There Are 2 Obvious Players the Vikings Should Trade up For

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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah entered his second draft in charge of the Minnesota Vikings and had problems to solve on his roster. He had to find a replacement for Adam Thielen, and after the first round, we know he managed to do that. Jordan Addison was the 23rd overall pick, a wide receiver from USC.

In addition to that, the team needs some reinforcements on defense, especially cornerback, and the defensive line could be addressed, and a potential successor for QB Kirk Cousins could enter the building. Despite not bringing in those guys in round one, there are still two players available who were not expected to be there but could fix one of the problems.

There Are 2 Obvious Players the Vikings Should Trade up For

There Are 2 Obvious Players the Vikings Should Trade Up For
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Adofo-Mensah pulled off six trades during his first draft as a general manager, and he hasn’t been shy to trade for a guy if he wants to have him in the building.

Will Levis

The first undeniable player that could come to Minnesota via trade is quarterback Will Levis. Coming out of Kentucky, everyone expected Levis to be a top-10 pick. Even the pundits that were low on him had him going at some point in the first round. Just a couple of days ago, there were rumors about him going 2nd overall to Houston or 4th to Indianapolis. However, 31 players found a new NFL home in the first round, and Levis is still on the draft board.

The former Kentucky standout has prototypical QB size and a canon arm. His 50-yard throws look effortless, like when other QBs throw a 20-yard pass. In addition, he has good athleticism, even though his scrambling skills need some work. He played in a Kentucky offense with a terrible offensive line and subpar skill position players, and he did that in the tough SEC.

Vikings 4th in Line
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The Vikings obviously have Kirk Cousins under center in 2023, but beyond that, the QB position is a big mystery. Cousins is in the final year of his contract. He could receive another extension, but if not, the Vikings need to replace him. Levis could be that guy. A big advantage is that he could enter the building as a second-round pick, without the expectations to step onto the field as a rookie, and could learn behind Cousins for a season.

He needs to fix some mechanical issues and improve at processing to make fewer mistakes, but his physical skills are intriguing.

Joey Porter Jr.

Cornerback is a big issue in Minnesota. It has been for years. Patrick Peterson left in free agency, he will play in Pittsburgh, Duke Shelley signed in Las Vegas, and Cameron Dantzler is a Washington Commander. Free agent signing Byron Murphy needs someone to play on the other side, and the candidates are unproven.

Bloodline CB
Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) questions a call during Saturday’s NCAA Division I football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on October 30, 2021. © Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The two 2022 rookies, Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans, missed big parts of their rookie campaigns and couldn’t even beat out Dantzler. It’s unsure if they can live up to their potential. For that reason, the Vikings could add another cornerback with high potential in this year’s class.

Joey Porter Jr. was expected by most to go off the board somewhere in the first 20 picks, but he fell into the second round. His size of 6’2″ and 193 pounds is outstanding, and he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash on his way to a 9.71 relative athletic score on a scale of 10.0.

Porter is a phenomenal cornerback in man coverage and is a perfect scheme fit in Brian Flores’ defense. According to PFF, Porter allowed only 143 yards in his 2022 season for Penn State without allowing a touchdown.

Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores takes over the team’s defense at an introductory press conference on February 15th, 2023, in Eagan, Minnesota.

His father was an All-Pro edge rusher for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the son terrorized QBs just as much as the dad. The elite size and physicality make him an excellent target for the Vikings, who lack starting-caliber cornerbacks.

Trading up for one of the two players will be costly and should at least cost next year’s second round and probably pick number 87. However, Adofo-Mensah could come out of the draft with two high-profile prospects. The first pick is a dynamic wideout. The second could be the solution for a weak CB group or the QB of the future.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt