After flurry of trades, Vikings draft cornerback, guard and linebacker

Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah kept trading during Friday’s second round, moving up in a deal with the Indianapolis Colts to select Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. with the 42nd overall pick.

The Vikings moved up 11 spots, from the 53rd pick, in the second round to further bolster their secondary by drafting Booth, a former five-star recruit who played three years for the Tigers. He’s the second rookie defensive back joining the Vikings after the first-round pick of Georgia safety Lewis Cine on Thursday night.

Later Friday the Vikings added LSU offensive lineman Ed Ingram and Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah.

After making a trade with the Lions in the first round, the Vikings opened the draft’s second day by trading with another division rival, sending the No. 34 pick to the Packers in exchange for picks No. 53 and No. 59. Green Bay selected wide receiver Christian Watson from North Dakota State with the 34th pick.

Minnesota then sent pick No. 53, along with picks No. 77 and No. 192, to the Colts in exchange for No. 42 and a fourth-round pick (No. 122) on Saturday.

Later in the night, the Vikings selected an offensive lineman within the first three rounds for the sixth straight year, taking Ingram, a guard out of LSU with the 59th overall pick acquired from the Packers.

Ingram, 23, was a four-year starter at either left and right guard for the Tigers, most recently being named second-team All-SEC by coaches last season. Ingram was suspended for the 2018 season after he was charged with two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor. He was reinstated before the 2019 season after those charges were dropped.

“It’s a serious charge and it’s something we have investigated,” Vikings co-director of personal player Jamaal Stephenson said. “We have vetted him and feel good about where we are with Ed and that whole situation.”

Ingram said “a lot of 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” upon being drafted.

The Vikings turned back to defense in the third round, drafting Asamoah with the 66th overall pick. Asamoah, 22, projects as a special teams contributor and inside linebacker in the Vikings’ 3-4 defensive scheme under coordinator Ed Donatell. He’s a “tone setter” whose sideline-to-sideline range stands out, according to Vikings director of college scouting Mike Sholiton.

“We’ve got three weapons on different levels,” Sholiton said of adding to the Vikings defense. “It’s a great start. We’ve got a busy day [Saturday] and we’ll hopefully be adding some more high-character guys who fit our parameters. It’s been active, so it’ll be interesting to see what Day 3 looks like.”

During Thursday’s first round, Adofo-Mensah dealt the No. 12 pick to the Lions, who also took a receiver: Alabama’s Jameson Williams. That trade involved sending the 46th pick to Detroit to acquire No. 32, No. 34 and No. 66.

Booth’s draft experience fielded as much uncertainty as the Vikings’ draft slots. The 21-year-old cornerback said he was hoping he’d be a first-round pick on Thursday night. Booth has ideal size (6-foot, 194 pounds) and a five-star pedigree to defend the outside, where Minnesota needs another starting option opposite veteran Patrick Peterson.

But Booth has a long medical history in his budding career. He said the wait was “nerve racking” knowing he’d dealt with injuries for much of his three seasons for the Tigers.

He expects to be ready for Vikings minicamp next month while recovering from sports hernia surgery in March that was a second operation to fix a core muscle issue initially operated on in April 2021. He played through the issue last season and had three interceptions in 11 games . He didn’t participate in the NFL Scouting Combine testing or Clemson’s pro day, citing a quad injury suffered while training.

Booth also underwent knee surgery after the 2019 season to repair a torn patellar tendon. New Vikings senior advisor Ryan Grigson said the team “felt comfortable” with their medical checkups.

“I haven’t played healthy since, like, high school,” said Booth, a coveted college recruit offered by Clemson, Alabama and Auburn, among others. “I did play through injuries and that’s why I just like, you know, have a chip now. You got 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’m saying that I’m supposed to be here on the Vikings.”

Grigson, who joined the team’s personnel staff under Adofo-Mensah, liked the competitive edge Booth showed on the field.

“Another real encouraging thing is, if he does make a mistake, you can kind of pick out points in the film where he makes up for it,” Grigson said Friday night. “He’s a real intense competitor. The word dog is thrown around a lot, but you see a lot of that on film and I think that was a consensus, too, with just the cluster of corners [that was available]that’s one thing that really shows through with him and the kind of guy you want at that position.”

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