Are the Vikings ready to go?

After three long days, the exhausting NFL Draft is complete. Those among the 266 players taken have their sights set on fulfilling dreams. Lots of happy tears were shed over the weekend. All across the NFL cities, team scouting staffs are patting each other on the back for each team that has grabbed the players that can help them win.

After going 14-4 and losing the NFC Championship to Philadelphia, are the Vikings positioned to go to Atlanta next February and win it all?

A lot has to happen, but for now the Vikings are thinking along those lines. They’ve added Mike Hughes, corner back for the University of Central Florida, with their first pick.

Sensitivity alert: Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer says, “There’s a commercial on TV right now where the lady asks this guy how many guns he needs, and he says, just one more. That’s how we feel about corners – just one more. Mike’s a tremendous athlete, great quickness in and out of the cut.”

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The Vikings selected Pittsburgh tackle Brian O’Neill with their second pick. General Manager Rick Spielman traded the Vikings’ third pick to Tampa Bay and grabbed Jalyn Holmes, defensive end for Ohio State, with their fourth pick. The Vikings also added big-play linebacker Devonte Downs from California.

In the late rounds, the Vikings drafted All-American kicker Daniel Carlson from Auburn, big 6’-6” offensive tackle Colby William Gossett from Appalachian State, and picked defensive end Ade Aruna from Tulane. All the new rookie Vikings draftees and free agents will be in town this weekend for rookie mini-camp.

Grading NFL Drafts is not what I do. Remember, you’re selecting players and it’s subjective, based on many considerations.

This Draft featured five quarterbacks going in the first round. Cleveland, again with the first overall pick, selected Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield. For the first time ever, two brothers, Terrell Edmunds taken by Pittsburgh and Tremaine Edmunds taken by Buffalo, were drafted in the same 2018 Draft in the first round.

The two brothers played together at Virginia Tech. There’s also the remarkable story of one-handed linebacker Shaquem Griffin, selected in the fifth round by Seattle. He joins his brother Shaquil Griffin, a veteran safety with Seattle.

Those are just two of many remarkable stories in the 2018 NFL Draft, where dreams do come true.


Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday and Friday at 9:10 am, and at He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to, or visit