5 Players Who Could Move Down Vikings Depth Chart Post-Draft

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) reacts after making a stop against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings either love their young players or plan to use the 2023 NFL Draft to fill some starting positions.

The club has added six new free agents since March 13th, but some roster holes remain.

5 Players Who Could Move Down Vikings Depth Chart Post-Draft

And the NFL draft is 19 days away, so here are five players who could move down the depth chart depending on the Vikings early-round choices.

1. Andrew Booth (CB)

Could Move Down
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) in the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports,

The Vikings ladled Booth from the 2022 NFL Draft in Round 2. The man had a 1st-Round scouting report but fell to Minnesota because of injuries. And then injuries derailed his rookie season. Whoodathunkit?

If general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stays pat at the No. 23 pick and selects, for instance, Deonte Banks, Booth will have another summer camp battle on his hands and will probably lose.

His starting prognosis is only semi-safe if the Vikings don’t draft a cornerback early in the draft.

2. Jordan Hicks (LB)

Keeping Jordan Hicks Is a Smart Move by Vikings
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) against Green Bay Packers during their football game on Sunday, January 1, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. © Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Hicks is likely on deck to start as an off-ball linebacker next to Brian Asamoah like he did last year next to Eric Kendricks.

However, if Minnesota swerves in Round 1 [or climbs into Round 2] by drafting Trenton Simpsons (Clemson), Jack Campbell (Iowa), or Drew Sanders (Arkansas), Hicks could be the odd man out as a starter.

This LB room should be in good hands regardless because Brian Flores is in charge. Linebackers were his thing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3. Dean Lowry (DT)

Jan 16, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Dean Lowry (94) against the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Divisional Round at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Like the swerve angle above at linebacker, if the Vikings draft Calijah Kancey (Pittsburgh), Bryan Bresee (Clemson), or Jalen Carter (Georgia) at No. 23, Lowry can kiss his starting job goodbye. Lowry is a longtime starter, so it’s unlikely he’s totally jettisoned from the defensive gameplan. Yet, he’s not untouchable.

The Vikings are overdue in drafting a ferocious, game-disrupting defensive tackle.

4. Alexander Mattison (RB)

Apparently 1/3 of the NFL Wants Alexander Mattison
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Most believe Dalvin Cook will be traded before or during the draft, leaving recently re-signed Alexander Mattison on the menu for RB1 duty.

Still, if Adofo-Mensah feels really frisky and drafts Bijan Robinson, back to RB2 Mattison goes. Plain and simple.

Minnesota is unlikely to draft a running back in Round 1, but stranger things have happened.

5. K.J. Osborn (WR)

one vikings playmaker
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrates his touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Perhaps the largest Vikings roster mystery as of April, no one is too sure if Osborn is on tap for WR2 duty. He could already have the WR2 label on his chest, but if the Vikings draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State), for instance, he’d be game-ready to start in September.

Minnesota had opportunities to sign D.J. Chark and JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency — and passed. They’ll either draft a Smith-Njigba type or rely on Osborn as Justin Jefferson’s running 2023 mate.

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 OverTheCap.com.