The Vikings Draft Was Garbage, per Pundit

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans react during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Through the sheer math of a leaguewide ranking system, the Minnesota Vikings draft last week could not have been any worse, according to Eric Edholm of

That’s the takeaway from Edholm’s 2023 NFL Draft Class Rankings, where the Vikings ranked at No. 32 — also known as the worst in the business.

The Vikings Draft Was Garbage, per Pundit

For starters, this was the haul from April 27th or April 29th:

  • R1: Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
  • R3: Mekhi Blackmon (CB, USC)
  • R4: Jay Ward (S, LSU)
  • R5: Jaquelin Roy (DT, LSU)
  • R5: Jaren Hall (QB, BYU)
  • R7: DeWayne McBride (RB, UAB)
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison reacts after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Most draft analysts landed on B (or so) grades for Minnesota, but Edholm’s synopsis blew those to smithereens. Edholm was mostly confused by the Vikings emphasis on offense — not defense — and assigned the 32nd ranking accordingly. His write-up about the Vikings draft wasn’t overly prosecutorial, but the ranking did the talking.

He wrote, “The Vikings pulled a minor surprise — but hardly a shock — when they took Jordan Addison in Round 1. What made it most interesting was doing so with Maryland CB Deonte Banks still on the board. It’s reasonable to think they anticipate second-year CBs Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans will be healthy enough to contribute, although the Vikes did use their next two picks on the secondary.”

A Top CB Prospect Met
Nov 5, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive back Deonte Banks (3) reacts following a play during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

“Addison is a dangerous playmaker who will see clearer paths opposite Justin Jefferson. But can the Pittsburgh/USC product thrive on the outside, or will he be mostly limited to the slot? At 173 pounds, lacking elite speed, Addison must show he can get loose from press-man coverage, but he’s a three-level threat with polished route-running skills. Mekhi Blackmon was a reach in my mind, but he certainly fits the mold of a Brian Flores defender, so I’ll reserve judgment a bit,” Edholm continued.

The Vikings defense finished 2022 ranked second-to-last per yards allowed to opponents, a surprise considering the team’s flowery 13-4 record. As the offseason began and the draft neared, most onlookers expected to club to target defense for new personnel.

But Minnesota nuked that little plan, instead preferring an offense-first juggernaut not unlike the Daunte Culpepper era some two decades ago. Thankfully, the Vikings hired Brian Flores to run the defense this season, and he rarely produces a second-worst-in-the-league product.

Nov 19, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) throws the ball against the Utah Tech Trailblazers in the first quarter at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports.

Edholm concluded about the Vikings quarterback strategy in the draft, “The Vikings were expected to be in on the quarterbacks, so the Jaren Hall selection wasn’t surprising. He also operated in a system with some pro concepts and has the smarts, moxie and athleticism to make it. But Hall is already 25 years old, injury-prone and lacks high-end arm talent. So, while Kirk Cousins is in the last year of his contract, Hall doesn’t exactly present a clear succession plan.”

The Miami Dolphins (No. 31) and Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 30) were the other teams with vile draft classes, per Edholm’s rankings.

Those six draft newcomers report to Eagan on June 13th for Vikings mandatory minicamp — apparently with chips on their shoulders as the 32nd-ranked bunch.

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