Vikings general manager Kwesi Adovo-Mensah continued trading during the second round on Friday, moving in a deal with the Indianapolis Colts to pick Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. with the 42nd overall pick.
The Vikings advance 11 positions, from the 53rd selection, in the second round to boost their secondary by drafting Booth, a former five-star recruit who played for three years with the Tigers. He is the second junior defensive player to join the Vikings after the first round selection Georgia Salama Lewis Cinema Thursday night.
Later Friday, the Vikings added LSU offensive lineman Ed Ingram and Oklahoma player Brian Asamoah.
After making a deal with the Lions in the first round, the Vikings opened the second day of the draft by trading with another contender in the division, sending the #34 pick to the Packers in exchange for #53 and #59 picks. Green Bay pick wide receiver Christian Watson of North Dakota With a choice of 34.
Minnesota then sent a #53 pick, along with #77 and #192 picks, to the Colts in exchange for a #42 and a fourth round (#122) on Saturday.
Later in the night, the Vikings picked an offensive lineman during the first three rounds for the sixth consecutive year, taking Ingram, the guard from LSU with the 59th overall selection obtained from the Packers.
Ingram, 23, was a regular fixture for four years in the Tigers’ right and left goalkeeper and was recently named to the second team by the coaches last season. Ingram has been suspended from the 2018 season after he was charged with two criminal charges related to the aggravated sexual assault of a minor. He was reinstated prior to the 2019 season after those charges were dropped.
“It’s a serious charge and we’ve investigated it,” said Jamal Stephenson, co-manager of the Vikings. “We checked it out and feel good about our place with Ed and this whole situation.”
“A lot of teams have talked about it,” Ingram said when asked about the allegations. Friday refused to discuss what happened in the charges, saying he wanted to focus on “a happy moment in my life” when drafting it.
The Vikings returned to defense in the third round, drafting Asamoah with the 66th pick. Asamoah, 22, projects as a contributor to special teams and inside the line-back in a 3-4 defensive scheme for the Vikings under coordinator Ed Donatel. It’s the “tone designer” whose sideband stands out, according to Vikings Director of Scouting Mike Chulliton.
“We have three weapons at different levels,” said Choliton, adding to the Vikings’ defense. “It’s a great start. We have a busy day [Saturday] We hope to add more VIPs that fit our criteria. She’s been active, so it will be interesting to see what day three is like.”
During Thursday’s first round, Adofo-Mensah handed the 12th pick to the Lions, who also earned a receiver: Jameson Williams of Alabama. That trade involved sending the #46 pick to Detroit for #32, #34 and #66.
Booth’s draft experience addressed as much uncertainty as the Vikings draft slots. The 21-year-old full-back said he hopes to be a first-round pick on Thursday night. With a perfect stall size (6 feet 194 pounds) and five-star pedigree for an outfield defense, Minnesota needs another starting option versus veteran Patrick Peterson.
But Booth has a long medical history in his budding career. He said the wait was a “nervous strain” knowing he would have dealt with injuries for most of his three seasons with the Tigers.
He is expected to be ready for small Vikings camp next month as he recovers from sports hernia surgery in March which was the second operation to repair an underlying muscle problem initially performed in April 2021. He played through the problem last season and had three interceptions in 11 games. He did not take part in the NFL Scouting Combine or Clemson’s Professional Day, citing a quadruple injury he sustained while training.
Booth also underwent knee surgery after the 2019 season to repair a torn patellar tendon. Ryan Gregson, senior advisor to the New Vikings, said the team “felt comfortable” in their medical exams.
“I haven’t played healthy since, like high school,” said Booth, a coveted college recruit offered by Clemson, Alabama and Auburn, among others. “I’ve played through injuries and that’s why I love, you know, having a chip now. I’ve got a chip because I know who I am.”
“I know what I can bring to the table,” he added. “I actually think what I’m saying is that I’m supposed to be here on the Vikings.”
Gregson, who joined the team’s staff under Adovo Mensah, was impressed by the competitive advantage Booth displayed on the field.
“Another real fan thing, if he makes a mistake, you can pick some points in the movie where he makes up for it,” Gregson said on Friday night. “He’s a real strong contender. The word ‘dog’ gets thrown around a lot, but you see a lot of that in the movie and I think that was a consensus too, with just a bunch of angles [that was available]That’s something that really shows up with him and the kind of guy you want in the position.”
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