Vikings 5th-Rounder Is among Draft Analysts’ Favorite Picks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

After months of speculation, we have made it to the other side. The 2023 NFL draft is in the books and now at the stage where everyone is giving their opinion on “who won the draft,” despite years of history telling us nobody knows which rookies will make it, no matter how highly (or lowly) they are rated.

Opinions are swirling about the Vikings 2023 drafts class, and over at, one Vikings fifth-rounder is among draft analysts’ favorite picks.

Rounder Is among
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah only had five draft picks to work with, turning it into six and an extra pick next year via trades. The Vikings did a good job at addressing what they needed to, with the exception of the IOL. Did they get the right players? Did they address position needs in the right order? Everyone has an opinion, and time will tell, but I think the players drafted are a good fit in Minnesota which shows a franchise working to a plan.

Vikings 5th-Rounder Is among Draft Analysts’ Favorite Picks

Chad Reuter always delves deep into the draft for the league’s official website. He chooses his three favorite picks for each round of the draft, and the Vikings have representation in the fifth round. That man is interior defensive lineman Jaquelin Roy, one of the two latest players from LSU to make their way north to Minnesota. Here is what Reuter had to say about the new Vikings defensive tackle.

Jaquelin Roy

Drafted: No. 141 overall

Roy was available in the fifth round because teams think of him as a pure nose tackle — but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. He plays with leverage against man-up blocks and double teams but also has a knack for making plays in space against quicker ball-carriers. I like his fit as an active interior presence in the Vikings’ scheme.

Chad Reuter,
Tigers Jaquelin Roy during the NFL Pro Day at LSU. Wednesday, March 29, 2023. Roy was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings had a few positions that needed to be addressed, and IDL was certainly one of them. After not going in that direction on the first two days of the draft, the good news was that’s a position where you can often find good players on Day 3. It’s not one of the so-called “premium positions.” Finding players who become starters in this area of the draft is vital to long-term success and something the Vikings haven’t had a great deal of success with in recent years

Jaqeulin Roy

As for Roy, I also believe he’s a good fit in Minnesota, whereas he may not be somewhere else. He is not a huge man mountain of a nose tackle. At the combine, he came in at 6’3 and 305 lbs. In the defense the Vikings ran last season under Ed Donatell, where the defensive tackles were often asked to defend a gap and a half, Roy probably isn’t the guy you want. Brian Flores usually asks his interior linemen to defend just one gap.

Team Pressure defensive lineman, Jaquelin Roy, committed to LSU, (99) is introduced at the Under Armor All-America Game in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday January 2, 2020. Under37. © Mickey Welsh, Montgomery Advertiser via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Flores also wants his defense to be athletic and dynamic, and Roy brings this to the interior. He is not the finished article, which is why the Vikings were able to snag him in the fifth, but he has great athletic upside and plus-level physical tools. Roy has the potential to wreak havoc in the opponent’s backfield, a coach like Flores should be perfect to try and unlock that potential.

He brings competition to the position group, and I would expect him to make the 53-man roster. It would take an incredible preseason for him to make the starting lineup, and I’d view that as unlikely. However, expectations should be that he is heavily involved in the defensive line rotation and for Flores to find ways to get him on the field to make aggressive plays.

Roy is a player I look forward to seeing develop and hopefully flourish into an exciting player.