The Draft Solved 3 Big Vikings Mysteries

4 Vikings Have Exceeded Expectations in 2022
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The Minnesota Vikings picked six players in the 2023 NFL Draft, followed by the swift acquisitions of 15 undrafted free agents.

These players arrived in the draft:

  • 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)

The Draft Solved 3 Big Vikings Mysteries

Plus the 15 UDFAs:

  • Alan Ali (OL, TCU)
  • Calvin Avery (DT, Illinois)
  • Abraham Beauplan (ILB, Marshall)
  • Andre Carter II (EDGE, Army)
  • Jacky Chen (OL, Pace)
  • C.J. Coldon (CB, Oklahoma)
  • Wilson Huber (ILB, Cincinnati)
  • Cephus Johnson (WR, SE Louisiana)
  • Malik Knowles (WR, Kansas State)
  • Ivan Pace, Jr. (ILB, Cincinnati)
  • Jack Podlesny (K, Georgia)
  • Ben Sims (TE, Baylor)
  • Thayer Thomas (WR, N.C. State)
  • NaJee Thompson (CB, Georgia Southern)
  • Jaylin Williams (CB, Indiana)

Along the way, three big Vikings draft mysteries were solved, and these are those.

1. Is K.J. Osborn the WR2?

The Draft Solved 3
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Answer: Nope — probably not.

The selection of Jordan Addison makes Osborn’s life hectic — if he desired the WR2 job. Should Week 6 or so roll around and Addison isn’t commanding a WR2 workload, eyebrows will raise.

Osborn will still very much have a role in the Vikings offense — the presence of Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison should frequently make him wide open — but the WR2 dream is probably kaput.

Too, remember that 2023 is a contract year for Osborn. In about nine months, in articles like these, Osborn’s next contract or new possible destinations will be on the agenda.

2. Is This Basically It for Cornerbacks?

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Answer: Yep — pretty much.

Minnesota spent a 3rd-Rounder on Mekhi Blackmon for USC, a 24-year-old commodity from USC. He should receive playing time sooner than later. But the Vikings didn’t draft a Week-1-ready CB like Deonte Banks or Joey Porter Jr. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah actually passed on Banks and Porter Jr. in favor of Addison, so, yes, this is probably “it” for 2023 CBs.

The Vikings could theoretically sign an experienced free agent like Marcus Peters or Shaquill Griffin to accompany this group:

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

But let’s face it. The team will keep five or six CBs. If they add another veteran, who’s the odd man out on the list above? New rookie safety Jay Ward from LSU will probably be on deck for slot corner duty, too, at times.

It’s a crowded CB house with no big-name, proven talent outside Murphy.

3. Will the Vikings Draft a True-Blue QB of the Future?

49ers Trade Turned
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Answer: Not really.

Jaren Hall could turn into the next big thing. However, he won’t start for the Vikings until age 26 or 27. And he’s a 5th-Rounder. Players from late rounds not named Tom Brady hardly ever pan out.

Indeed, it’ll be fun to watch Hall in the preseason — he better play more efficiently than Sean Mannion — but he’s an honest-to-goodness lottery ticket regarding a starter’s future.

In the end, after relentless speculation, the Vikings did not trade up the draftboard for C.J. Stroud or Anthony Richardson, said no thanks to Hendon Hooker, and tellingly passed on Will Levis at pick No. 23.

The club did not prepare for life after Kirk Cousins sans a late-round pipe dream in Hall.

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