Vikings Say Hello to 6 Rookies
The Minnesota Vikings have completed the 2023 NFL Draft, and in the aftermath of the event, nothing was too terribly surprising.
The club kicked off the draft with a wide receiver who could become a household name, drafted defensively for few picks after that, and finished by finding a development quarterback. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah even threw in a new running back for good measure.
Vikings Say Hello to 6 Rookies
Now, fans wait for four short months until meaningful Vikings football, as minicamp, training camp, and the preseason will arrive this summer.
These are the new players drafted by the Vikings.
1. Jordan Addison (WR)
When: Round 1 (Pick 23)
Size: 5’11” | 170 lbs
The Good: A workhorse and target fiend, Addison was ranked near the top of this draft class for his release off routes and spacial awareness. He’s fast, productive, and hungry. He is not a boom-or-bust draft prospect.
The Bad: Addison isn’t overly physical and was beset by drops at Pittsburgh before transferring to USC. Some will criticize his small stature.
2. Mekhi Blackmon (CB)
When: Round 3 (Pick 102)
Size: 5’11 | 175 lbs
The Good: A body clone of Addison, Blackmon is scrappy, aggressive, high-IQ, and a tackler. Consider him a rookie version of Duke Shelley, who left for the Las Vegas Raiders last month.
The Bad: The knocks are similar to Addison — size. Blackmon isn’t the strongest corner in the business, and run support is suspect.
3. Jay Ward (S)
When: Round 4 (Pick 134)
Size: 6’1″ | 180 lbs
The Good: Ward is as versatile as duct tape and could end up as the Vikings starting slot cornerback before too long — yes, cornerback. His motor is impressive, and he is adept at stopping the run + pass.
The Bad: Ward, too, has a slight frame and isn’t a phenom tackler — less than ideal for a safety.
4. Jaquelin Roy (DT)
When: Round 5 (Pick 141)
Size: 6’4″ | 315 lbs
The Good: His pro comp, according to draft heads, is Dalvin Tomlinson, the guy who just left the Vikings for the Cleveland Browns lavish piggy bank. Roy is applauded for his athleticism and prototypical defensive tackle build. He’s central casting for the job.
The Bad: The pass-rush toolkit isn’t upper-echelon, and his general skill profile will need fine-tuning from the Vikings coaching staff.
5. Jaren Hall (QB)
When: Round 5 (Pick 164)
Size: 6’1″ | 205 lbs
The Good: Hall has all the mobility and intangibles to thrive as a modern quarterback. He is not a statue — at all — in the pocket and uses creativity when the pocket collapses. His arm strength is decent, and Hall overall has all the raw ability to earn a QB1 job — down the road.
The Bad: He’s 25 years old, and seldom do rookie quarterbacks just starting at that age turn into anything noteworthy. Hall also had concussion problems at BYU and a hip injury in 2020. By the time the Vikings need him for QB1 duty, he’ll be 26 or 27 years old. And that’s the age “normal” rookies begin second contracts.
6. DeWayne McBride (RB)
When: Round 7 (Pick 222)
College: University of Alabama-Birmingham
Size: 5’11” | 215 lbs
The Good: McBride is a true power back. The man is wrecking ball, showcasing strength, balance, and decent agility. He was a bellcow commodity at UAB. His height and weight are the same as young Marshawn Lynch — precisely alike, in fact.
The Bad: The 21-year-old hit Round 7 for a few reasons. First, running backs are a footnote to the sport in 2023 — a sad occurrence for some. He absolutely did not catch the football out of the backfield, like ever, in college. And his speed isn’t elite.
Vikings New Defender: “Y’all Done F—-d Up.”
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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