SPORTS

Vikings are best (and Packers are worst) when it comes to NFL draft grades

NFL draft grades are like advance weather forecasts: Even if we concede they aren’t always accurate, we tend to pay attention to them more — and perhaps even believe them more — when they tell us something extreme.

So may I present to you: April 27, 2020 — a forecast high temperature in Minneapolis in the low 70s, about 10 degrees warmer than average.

And also: The collective grades from this past weekend’s NFL draft, in which the Vikings were deemed to be the very best — and the rival Packers were deemed to be the absolute worst.

This has been sorted in the most enjoyable way on Twitter by Rene Bugner: A collection of draft grades for all 32 teams from 13 prominent pundits and/or sites, aggregated to give each team a grade point average based on the 13 grades combined.

The Vikings were draft class valedictorians with a 3.92 GPA. Their 15-pick haul, led by No. 22 overall pick WR Justin Jefferson, received at least an A-minus grade from all but one pundit (who gave them a B+).

Perhaps most notably: Pro Football Focus gave the Vikings an A, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. — a notoriously tough grader — reserved one of only three grades of A-minus or better for Minnesota.

Looked at another way: Warren Sharp of Sharp Football notes that the Vikings added the most value via their series of swaps for the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

The Vikings had a ton of picks with which to work and seemed to have analytics in mind with a lot of them. Their preparation looked to be strong; whether these guys can actually play, of course, remains to be seen.

And on the other end of the spectrum: The Packers. They drafted like I often do when compiling a fantasy football roster: Forgetting to do any prep work whatsoever, cramming at the last minute, then accidentally picking too many guys at the same position. Wait! I already have a quarterback!

Their cumulative GPA was a dismal 1.31. if this was college, they wouldn’t even be able to stay eligible. That awful mark was compiled by way of a D+, six Ds and one F (from Rotoworld’s Thor Nystrom, who also gave the Vikings an A+).

PFF doled out one of those Ds — the worst grade on the site — and Seth Galina wrote of the first-round shocker pick of QB Jordan Love (whom the Packers traded UP to get): “For (Aaron) Rodgers and a team that went to a conference championship game mere months ago, it’s a total waste of impact in 2020.”

In Sharp’s analysis, the Packers were very low on the draft capital value scale. Only seven teams fared worse.

In truth with all of this, of course, is that two days after the draft ended the grade for every team is more realistically an incomplete. These grades are based on what everyone thinks they know, and if it turns out the consensus was wrong on enough players things will look quite different months and years from now. If Love, for instance, extends the run of QB dominance for the Packers in three years, they largely will be vindicated.

But for now, there is this certainty in these uncertain times: Those who follow these things closely say the Vikings did the best job and the Packers did the worst job in the draft.

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