The New Kiper-McShay Draft Pick for Vikings Is Tantalizing

Official Round 1 Draft Prediction from VikingsTerritory Writers
Vikings NFL Draft

Everybody even remotely in the Minnesota Vikings fanbase orbit has a theory as the club embarks on its most mysterious draft in about a decade.

Minnesota always needed offensive line help down the stretch of the Mike Zimmer era, making the wishlist or prediction for the team in Round 1 fairly straightforward — get a damn trenchman.

The New Kiper-McShay Draft Pick for Vikings Is Tantalizing

But this year is different.

The Vikings could reasonably trade up for a quarterback to eventually replace Kirk Cousins, trade down for more draft assets like last year, or stay put and choose a cornerback, wide receiver, defensive lineman, or linebacker. The solutions are close to limitless.

Left up the ESPN powerhouse of combination Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, though, the verdict is simple — stay put and draft Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr., a cornerback.

The New Kiper
Oct 23, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) gestures to the crowd against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the second half at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

Kiper and McShay fired up a mock draft together Tuesday, and the Vikings added the bloodline defender. Porter Jr.’s father, Joey Sr., was a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro, and Super Bowl champion from 1999 to 2011 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, and Arizona Cardinals.

The twosome explained Porter to Vikings, “Corner is a clear weakness for Minnesota, which brought in Byron Murphy Jr. in free agency to replace veteran Patrick Peterson. Long-armed Porter could see early action outside. He didn’t have much production in college — one interception — but that should change at the next level.”

Sep 1, 2022; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) attempts to intercept the ball while Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver TJ Sheffield (8) defends in the second half at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

The publication was actually a three-round mock, and Kiper-McShay foreshadowed defensive tackle Colby Wooden (Auburn) to Minnesota in Round 3, “Wooden is an interesting 3-technique prospect. He had six sacks last season, four of which came when he was lined up as a tackle. NFL teams covet interior players who can contribute on third downs. He is worth a dart throw near the end of Round 3.”

Nov 12, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers defensive end Colby Wooden (25) tries to get the fans excited starting the fourth quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports.

Porter especially would be a wonderful and safe pick because everything about his skillset suggests Week 1 game-readiness. At the moment, the Vikings employ Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, newcomer Joejuan Williams, Tay Gowan, and Kalon Barnes at cornerback. They need more beef, particularly of the starter variety.

Well, Porter should provide that, and the only concern with the Kiper-McShay prediction is availability. It is unclear if Porter will fall all the way to Minnesota at No. 23.

If general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah doesn’t draft Porter, he is expected to explore the draft candidacies of Jordan Addison (WR, USC), Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU), Zay Flowers (WR, Boston College), Deonte Banks (CB, Maryland), Kelee Ringo (CB, Georgia), and Brian Branch (S, Alabama), among others, in Round 1.

Several draft heads even believe the Vikings will reach for Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker in the 1st Round.

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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