Vikings 2023 7 round mock draft 7.0: Prioritize wide receiver
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 six 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.
Mock draft 1.0
Mock draft 2.0
Mock draft 3.0
Mock draft 4.0
Mock draft 5.0
Mock draft 6.0
23. North Carolina WR Josh Downs
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
With the likely release of Adam Thielen and both K.J. Osborn and Jalen Reagor set for free agency in 2024, adding weapons to this wide receiver room should be a priority. The Vikings need two types of receivers to their room: a consistent, explosive separator and one that can win down the field. Down can do both, but is at his best winning with quickness and separation. He won’t see top coverage with Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson in tow and that will make difference early on.
87. Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman
Taking a wide receiver with each of the first two picks is a very bold strategy. Why could this happen? If the Vikings attack the defense with their strategy in free agency and fill their holes, attacking the skill positions has some merit. They got their separator in round one with Downs and Tillman is the prototypical X-receiver here at 87. While he was hurt this past season, his level of dominance on the outside can’t be overstated. He also is relatively quick for his size and will win with both that and physicality.
119. South Carolina CB Darius Rush
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
This is an absurdly deep cornerback class. There will be players who can be a starter that you would be able to draft on day three. Rush is currently my 11th-ranked cornerback with a high third-round grade and he would thrive with the Vikings. He excels in man coverage, ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and when he gets beat, has absurd recovery skills. When trying to build out the cornerback room, a player like Rush is ideal.
160. Ole Miss RB Zach Evans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Getting a running back for the Vikings should be a priority. There is a rumor that a team has offered a trade for Dalvin Cook and the runningback class is as deep as the cornerback class. Evans has all-world ability but hasn’t been able to both stay healthy and consistent. His vision, explosiveness and the ability to catch the football will be incredibly appealing to the Vikings.
177. Oklahoma DT Jalen Redmond
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. Oklahoma won 28-13. Bedlam Football
This is a player that fits the versatility motif that the Vikings are subscribing to under new defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Redmond tested incredibly well with an NFL Next Gen Stats athleticism score of 89, second among all testing defensive tackles and you can move him all over the place. His explosiveness will translate to the National Football League and Flores will put him in positions to win.
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