The Vikings 4 Top Draft Bets

The Odds-On Favorite for Vikings Pick in 1st Round of Draft
NFL Draft

The Minnesota Vikings undergo general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s second NFL draft in 11 days.

Last year, the young executive traded out of his 12th overall pick to accumulate assets that would later net Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth, Ed Ingram, and Brian Asamoah. Many believe Adofo-Mensah will trade back once again.

The Vikings 4 Top Draft Bets

And while trading back from No. 23 is certainly an option, these are the positions likely to be targeted by the Vikings with their first pick per sportsbooks, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most likely positioned to be drafted).

4. Defensive Line

4 Top Draft
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports.

The Moneyline = +500

If outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith remains with the club — he tweeted a goodbye over five weeks, and then nothing happened — the Vikings have one of the deepest EDGE rushing groups in the sport.

But should Smith leave via trade or release, Minnesota might be intrigued by a supplemental pass rusher, or so the Vegas theory goes. Clemson’s Myles Murphy or Georgia Tech’s Keion White could fall to the Vikings in Round 1, and perhaps they’ll pounce to prepare for life after Smith — and Hunter in a few years.

Drafting a 1st-Round EDGE should still be considered a long shot because the Vikings have more urgent long-term roster needs.

For defensive tackles, keep an eye on Bryan Bresee (Clemson) and Calijah Kancey (Pittsburgh).

3. Quarterback

Vikings Have Official
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) salutes while carrying a bag of Skittles in his mouth while walking on Steve Spurrier-Florida Field during Gator Walk at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, September 10, 2022. © Doug Engle / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Moneyline = +400

Oddsmakers are curious about Minnesota’s planning for Kirk Cousins’ successor. Many draft analysts and sportsbooks think Adofo-Mensah will draft Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker at No. 23, a move that may be considered a classic “reach” draft pick. We shall see.

Too, the Vikings could trade up for Florida’s Anthony Richardson or hope Kentucky’s Will Levis falls down the draftboard.

The moral of the story? The Vikings might be scheming for “the next guy” at quarterback as early as now.

2. Cornerback

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The Moneyline = +200

Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell seem to love last year’s rookie CBs, Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans. However, if they want to add more insurance policies, the roster would welcome it. Maryland’s Deonte Banks, Alabama’s safety-cornerback-hybrid Brian Branch, or Kelee Ringo from Georgia make sense as the Vikings first pick of the event.

Cornerback is the team’s more emergent need, and some may be surprised Vegas doesn’t have CB as the Vikings top draft bet.

1. Wide Receiver

Predicts Vikings 1st
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

The Moneyline = +175

The Vikings love drafting 1st-Round wide receivers — and they’re quite good at it. Use Randy Moss, Percy Harvin, and Justin Jefferson as evidence.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State), Quentin Johnston (TCU), Zay Flowers (Boston College), and Jordan Addison (USC) could be in play for the Vikings, depending on when they pick. Smith-Njigba could be gone significantly earlier than No. 23 — or the Vikings could trade back like they did last year and swipe Flowers off the board.

Regardless, finding a new Adam Thielen is the Vegas play right now for Minnesota’s first draft pick.

The Others:

  • Linebacker = +1200
  • Offensive Line = +2000
  • Running Back = +2500
  • Safety = +3500
  • Tight End = +3500
  • Special Teams = +20000

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by