below average; Chandler – Good; Lowe – Good; Nailor – Good; Muse – Good.

WalterFootball.com: Evans – B; Otomewo – B-; Chandler C-; Lowe – B; Nailor – B; Muse – B.

Nick Gray of the Nashville Tennessean: Evans – B; Otomewo – B-; Chandler – A-; Lowe – A-; Nailor – A-; Muse – C+.

Chad Reuter of NFL.com: B.

TEAM GRADES

Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A-.

Connor Orr of SI.com: D-. “I usually make it a point not to give F’s because I feel like this reflects negatively on collegiate players who have no control over their destination and less on the executives who are making the picks. We spent a lot of time rightfully hearing about Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who comes to Minnesota with great promise as the kind of executive who can finally bridge the gap between analytics and personnel. But for a team with a few pronounced needs, it’s hard to stomach dropping from pick No. 12 to pick No. 32 and not netting more of a return. There were a handful of premium players remaining in the first round at the time of Minnesota’s first selection, and instead they dropped back and replenished the secondary with a handful of players who may be slightly less talented than the ones they could have gotten if they remained at 12. Booth is a gem in this class and feels a little underrated. While the physicality he flashed in college was against ACC wide receivers, he has the hand-fighting skills that should translate quickly in the NFC North against some physical pass catchers.”

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: C. “New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah moved up and down the board, but in the end was it really good maneuvering? They took Lewis Cine in the first round, a player I like, but I didn't love the rest of their draft, other than Asamoah.”

Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports: C+. “We appreciated most of what Adofo-Mensah did in his first year in the captain’s chair. Wide receiver and tight end didn’t receive the reinforcements we thought might come, but the Vikings sought value and criteria fits, taking a similar approach to their division rivals, the Chicago Bears. Cine and Booth could be fixtures for years, and Ingram, Asamoah (quietly a very nice pick as well) and Evans figure to add quality depth and profile as possible future starters. Lowe and Nailor are also later-round picks worth keeping tabs on. An unsexy draft in some ways, but a logical one.”

Dennis Kelly of The Ringer: B-. “New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah put together an interesting first draft with the team, curiously trading multiple times with division rivals en route to amassing a total of 10 picks. The Vikings did work on their back seven in this draft: I liked the selection of Georgia safety Lewis Cine, who plays with a physical and fiery downhill style; Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. is a nice value for Minnesota in the second round, and should challenge to start right away; Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah is an athletic and rangy middle-of-the-field defender; and Missouri corner Akayleb Evans provides depth in the secondary. On offense, it will be interesting to see if the team looks to involve North Carolina running back Ty Chandler in the passing game. He’s an explosive dual-threat back with top-end speed.”

Nate Davis of USA Today: B. “New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first draft was short on sex appeal but arguably just what the Vikes needed. Perfectly content to swing trades with the division rival Packers and Lions, Adofo-Mensah worked the board on the way to adding S Lewis Cine, CB Andrew Booth, G Ed Ingram and LB Brian Asamoah in the first 66 picks. All project as opening-day starters, especially important for a Minnesota defense that consistently betrayed this offense in recent seasons.”

Mark Maske of the Washington Post: B-. “The Vikings traded down from No. 12 in the first round and emerged with a deep class that perhaps lacks difference-makers. They certainly improved their secondary by taking S Lewis Cine to close the first round and getting CB Andrew Booth in the second.”

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report: B.

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic ($): B-. “This is one of the hardest classes to evaluate. ... The Vikings didn’t do anything egregious. They drafted for volume, and their top two picks could end up being great. But zooming out, it’s fair to wonder if much has changed in Minnesota despite the turnover at coach and GM this offseason.”

Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post: B-. “Trading down with rivals Lions (Williams) and Packers (Watson) was a strange strategy. Using three of the first four picks on defense was not. The secondary is a major concern after recent draft failures at those spots.”

Eddie Brown of the San Diego Union Tribune: B.

Ian Wharton of The Complex: A-.

Marcus Mosher of The Game Day: C-. “Minnesota invested a ton of draft picks into non-critical positions, such as safety, linebacker, and guard. It’s not an awful draft class for GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, but it does leave you a bit lukewarm.”

Evan Silva of Establish the Run: B-. “Analytically minded rookie GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah kicked off his first Vikings draft by acquiring pick Nos. 34 and 66 from the Lions in exchange for Nos. 12 and 46, then landing middle-field enforcer Cine to close out Thursday night. Near the start of Friday evening, Adofo-Mensah accepted an offer of pick Nos. 53 and 59 for No. 34 in a deal with the Packers. Based on the makeup of this draft as a whole — strongest on Day 2 — I thought that was a steal for Minnesota. Booth, Ingram, and Asamoah were all solid values, while the Evans pick reinforced Adofo-Mensah’s commitment to rebuilding a pass defense that fell off a cliff late in ex-coach Mike Zimmer’s tenure. I was disappointed that the Vikings did little to upgrade their passing offense in this draft.”

DraftKings: A-. “The Vikings are one of the few teams that successfully addressed every single one of their team needs in the draft. They addressed their defense at each level and shored up their offensive line. With later-round picks, they added depth to each offensive position other than quarterback. They may not have gotten the best names at any position, but they got a lot of talent and certainly got better on the other end of the 2022 NFL Draft.”

Luke Easterling of Draft Wire: B.

Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield of Touchdown Wire: A-.

TheScore: B-. “This was some great work from rookie general manager Kewsi Adofo-Mensah. Cine is an instant-impact starter at safety from Day 1. Booth, who likely would have been drafted in the first round were it not for an injury, is a talented cover man who could easily be Minnesota's top corner this fall. Ingram is an immediate starter at a position of need, and Asamoah is a solid value in the third round. This class would have gotten more buzz if they added a long-term running mate for Justin Jefferson at receiver, but that wasn't necessarily a must this year with Adam Thielen still on the roster.”

Tim Bielik of cleveland.com: B+. “Former Browns executive Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had a solid first draft as a GM. Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr. are good additions to help boost the secondary. I like Brian Asamoah because he fits the modern linebacker mold as he is smaller but fast. They had a lot of picks, but those three anchor a decent draft class.”

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: A-. “The Vikings do get knocked a little for making multiple intradivision trades to help the Packers and Lions, but otherwise GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had a good first draft to help his fellow rookie, coach Kevin O'Connell. Cine and Booth are great complementary players to their secondary and can learn well from Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson. They threw it back to load up on welcome revamped defensive depth at every level. Ingram also has a good chance to start somewhere inside for the offense. Chandler, Nailor and Muse are good bottom-roster offensive skill adds.”

Robert Gregson of SI.com/NFL Draft Bible: C-.

Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: B+.

GPA: 2.80

Featured Podcast

See all