Vikings 2023 7 round mock draft 8.0: Draft defense early & often

The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of different ways they can go in the NFL draft. There will be some discussion on what needs are most important but the Vikings can address most of them through both free agency and the NFL draft.

I have now done seven mock drafts for the Vikings this offseason and they all have taken a slightly different turn each time. This one has the Vikings trading back and focusing on the defense with the first four picks.

Mock draft 1.0
Mock draft 2.0
Mock draft 3.0
Mock draft 4.0
Mock draft 5.0
Mock draft 6.0
Mock draft 7.0

29. Alabama S Brian Branch

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Vikings trade pick 23 to the New Orleans Saints for picks 29 and 115.

Tyler’s Scouting Report

The Vikings acquire a sixth pick to move down just nine spots after the quarterbacks are all gone by pick 23. Branch feels like a player that Brian Flores will pound the table for. He can do a little bit of everything, as Branch lined up in the slot, in the box and as a center fielder over 130 snaps each last season. Put him wherever you want and let him make plays and thrive, especially in three safety sets.

87. South Carolina CB Darius Rush

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Tyler’s Scouting Report

One of my favorite players in this class, Rush is an intriguing prospect. A physical player, Rush loses a little too often early in the route, but his excellent football IQ and athleticism allows him to recover quickly and easily to make a play on the football. He is a very intriguing developmental piece that would fit in really well.

115. Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Ut Baylor Football 02373

Tyler’s Scouting Report

Jordan Hicks is returning for the final year of his contract and Brian Asamoah will be a first-year starter. The future of the position is in flux with only Asamoah under contract for next season and Overshown is the modern day linebacker. He is tall, long and explosive in his movements. Shedding blocks will be an issue, but the rest of his game fits the modern day NFL.

119. Miami FL CB Tyrique Stevenson

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This has been a very defense heavy draft and Stevenson is the next guy up. He is built for what Brian Flores wants to do on defense. A beast in press coverage, Stevenson has the technical skills in press along with the size and physicality to thrive. Getting him in round four is a steal for the Vikings.

158. Ole Miss RB Zach Evans

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Tyler’s Scouting Report

With the Vikings trying to build a running back by committee, Evans is a really good value in round five. A fringe third/fourth round pick for me, Evans has a lot of explosiveness to his game, but worries with his hands and pass blocking are real concerns.

211. Ole Miss WR Jonathan Mingo

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Mingo feels like a receiver that Kevin O’Connell would prioritize. Big, fast, physical and a solid blocker, Mingo can be an X or a power slot and would especially thrive in condensed formations. With the current depth that the Vikings receiver room has, Mingo would bring some more upside and a diverse skillset to the position.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire