Recapping Vikings 2017 Opponents in 1st Round of Draft
April 28, 2017 04:33 AM | Eric Smith

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The Vikings will face a trio top 10 draft picks in 2017, including the No. 1 overall selection in Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett.

The Browns and Vikings will meet in Week 8 at London's Twickenham Stadium on Oct. 29. Cleveland maneuvered its way into taking three players in the first round on Thursday night.

Cleveland used the top pick on Garrett, who recorded 145 tackles (84 solo), 48.5 tackles for loss, 32.5 sacks, four pass breakups and one interception in 36 career games at Texas A&M.

The Browns had the 12th pick in the draft but traded down to No. 25, where they took safety Jabrill Peppers, the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. The multi-faceted Peppers had 72 tackles (47 solo), 16 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and one interception in 12 games while adding 27 rushes for 167 yards and three touchdowns.

Cleveland then moved back up into the first round, moving to the 29th pick in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. The Browns took Miami tight end David Njoku, who caught 43 passes for 698 yards with eight touchdowns in 2016.

The Vikings will also see the eighth overall pick from this year's draft in Week 14 in Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey.

The Panthers bolstered their offense by getting a two-time All-American who totaled 3,922 yards and 21 touchdowns on 632 carries (6.2 yards per carry) and added 99 receptions for 1,206 yards with 10 touchdowns at Stanford.

Minnesota will face a speedster in Week 15 when the Vikings welcome Cincinnati and wide receiver John Ross to U.S. Bank Stadium.

Ross, the ninth overall pick who set a record at the combine with a 40-yard dash of 4.22 seconds, was the ninth overall pick after catching 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2016.

The Vikings season-opening opponent on Monday Night Football, the New Orleans Saints, made a pair of first-round picks at the draft in Philadelphia.

New Orleans took Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore with the 11th overall pick. Lattimore, an All-Big Ten selection, had 41 tackles (30 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, nine pass breakups and four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) in 13 games.

The Saints closed out the first round by adding Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk, a consensus 2016 All-American, with the 32nd pick.

The Baltimore Ravens, the Vikings Week 7 opponent, took Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th overall pick. The First-Team All-American helped Alabama reach College Football Playoff national title game while tallying 36 tackles (26 solo) with three tackles for loss, two interceptions, five passes defended and a forced fumble.

Minnesota will travel to Washington for a Week 10 matchup in the nation's capital against the 17th pick in the draft, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen.

The former Alabama standout was a unanimous All-America selection in 2016 and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year after posting 69 tackles (33 solo) with 16 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, two pass breakup and three fumble recoveries (two returned for touchdowns) in 15 games.

The Vikings will see a high-powered Tampa Bay offense in Week 3 at home, a unit that now includes former Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. He totaled 45 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns in 2016.

Atlanta, the defending NFC champions, traded up to No. 26 from the 31st pick to snag UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley.

The Vikings will see McKinley, who had 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 2016, in Week 13 in Atlanta.

Minnesota will travel to Pittsburgh in Week 2 and get acquainted with new Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt. The former Wisconsin star had 63 tackles (38 solo) in 14 games and added 15.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four pass breakups and one interception (17-yard return for a touchdown).

Minnesota's Week 11 opponent, the Los Angeles Rams, did not have a first-round pick. The Rams have the 37th overall selection in the draft.

The Vikings stayed put Thursday night and are slated to pick at No. 48 in the second round on Friday night. Minnesota has the fifth-easiest schedule in 2017 based on 2016 records (115-139-2, .453 win percentage).

A draft recap of NFC North teams can be found here.

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