The Vikings add a Kirk Cousins successor and begin overhauling the defense in our final mock draft before the 2023 NFL Draft begins!
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah enters a crucial NFL Draft in his second season as the Vikings general manager. These selections could set the foundation for his legacy in Minnesota — for better or worse. I expect the first-time GM to make some draft day trades with only five choices currently at his disposal. However, I don’t make trades in individual team mocks, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for that. With that out of the way, let’s begin.
The Vikings have done their homework on Hendon Hooker, going as far as speaking to his old coaches at Virginia Tech before his transfer to Tennessee. If Minnesota truly views Hendon Hooker as its next franchise quarterback, this is the place to take him in order to guarantee a fifth-year option on his rookie deal.
The Vikings let Dalvin Tomlinson walk in free agency, leaving a massive hole in the interior of the defensive line. That means there must be a few prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft they have their eyes on. Kobie Turner could be one of those prospects. Turner would have an immediate impact from the start on the Vikings defensive line.
Harrison Smith signed a contract extension this past season with the intent to retire a Minnesota Viking. While that seems to be the thinking for both sides, the Vikings should still consider selecting his replacement. Smith could be a great mentor for Ronnie Hickman, who would be a steal for the Vikings in the fourth round.
This would be a bit of a reach for Ventrell Miller in the fifth round, but he is well worth it. Miller is an aggressive football player who would line up well with Jordan Hicks and Brian Asamoah. The former Florida Gator can serve as a long-term replacement for Hicks in the 2024 season.
Finally, the Vikings add a reliable receiver in Jake Bobo. Bobo has some of the best hands in the 2023 NFL Draft class, making him a perfect target next to Justin Jefferson. Bobo could thrive in the short game while Jefferson focuses on making the big plays that Minnesota desperately need him to make.