Vikings 2023 7-round mock draft: Matt Anderson’s 9.0
The Minnesota Vikings have had a decent offseason with several key moves to bolster their roster. They made significant signings in free agency, including edge rusher Marcus Davenport and cornerback Byron Murphy Jr.
Despite these positive additions, the team still has significant gaps that need to be filled. With the upcoming NFL Draft, the Vikings have a chance to address these weaknesses and further improve their squad.
Let’s attempt to fix these weaknesses in my latest mock draft. We will be using Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator and the Rich Hill trade chart for any trades. Let’s take a look at how it unfolded.
23. Boston College WR Zay Flowers
Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Flowers is the perfect fit in this Vikings offense to help the team replace Adam Theilen. He has the ability to stretch the field and is electrifying when he has the ball in his hands in space. Known for his speed, Flowers also has the position flexibility to line up in the slot or on the outside.
Critics knock him for his size, but throughout his college college, it wasn’t an issue for Flowers. He played bigger than his frame and beat out corners for contested catches.
One undervalued trait of Flowers is his ability to track deep balls and haul them in. His combination of speed, shiftiness, and ball skills will make him a day-one starter opposite Justin Jefferson.
75. Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker
Vikings Receive: 75th Overall Pick (63), 159th Overall Pick (10) = Total 73
Falcons Receive: 87th Overall Pick (48), 119th Overall Pick (24). 211th Overall Pick (3) = Total 75
Throughout the offseason members of the Vikings’ organization have declined to give a firm commitment to quarterback Kirk Cousins beyond 2023. Couple this with head coach Kevin O’Connell’s comments about rookie quarterback contracts and you can see there is intrigue in going a different route.
Hooker hasn’t received the buzz like many of the top quarterbacks in this class due to his age and injury. All that aside, it’s a risk well worth taking.
Throughout his time at Tennessee, he displayed a multitude of traits that make him an interesting prospect. Hooker has very good arm strength and his accuracy is sound when throwing the football. He also shows good awareness in the pocket and the ability to become a runner when needed.
Critics have said he needs time to acclimate to the NFL and that he may not be capable of grasping an NFL playbook. Combining this with Hooker’s age and recent injury is why he hasn’t been considered a first-round quarterback prospect.
Sitting behind Cousins, and learning from Kevin O’Connell would be a good landing spot for Hooker.
158. Texas DL Keondre Coburn
There is a void at the interior defensive line spot for the Vikings and Coburn can help fix that. He’s a big-bodied defensive lineman who has upside in every area of his game.
Coburn was a fifth-year senior at Texas and you can see glimpses of greatness throughout 2022. He has that initial quickness out of his stance and the strength to push the offensive lineman back. Coburn as the ability to rush the passer from the interior with multiple pass rushing moves while also being a good run defender. This is important for a defensive lineman in Brian Flores’ scheme.
The knock on Coburn is his length and technique, but when you get to day three of the NFL draft it’s smart to take chances on players with upside.
159. UAB CB Starling Thomas V
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
The Vikings’ cornerback room still has a depth issue even with the signing of Byron Murphy in free agency. Adding Thomas V would help calm those depth concerns and would be a good developmental cornerback.
He’s a physical cornerback who loves to get aggressive and help in the run game. Thomas V has the versatility to play in the slot and outside if needed and likes to get his hands on the receivers at the line of scrimmage to disrupt their release.
His technique and aggressiveness have often hurt him in coverage which is where he’ll need coaching at the next level. As a project cornerback with starter upside, Thomas V is worth the selection.
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