Dustin Baker’s Predictive Mock Draft for Vikings | 2023

Has Vikings 2nd-Round Pick Turned into a Catastrophe?
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On Thursday night, the Minnesota Vikings begin completing the next offseason task, onboarding a class of rookies in general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s second year on the job.

So far this offseason, Adofo-Mensah has welcomed Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals), Dean Lowry (DT, Packers), Brandon Powell (WR, Rams), Troy Reeder (LB, Chargers), and Joejuan Williams (CB, Patriots) as newcomers.

Dustin Baker’s Predictive Mock Draft for Vikings | 2023

Cameron Dantzler (CB, Commanders), Eric Kendricks (LB, Chargers), Patrick Peterson (CB, Steelers), Adam Thielen (WR, Panthers), Dalvin Tomlinson (DT, Browns), Duke Shelley (CB, Raiders), Irv Smith (TE, Bengals), and Kris Boyd (CB, Cardinals) left the organization.

It’s impossible to predict every Adofo-Mensah trade in the year’s event — he trades a lot — but out of the gate, the prognostication is two trades before making a selection.

Trade: Vikings send 23rd pick to the Houston Texans for 33rd and 65th picks.

Trade: Vikings send 33rd pick to Las Vegas Raiders for 38th and 109th picks.

The New Arsenal of Picks:

  • Round 2: 38th pick
  • Round 3: 65th pick
  • Round 3: 87th pick
  • Round 4: 109th pick
  • Round 4: 119th pick
  • Round 5: 160th pick
  • Round 6: 211th pick

And here we go.

R2: Bryan Bresee (DT)


Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee (11) wams up before the game with Wake Forest at Truist Field in Winston-Salem, North Carolina Saturday, September 24, 2022. © Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Adofo-Mensah came up in a program for eight years that religiously built the defensive trenches via 1st- and 2nd-Round draft picks — the San Francisco 49ers. He did not use early-round draft capital on defensive linemen in 2022, so he’ll get back on track this week.

Bresee has high upside, is a pass-rushing tyrant, and can assist Danielle Hunter and Marcus Davenport via pass-rush this autumn. He’ll tumble a bit in the draft because he only played 25 games in college.

R3: Cedric Tillman (WR)


Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) during Tennessee’s game against Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. © Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Selecting Tillman with their second pick of the event, Minnesota will have a mini-camp-battle on its hands between the rookie Volunteer and incumbent K.J. Osborn. Tillman is 6’3″ and 215 pounds — so a big wide receiver. He’ll complement Justin Jefferson nicely.

Tillman must improve his route-running, but he’ll get there with some tutelage from Kevin O’Connell, Wes Phillips, and Keenan McCardell.

R3: Henry To’oto’o (LB)


Predictive Mock Draft
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports.

Eric Kendricks left for the Los Angeles Chargers in March, nominating Jordan Hicks and Brian Asamoah for 2023 linebacking duties. That twosome could work, but planning for 2024 and beyond, Minnesota selects To’oto’o to pair with Asamoah for the long-term.

To’oto’o is intelligent, and Brian Flores will enjoy acclimating him to the suspect-in-2022 Vikings defense.

R4: Trevius Hodges-Tomlinson (CB)


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings drafted two cornerbacks last year, Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans. While fans may not be entirely confident with either man’s starting prognosis, the Vikings don’t share the same anxiety.

Still, drafting Hodges-Tomlinson adds CB depth, and the team could still pursue a free agent like Marcus Peters, Rock Ya-Sin, or Shaquill Griffin, especially if injuries arise.

R4: Dorian Thompson-Robinson (QB)


Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports.

Perhaps the reason you read the article in the first place, Minnesota indeed adds a candidate for QB of the future — just not in the 1st Round.

Do yourself a favor and watch some Thompson-Robinson tape on YouTube. You’ll struggle to understand why it’s a no-brainer that he’s a mid-round prospect. Adofo-Mensah nabs the Bruin in Round 4, with the possibility of taking over Kirk Cousins in 2024 or 2025.

R5: Dylan Horton (OLB)


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Adofo-Mensah enjoys TCU players — see: trades last summer for Jalen Reagor and Ross Blacklock — and the fun continues in Round 5 with the addition of Horton.

Horton will become a project behind Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport, Patrick Jones, and D.J. Wonnum, but Round 5 is precisely for those — projects.

R6: Anthony Bradford (G)


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings have three offensive guards on the current depth chart — Ezra Cleveland, Ed Ingram, and Chris Reed.

They need more, and Bradford is the lottery ticket. He was a teammate of Ed Ingram at LSU.

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.