Vikings to Meet with Another Rookie Defensive Target

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The Minnesota Vikings will join a momentous draft in 10 days, expected to draft a quarterback of the future but also outfitted with nine picks overall.

Vikings to Meet with Another Rookie Defensive Target

Quarterbacks Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2, and the purple team will likely leave the event with one of those men.

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But the club is doing its diligence all around the depth chart, meeting with several defensive prospects via Top 30 visit last week and now. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Minnesota will meet with a cornerback from the Oregon Ducks. He tweeted Monday morning, “Oregon CB Khyree Jackson is visiting the Vikings today on a Top 30 visit.”

Jackson is a fascinating meeting for Minnesota because he may provide a glimpse into the team’s draft plan. Most mock drafts foresee Jackson flying off the board in Round 3 or 4, and that’s about where Minnesota would resume drafting if it selects a quarterback in Round 1.

The Duck played two seasons at Alabama in 2021 and 2022 before transferring to Oregon last season, where he ripped off three interceptions in 12 games. Jackson would also fit nicely with the Vikings because of his height. He’s 6’3″ and about 200 pounds, and in Minnesota’s current cornerback room, no player surpasses that height. Some fans have argued this offseason that the franchise needs bigger and taller corners. Jackson is that.

Flores Flourish
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In March, Bryce Lazenby of PurplePTSD, a sister site to VikingsTerritory, mock-drafted Jackson to Minnesota and explained, “Jackson played one season for the Oregon Ducks after spending the first two seasons of his college career with the Alabama Crimson Tide. The corner excelled in Eugene, collecting 34 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks, and three interceptions.”

Lazenby added, “The former Duck has a decent athletic profile and isn’t afraid of contact. At 6’3″, 197 pounds, Jackson plays like a safety but is quick enough not to get burned on the outside. Great value here.”

Oregon cornerback Khyree Jackson hauls in a pass during Oregon Pro Day Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at the Moshofsky Center in Eugene, Ore. © Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Draft Network‘s Brentley Weissman described Jackson in January, “Jackson is a long and athletic coverman who has an NFL skill set. He is best used on the boundary where he can use his length to his advantage and hide his limited change of direction. Jackson has all the makings of a productive NFL starter.”

This is the Vikings’ current CB room:

CB1: Byron Murphy
CB2: Akayleb Evans
CB3: Mekhi Blackmon
CB4: Shaquill Griffin
CB5: Andrew Booth
CB6: NaJee Thompson
CB7: Jaylin Williams
CB8: Joejuan Williams
CB9: A.J. Green III

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Jackson is an older prospect and will turn 25 in August. The Vikings defense ranked 32nd in 2023 per completion percentage allowed.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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