Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah continued to trade during Friday’s second round and moved up in an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts to select Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. with the 42nd overall election.
The Vikings moved up 11 places, from the 53rd pick, in the second round to further strengthen their secondary by drawing Booth, a former five-star recruit who played three years for the Tigers. He is the second rookie defensive back to join the Vikings following the election of Georgia Safety Lewis Cine in the first round Thursday night.
Later Friday, the Vikings’ LSU offensive lineman Ed Ingram and Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah added.
After making a trade with the Lions in the first round, the Vikings opened the second day of the draft by trading with another division rival, sending No. 34 to the Packers in exchange for No. 53 and No. 59. Green Bay selected wide receiver Christian Watson from North Dakota State with the 34th election.
Minnesota then sent election No. 53, along with election No. 77 and No. 192, to the Colts in exchange for No. 42 and an election in the fourth round (No. 122) on Saturday.
Later that night, the Vikings selected an offensive lineman in the first three rounds for the sixth year in a row, taking Ingram, a guard out of LSU with the 59th overall pick from the Packers.
Ingram, 23, was a four-year starter on either the left and right guard for the Tigers, and was most recently named the second-team All-SEC by coaches last season. Ingram was suspended for the 2018 season after being charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a minor. He was reinstated before the 2019 season after these charges were dropped.
“It’s a serious charge and it’s something we’ve been investigating,” said Vikings co-director Jamaal Stephenson. “We’ve examined him and are fine with where we are with Ed and that whole situation.”
Ingram said “many teams talked about it” when asked about the allegations. He declined Friday to discuss what went into the charges, saying he wanted to focus on a “happy moment in my life” after being appointed.
The Vikings returned to defense in the third round and met Asamoah with the 66th overall pick. Asamoah, 22, projects as a special team contributor and inside linebacker in the Vikings’ 3-4 defensive plan under coordinator Ed Donatell. He is a “tone setter” whose sideline-to-sideline range stands out, according to Viking’s director of college scouting Mike Sholiton.
“We have three weapons at different levels,” Sholiton said of adding to the Vikings’ defense. “It’s a good start. We’re having a busy day [Saturday] and we will hopefully add some more characterful guys who fit our parameters. It’s been active so it’s going to be interesting to see what Day 3 looks like. “
During Thursday’s first round, Adofo-Mensah gave the No. 12 pick to the Lions, who also took one receiver: Alabama’s Jameson Williams. This trade involved sending the 46th choice to Detroit to acquire No. 32, No. 34 and No. 66.
Booth’s draft experience triggered as much uncertainty as the Vikings’ draft slots. The 21-year-old cornerback said he hoped he would be a first-choice pick Thursday night. Booth is ideally sized (6 feet, 194 pounds) and a five-star pedigree to defend the outside, where Minnesota needs another starting opportunity against veteran Patrick Peterson.
But Booth has a long medical history in his budding career. He said the wait was “nerve-wracking”, knowing he had handled injuries for much of his three seasons for the Tigers.
He expects to be ready for the Vikings’ minicamp next month, while recovering from sports bridge surgery in March, which was another surgery to solve a core muscle problem that was originally operated on in April 2021. He underwent the problem last season and had three interceptions. in 11 matches. He did not participate in the NFL Scouting Combine Test or Clemson’s pro day, citing a quad injury he suffered during training.
Booth also underwent knee surgery after the 2019 season to repair a torn kneecap. New Vikings senior adviser Ryan Grigson said the team “felt comfortable” with their medical checkup.
“I haven’t played healthy since, like high school,” said Booth, a coveted college recruit offered by Clemson, Alabama and Auburn, among others. “I played through injuries and that’s why I just like you know you have a chip now. You have a chip because it’s like I know who I am.”
“I know what I can bring to the table,” he added. “I actually believe what I say, that I’m supposed to be here at the Vikings.”
Grigson, who joined the team’s staff under Adofo-Mensah, liked the competitive advantage Booth showed on the field.
“Another really encouraging thing is that if he makes a mistake, you can somehow pick out points in the film where he makes up for it,” Grigson said Friday night. “He’s a really intense competitor. The word dog is thrown around a lot, but you see a lot of it on film, and I also think it was a consensus, with only a cluster of corners. [that was available]it’s one thing that really shows up with him and the kind of guy you want in that position. “