What the Last-Minute Mock Drafts Say for Vikings

Dustin Baker's Predictive 7-Round Mock Draft for Vikings
Vikings Draft

The Minnesota Vikings will enhance their roster in four days, and no one is sure what the club will do in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

It’s one of those years in Minnesota when mystery utterly shrouds the pick, chiefly because the team seems content with the offensive line. From 2018 to 2021, the Vikings always needed offensive line improvement, so most merely said, “Get more linemen.”

What the Last-Minute Mock Drafts Say for Vikings

And with the draft about 60 hours away, draft heads are submitting down-to-wire mocks. Here’s a lay of the land from five credible sources.

NFL.com

Anthony Richardson (QB)
Florida

Vikings Have Official
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) salutes while carrying a bag of Skittles in his mouth while walking on Steve Spurrier-Florida Field during Gator Walk at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, September 10, 2022. © Doug Engle / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Who: Chad Reuter | NFL.com

The Why: The Vikings have Kirk Cousins in the house for just one more season, and the best way to create a 2017 Chiefsian plan for his exit is to draft a promising prospect at the same spot Kansas City found Patrick Mahomes six years ago — the 10th overall pick via trade up.

The Explanation: From Reuter: “GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has not been shy about trading draft picks since taking on the job last year. Richardson’s potential as a dual-threat playmaker validates the hefty price Minnesota pays to jump up the board: the 23rd overall pick, a 2023 third-rounder (No. 87) and a 2024 first-rounder.”

Pro Football Focus

Jordan Addison (WR)
USC

What the Last
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

The Who: PFF Staff

The Why: Adam Thielen strolled to the Carolina Panthers in March and isn’t returning anytime soon. Onboarding Addison would hedge the bet against any possible Justin Jefferson injury, as the Trojan is accustomed to a robust target load.

The Explanation: From PFF: “Jordan Addison may be undersized and without elite testing numbers, but he’s good at the things that matter: running routes and making plays on the field. He’s a perfect complement to Justin Jefferson.”

CBS Sports

Hendon Hooker (QB)
Tennessee

Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Who: Josh Edwards | CBS Sports

The Why: Minnesota wants the future QB1 on the roster but isn’t willing to trade up the board for Anthony Richardson, Will Levis, or C.J. Stroud. The cost is too expensive. Therefore, it meets in the middle, so to speak, accepting that Hendon Hooker is old, but his skillset is tantalizing.

The Explanation: From Edwards: “Minnesota adds a high-floor quarterback at a much lower cost to ease the transition from Kirk Cousins.”

Pro Football Network

Quentin Johnston (WR)
TCU

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

The Who: Ian Valentino | Pro Football Network

The Why: Johnston is big and fast; Julio Jones-like at his highest ceiling. It is unclear if the Vikings value K.J. Osborn as a WR2 — perhaps they do — if not, though, Johnston would complement Jefferson tremendously.

The Explanation: From Ian Valentino: “With needs at cornerback, quarterback, and receiver, the Minnesota Vikings have to balance planning for now and for later. If they love Hendon Hooker, they might as well take him here. However, I don’t think Hooker makes sense as a first-rounder, and instead, adding an impactful receiver to help Justin Jefferson matters. TCU’s Quentin Johnston can be a big-play creator.”

Sporting News

Trenton Simpson (LB)
Clemson

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Who: Vinnie Iyer | Sporting News

The Why: Eric Kendricks bolted for the Los Angeles Chargers in March, a return his roots from the collegiate UCLA days. Minnesota employs Jordan Hicks and Brian Asamoah as prospective starting off-ball linebackers. But what if one gets hurt this summer or fall? Insert Simpson.

The Explanation: From Vinnie Iyer: “The Vikings have a big void in the middle of their defense. They should covet Simpson’s toughness and speed with which to cover a ton of ground and make plenty of plays in coverage and against the run.”


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 OverTheCap.com.

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