Mel Kiper Re-Grades Minnesota Vikings 2011 Draft

The Minnesota Vikings certainly had a disappointing season which quickly turned into a developmental year for rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. After a 1-5 start, coach Leslie Frazier decided to move away from Donovan McNabb and Ponder started at quarterback the rest of the season.

Ponder's toughness was tested and he struggled with injuries which had him on and off the field over the last half of the season. Fellow rookie Kyle Rudolph came on strong as the season progressed and showed promise as an impact tight end for the future.

So how does the Vikings' last draft class grade out overall? ESPN's Mel Kiper re-graded the 2011 draft based on how this past season went, and the Vikings didn't fare well despite Ponder and Rudolph showing some promise. Here is how Kiper graded the draft.

Post-draft grade: C+

Summary: When you think you're drafting the quarterback of the future for the franchise, you take your shot. That's what the Vikings did at No. 12 when they drafted Christian Ponder. I had that as a reach on my board, but Ponder showed some things in 2011. Still, it was for a team that was far less competitive than we thought it would be, and, as the season finished, I even heard questions about whether the team should give Joe Webb a shot. Are the Vikings confident they can compete in 2012 with Ponder at the helm? Kyle Rudolph is a talented player and should be a weapon in that offense; he certainly has mastered the one-handed catch. After that, it's pretty quiet. Christian Ballard got reps, but I don't see him as an impact player. Overall, this is still an incomplete for me as we wait on Ponder. But hopefully we'll see some development from the other picks, too.

New grade: C-

As you can see, Kiper wasn't real high on Ponder to begin with, so it appears he is not willing to give points for battling through injuries to play. But it is clear that eventually this class will be remembered for what Ponder and Rudolph do to help the Vikings win.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings heading into the offseason, check out Daily Norseman. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Minnesota

You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Minnesota

You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.