Vikings Free Agency Moves Might Spell Trouble for the 2022 Draft Class

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Keelan Cole (84) is defended by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings often have received criticism for how they handled the 2022 NFL Draft.

Over the past two seasons, the only players from that class to find some real consistent playing time are Ed Ingram and Akayleb Evans while Ty Chandler finally found a role down the stretch of the 2023 season. With some of the Vikings’ free agency moves so far this offseason, that may not change anytime soon.

Vikings Free Agency Moves Could Be Trouble for the 2022 Draft Class

Free Agency
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Let’s start at the top of the class. Lewis Cine has played a grand total of 10 defensive snaps through his first two seasons after being selected in the first round of the 2022 draft. Part of that isn’t his fault as he suffered a very serious leg injury that ended his rookie season.

Then, the Vikings’ safety position suddenly became one of the deepest positions on the roster in 2023 with the emergences of both Camryn Bynum and Josh Metellus along with some solid play from Theo Jackson.

As a result of this and his leg injury during his rookie season, Lewis Cine, Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2022, has barely been able to get onto the field over his first two NFL seasons. Cine’s best shot at changing that in 2024 revolved around the Vikings potentially parting ways with Harrison Smith, but the veteran is set to return this year on a restructured contract. Because of this, Cine’s role seems small once again this season.

Free Agency
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (6) performs a drill at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Further down the class, both Andrew Booth and Evans could need to fight for their roles with the team after the signing of CB Shaquill Griffin. Booth has started just twice during the first two seasons of his career, and he has yet to garner the trust of the coaching staff to take on a larger role.

Meanwhile, Evans saw some serious struggles down the stretch of the 2023 season, which helped prompt the Griffin signing. Evans allowed five receptions on five targets in Week 18 against the Detroit Lions which went for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Brian Asamoah, Minnesota’s third-round pick from 2022, seems to be buried on the depth chart once again as well. Not only did the Vikings find a diamond in the rough through UDFA signing Ivan Pace last year, but this offseason, they’ve signed Blake Cashman and Kamu Grugier-Hill to fill out the depth chart. Asamoah has appeared in just 155 defensive snaps throughout his career.

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, Chandler could be in jeopardy of losing his RB1 role that he took command of over the final weeks of the 2023 season. The young running back seemed poised to be in a good spot after the Vikings released Alexander Mattison, but then, they followed that up by signing Aaron Jones.

January 20, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) celebrates after a two point conversion against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter in a 2024 NFC divisional round game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jones, 29, dealt with some injuries last season, but he remains a very efficient, powerful running back when he is on the field. He totaled 142 carries for 656 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns during the 2023 season over 11 games.

The Vikings’ 2022 draft class has already found themselves in a spot where they have needed to fight for their roster spots during their young careers. This year might just be the toughest of all for some of them.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.