The Vikings Sweet and Salty History with the 23rd Draft Pick

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Vikings fans during game against the Miami Dolphins. © BILL INGRAM / THE PALM BEACH PSOT / USA TODAY NETWORK.

If the Minnesota Vikings don’t trade up or down, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will make the 23rd selection of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Minnesota finished 13-4 in 2022, was bounced from the postseason tournament in the Wildcard Round by the New York Giants, and that’s real estate for the No. 23 pick.

The Vikings Sweet and Salty History with the 23rd Draft Pick

Technically, Adofo-Mensah has the 24th pick because the Miami Dolphins forfeited their 1st-Round pick at No. 23. The NFL determined Miami acted nefariously with some tampering matters, and a 1st-Rounder was the disciplinary comeuppance.

So, when Minnesota closes in on the podium with the 23rd choice of the evening, it’ll do so with a recently sweet and salty history at the spot.

The Sweet — Christian Darrisaw

Hendon Hooker Already
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) prepares to block against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

When? 2021.

Darrisaw fundamentally changed the Vikings offensive line and should anchor the left side for the next decade. And in about a year or two, he’ll be affluently compensated to do so.

Former Vikings bossman Rick Spielman traded back on the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft, handing offensive guard Alijah Vera-Tucker to the New York Jets for Darrisaw, Kellen Mond (QB), and Wyatt Davis (OG). Mond and Davis would flame out a little over a year later, but Darrisaw did not.

Per Pro Football Focus, Darrisaw was the NFL’s second-best offensive tackle in 2022, right beyond Darrisaw’s idol, Trent Williams. After just two seasons with the Vikings, Darrisaw can be considered an undisputed hit with the 23rd pick.

The Salty — Laquon Treadwell

Cowboys Work Out
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi) after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the number twenty-three overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports.

When? 2016.

Vikings fans are richly accustomed to the franchise striking on 1st-Round wide receivers. Randy Moss, Percy Harvin, and Justin Jefferson can attest.

But Treadwell was the opposite. He was supposed to become the next big thing in addition to Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen — before anyone knew that Diggs and Thielen would turn into Pro Bowlers.

Minnesota clung to Treadwell for four stubborn seasons while the Ole Miss alumnus tallied 65 catches for 701 yards — or 13.2 yards per game in purple. He was a great dude and did the intangible items on a football field but was emphatically not worth the Vikings 23rd pick in 2016. Spielman could’ve drafted Derrick Henry or Michael Thomas a round later.

The In-Between — Sharrif Floyd

Dec 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd (73) gets introduced before the game against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

When? 2013.

Floyd was trending in the right direction, grading an impressive 84.2 from PFF in his second season, 2014. He was the last time Minnesota invested high-round draft capital on a defensive tackle and probably would’ve panned out if not for injury.

The Florida alumnus had knee surgery in 2016, an experience so bad that he later sued the surgeon and never played for the Vikings — or anybody — again.

Floyd was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as a coach two months ago.

The Vikings also drafted WR Lance Rentzel with the 23rd pick in 1965, but he skedaddled after 20 games. Rentzel caught on with the Cowboys in the early 1970s.

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