On days one and two of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings shocked everyone when they traded picks with their divisional rivals, the Green Bay Packers, and the Detroit Lions. Now that the regular season is over, it’s fair to say that we can officially look at the trades and the value each team got from them. Oh, and let’s not forget to ask the all-important question, was it worth it?
The Detroit Lions Trade
The Vikings traded the 12th overall pick and the 46th overall pick and received the 32nd, 34th, and 66th overall picks in return. So what came from these picks? Let’s take a look.
12th Overall Pick: Jameson Williams, WR
A great pick by the Lions who needed depth in the wide receiver department. Even though they didn’t get Williams until the final few weeks of the season due to a torn ACL in the CFP Championship game, he was still able to come back late in the season and make a few plays. Of course, the Lions limited Williams when he came back. An ACL injury is one of the worst when it comes to football. It’s almost the equivalent of having to get Tommy John surgery as a pitcher in baseball. The Lions wanted to be cautious, and when Williams was on the field, he made an impact. He only had one catch on the year for 41 yards and a touchdown, but that was a huge grab against the Vikings when the Lions needed to win to stay in playoff contention.
46th Overall Pick: Josh Paschal, DE
Paschal didn’t see action until Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys due to surgery he had done on a sports hernia in June. He didn’t see the field often, averaging around 35% snap count on defense when he played. He made impacts when he could though, finishing the season with 2 sacks, 16 tackles, 2 TFLs, and 4 QB hits.
32nd Overall Pick: Lewis Cine, S
A good pick for the Vikings who have been looking for a permanent Strong Safety to pair alongside Harrison Smith. Despite a promising preseason, Cine didn’t see action until Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints in which he suffered a compound fracture in his lower left leg, keeping him out for the remainder of the season.
34th Overall Pick: Traded to Packers
Will cover in the Packers Trade section.
66th Overall Pick: Brian Asamoah, LB
Asamoah was not a normal face to see on defense for the Vikings this year and spent most of his season as a special teams player. Asamoah got to see some playing time at the end of the season and made a case for him to be a regular rotating player in the lineup. In the last three games of the season, Asamoah had 14 tackles and 1 forced fumble. In the game against the Indianapolis Colts, Asamoah had a forced fumble called back by officials because the play was blown dead. A call that was heavily criticized by NFL analysts the following week. When on the field, Asamoah had a great impact, but that impact might have come a little too late in the season.
The Green Bay Packers Trade
The Vikings traded the 34th overall pick for the 53rd and 59th overall picks from the Packers.
34th Overall Pick: Christian Watson, WR
This trade is why you don’t make trades with division rivals unless you’re robbing them of value. Christian Watson became an absolute stud of a wide receiver, but did not break out until Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys. His season started rough, being targeted on the Packers’ first play of the season on a 40 yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers, that Watson would drop horribly. The next 9 weeks were more of the same. Inconsistent route running, drops, misunderstanding hand signals. But then… something changed. Watson went on a tear, racking up yards and touchdowns. Watson is clearly the future in Green Bay, and who is to thank? The Minnesota Vikings.
53rd Overall Pick: Traded to Indianapolis Colts for 42nd Overall Pick
Will discuss in the conclusion.
59th Overall Pick: Ed Ingram, G
The Vikings drafted Ingram to be a starter, and there was no doubt about that when his name was announced. Oli Udoh was the Vikings RG last year and didn’t perform well as a person that is trained to be a tackle. In his rookie season, Ingram struggled immensely. He was ranked dead last out of any guard who had made a start in the NFL season and gave up the most sacks out of any offensive lineman in the NFL (11). As a rookie, it makes sense for Ingram to need time to develop, but ranking this low, even behind guards who are backups should not be happening with the expectations put upon you.
The Vikings sent the 53rd overall pick in the draft to the Indianapolis Colts for the 42nd overall pick. The Vikings would take CB Andrew Booth Jr. who would struggle with injury almost the entire year, and when he played, did not look great. The Colts would take WR Alec Pierce, who would put up decent slot WR numbers in his rookie season. In the first year, the Colts clearly won this trade.
It’s hard to evaluate winners and losers of draft pick trades after the first year because we haven’t seen the full potential of every one of the players, but these trades seem pretty clear-cut for the time being. At the end of the first season, it’s pretty clear that the Lions and Packers won both trades by a hefty margin. Every player had their struggles, but the players the Vikings drafted just never got over that hill in their rookie season. It’ll be better to evaluate this trade again in a few years when each player has improved, shown their ability, and gotten an opportunity to play, but for now, sorry Vikings fans, but the Lions and Packers clearly got the better end of both deals.