Vikings Named Landing Spot for 2 ‘Polarizing’ Rookies

Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson Ncaa Football Syracuse At Clemson. © Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings will stroll to the podium late Thursday night, 23rd in line, during the 2023 NFL Draft — if they don’t trade back for extra assets.

That’s the price to pay for a 13-4 record in 2022, and the club has just five picks to spend after trades netting T.J. Hockenson, Akayleb Evans, and Jalen Reagor last year.

Vikings Named Landing Spot for 2 ‘Polarizing’ Rookies

And when Minnesota begins adding new players from the event, they’ll be dark horses to land two ‘polarizing’ prospects, according to Bleacher Report. — DT Bryan Bresee and WR Quentin Johnston.

Says Defensive Beast
Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee (11) during the first day of fall football practice at the Allen Reeves Complex in Clemson Friday, August 5, 2022. © Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

BR‘s Gary Davenport named nine polarizing draft personalities, for some reason or another, from positions all over the field:

  • Bryan Bresee (DT, Clemson)
  • Ji’Ayir Brown (S, Penn State)
  • Jahmyr Gibbs (RB, Alabama)
  • Jalin Hyatt (WR, Tennessee)
  • Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU)
  • Calijah Kancey (DT, Pittsburgh)
  • Anthony Richardson (QB, Florida)
  • Kelee Ringo (CB, Georgia)
  • Nolan Smith (EDGE, Georgia)

The Vikings have oodles of defensive tackles on the roster at the moment, but onboarding Bresee could add extra pass-rushing juice. These are the team’s non-nose-tackle DTs as of April 22nd:

  • DE1: Harrison Phillips
  • DE2: Dean Lowry
  • DE3: James Lynch
  • DE4: Jonathan Bullard
  • DE5: Ross Blacklock
  • DE6: Kenny Willekes
  • DE7: Esezi Otomewo

Davenport wrote about the possibility of Bresee to Minnesota, “Now that Brian Flores is the new defensive coordinator in Minnesota, the Vikings will likely run more hybrid fronts. Bresee could be a big help in that regard. He has the length and quickness to play the 5-tech end spot in three-man fronts and the strength and power to kick inside in sub-packages.”

The polarizing parts for Bresee are durability and experience. He played 15 football games in the last two years.

Vikings Named Landing
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) runs after a catch in the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines of the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, Minnesota could also add a wide receiver for life after Adam Thielen to ensure Justin Jefferson has a productive pal for the next 4-5 years. That player could be WR3 K.J. Osborn, or perhaps someone like Johnston, who Davenport mentioned, too, for the Vikings purposes.

“The Vikings might not view wide receiver as a high priority in the draft. But Adam Thielen is gone, and K.J. Osborn hasn’t yet shown he can be an every-week contributor. Playing opposite Justin Jefferson would allow Johnston to face single coverage for most of his rookie year,” Davenport explained.

Latest Projected Vikings Trade for a QB Is Actually Reasonable
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Johnston’s weaknesses are drops along with some contested-catch concerns.

In eight drafts as a San Francisco 49ers front office member, Adofo-Mensah’s group drafted just one 1st-Round wide receiver from 2013 to 2020 — Brandon Aiyuk three years ago. In that vein, it may be more likely for Bresee to join instead of Johnston if history is a reasonable indicator.

The Vikings also have long-term roster needs at cornerback, off-ball linebacker, and arguably quarterback.

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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