The 5 ‘Other Guys’ in Vikings 1st-Round Orbit

Moves off Will Levis
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Most Minnesota Vikings fans believe the team will use its first draft pick in 12 days on a cornerback, wide receiver, or perhaps trade up for a quarterback.

It’s draft season, and the theories are endless. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has five draft picks, a number that could spike if he chooses to trade like a stockbroker as he did in 2022.

The 5 ‘Other Guys’ in Vikings 1st-Round Orbit

And as folks are deep in analyzing which quarterback might tickle the team’s fancy, a handful of “other guys” should be on their radar for possible 1st-Round selections.

These are the five listed in alphabetical order.

1. Bryan Bresee (DT)

Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee (11) warms up before the game with Wake Forest at Truist Field in Winston-Salem, North Carolina Saturday, September 24, 2022. © Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK.


The Vikings have a large assortment of defensive tackles as “Bresee’s spot,” but many of them are just decent depth pieces. Drafting Bresee would hand the Vikings an advantage on the inside of the defensive line rather than relying on Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport, and Za’Darius Smith to “do everything” via pass rush.

Bresee is a prime candidate to be available when the Vikings waltz to the podium, and his upside might be too compelling to ignore.

2. Calijah Kancey (DT)

in Vikings 1st
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Take everything about the Bresee speech above — and copy-paste it.

Kancey is more similar to Aaron Donald per skillset and technique, as general managers endlessly comb draft pools to find the next Donald. Minnesota needs a disruptor once and for all at defensive tackle. Kevin Williams left the team a decade ago, and the Vikings could restart the clock with a possibly productive Kancey.

3. Myles Murphy (EDGE)

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The Vikings haven’t drafted an EDGE rusher in Round 1 since 2005, a man named Erasmus James. They’ve “gotten away with it” by finding Jared Allen via trade, plus Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, and Brian Robison in later rounds.

There’s a sizable chance Za’Darius Smith departs via trade or release. The long-term futures of Danielle Hunter and Marcus Davenport are unclear. Perhaps Adofo-Mensah wants a mean and affordable pass rusher to plan for life after Hunter-Davenport-Smith.

4. Bijan Robinson (RB)

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Bijan Robinson would’ve been a Top 5 NFL draft pick as early as a decade ago. Now, though, general managers largely don’t care about running backs, at least not until Round 2 and later.

Still, if Robinson is available to the Vikings at pick No. 23, would the franchise willfully pass up the best running back in football for the next five years? Imagine pairing Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson with Robinson as offensive weaponry — for the next five years.

5. Trenton Simpson (LB)

Vikings Double Dip
Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson talks with media during midweek interviews at the Poe Indoor Facility in Clemson Tuesday, October 11, 2022. © Ken Ruinard / USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.


This could also be called The Clemson List.

The Vikings quietly need off-ball linebackers. Brian Asamoah and Jordan Hicks can probably fill LB duties swimmingly, but what happens if one gets injured? The Troy Dye show? Troy Reeder as the starter?

Minnesota lost Eric Kendricks because of salary cap constraints, so drafting Simpson — or someone like Drew Sanders or Jack Campbell — wouldn’t be too nuts.

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).

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