NFL Analyst Claims Vikings Rookie Defender Could Start Immediately

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The Minnesota Vikings suddenly have about a dozen cornerbacks on their depth chart five days removed from the 2023 NFL Draft.

Two free agents have joined the club in the last three weeks, one arrived in the draft, and a few more were onboarded through undrafted free agency.

NFL Analyst Claims Vikings Rookie Defender Could Start Immediately

Summer happenings will determine the final five or six who make the active roster at the end of summer, but here’s the lay of the land at CB as of May 4th:

  • CB1: Byron Murphy
  • CB2: Andrew Booth
  • CB3: Akayleb Evans
  • CB4: Joejuan Williams
  • CB5: Mekhi Blackmon
  • CB6: Tay Gowan
  • CB7: John Reid
  • CB8: Kalon Barnes
  • CB9: C.J. Coldon
  • CB10: NaJee Thompson
  • CB11: Jaylin Williams

And according to NFL analyst Brett Kollmann, one Vikings rookie could clear a path to start as early as Week 1 — USC’s Mekhi Blackmon.

Analyst Claims Vikings
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Kollmann tweeted Wednesday, “Forgot to say this at the time but Mekhi Blackmon was the Vikings best pick in my opinion. Probably will start week one. Hell, depending on Booth’s health he might even be CB1 by Halloween.”

Blackmon is 5’11 and 170 pounds, curiously the exact stature as his 1st-Round-draftee college mate Jordan Addison who also became a Viking last weekend.

1 Rookie REALLY
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Kollmann continued, “Blackmon had like 20 forced incompletions last year and it about as battle tested as they come. Love that kid.”

Blackmon generated warm fuzzies for fans this week, saying he prayed Minnesota would call his name during the draft. “I was waiting all night. I thought it was going to come earlier, but you guys traded back. I kind of anticipated I was probably going to come to you guys — just praying and wishing I would,” Blackmon said about the draft and his new colors.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

“I took my visit out there, and I fell in love with the facilities and the coaching staff, so I was hoping I would land in Minnesota,” Blackmon concluded.

Truth be told, Kollmann could be onto something regarding Blackmon’s future as a starter. Veteran Byron Murphy feels like the only current corner guaranteed to start in September, while Booth, Evans, Williams, and now Blackmon will vie for starters’ jobs and snaps this summer. May the best men win.

Blackmon notched a 90.6 Pro Football Focus grade in 2022, the second-best in college football. At least he has the experience at age 24 to win a job in the NFL compared to his young Vikings peers.

Vikings mandatory minicamp starts on June 13th.

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