Potential First-Round Picks by the Vikings this Year by Positions of Need

The Vikings have claimed the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and will have a lot of options available to them if they play their cards correctly. Depending on the Vikings’ offseason, we could see them take literally any position in the 1st round except for Quarterback as Kirk Cousins is still under contract. But no matter the outcome of the offseason, there are some positions that the Vikings need more than others, and are more likely to target with that 23rd overall pick.

Despite having a lot of depth at cornerback, the Vikings struggled against the pass this season, especially when they were constantly going back and forth between multiple players in their CB2 position. Patrick Peterson was amazing this year, but it’s still not a guarantee that he will be wearing purple and gold next season. Besides Peterson, the Vikings’ Cornerback room consists of all but 1 player drafted outside of the first 2 rounds of the NFL Draft. Of course it’s unfair to compare a players talent of when they were drafted to where they are now, but getting a corner that is destined to make an instant impact would be a great addition. Some corners that the Vikings could target are:

  • Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
  • Cam Smith (South Carolina)
  • Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)
  • Devon Witherspoon (Illinois)
  • Eli Ricks (Alabama)
  • Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State)

Wide Receiver
With the question of whether Adam Thielen will be in Minnesota next season or not, getting another young receiver to add to an already very young wide receiver room would not hurt. Hypothetically, if Adam Thielen were to leave for free agency, KJ Osborn would be the oldest receiver on the Vikings, only being 25 years old. Vikings’ Wide Receivers Coach Keenan McCardell has shown that he is up there as one of the best WR coaches in the league, especially with player development. If McCardell stays with the Vikings, then adding a young gun to the wide receiver room could possibly benefit the already stellar group. Some receivers that the Vikings could target are:

  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State)
  • Rome Odunze (Washington)
  • Josh Downs (North Carolina)
  • Jordan Addison (USC)

Despite having two great linebackers at the position this year in Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks, this seemed to be a down year for the both of them. And with the possibility of the both of them leaving the Vikings for free agency, looking at linebackers is not a bad idea at the moment, especially when the Vikings are looking at a linebacker specialist in Brian Flores to possibly be the next defensive coordinator. Some linebackers that the Vikings could target are:

  • Drew Sanders (Arkansas)
  • Jack Campbell (Iowa)
  • Daiyan Henley (Washington State)
  • Trenton Simpson (Clemson)

Even though this seems a little far fetched, do not forget that the Vikings did not pick up Garrett Bradbury’s 5th Year Option, and therefore must go through proper contract negotiations, and based on the year Bradbury had, he’ll be asking for more than the Vikings want to pay. If that’s the case and the Vikings let Bradbury walk, then they might look for someone to replace him with. Even though centers aren’t big 1st round prospects, the Vikings might attempt to target one in the 2nd or 3rd round. Some centers that the Vikings could target are:

  • Steve Avila (TCU)
  • Jarrett Patterson (Notre Dame)
  • John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota)
  • Luke Wypler (Ohio State

Running Back
Once again, this seems very far fetched, but Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are both players that have the possibility of going to free agency this offseason. Just like centers, running backs aren’t really 1st round material, and the Vikings could easily wait til Day 2 in order to get a still very solid running back, however, if the opportunity presents itself, the Vikings may jump at the chance. Some backs that the Vikings could target are:

  • Bijan Robinson (Texas)
  • Blake Corum (Michigan)
  • Zach Charbonnet (UCLA)
  • Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama)
  • Mohamed Ibrahim Jr. (Minnesota)

Even though we have a long way to go until the combine and draft, it’s not too early to begin looking at the options that your team posses with their picks. These are just the positions that the Vikings will want to target in the worst case scenario. We could possibly see the Vikings target their possible quarterback of the future on Day 2, as Kirk Cousins’ contract expires in 2023. We could also see the Vikings target a safety later on in the draft to prepare for the possible departure of Harrison Smith. For now, we can just assume, but who knows what the Vikings will do. They’ve surprised us plenty of time before in the draft.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x