What will Minnesota do with the number 23 in the NFL draft?

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Georgia Bulldogs at Kroger Field on November 19, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. ((Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images))

The NFL Draft is less than a month away and the mocks are all over the map for what the Minnesota Vikings could do.

After going 13-5 and winning a division title in Kevin O’Connell’s first season as head coach, the Vikings are No. 23 overall. It’s a safe guess that the Vikings won’t stay there. Just look at Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s first draft in his first draft last year. He returned to the last pick of the first round and traded within the NFC North to take on Lewis Cine.

23rd place seems to have pretty much everything on the table this year. The Vikings have parted ways with Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, Dalvin Tomlinson, Cam Dantzler, Duke Shelley and Adam Thielen. They brought in Marcus Davenport, Dean Lowry, Byron Murphy and Troy Reeder on defense. They’ve added Josh Oliver and Brandon Powell on offense and are bringing back Harrison Smith, Alexander Mattison, Garrett Bradbury, Jordan Hicks and Greg Joseph, among others.

With several different options available, here are some of the names associated with the Vikings:


If the Vikings’ front office wants a quarterback after Kirk Cousins, they have to go up in the first round to do it. Will Levis is the best option not named CJ Stroud, Bryce Young or Anthony Richardson. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Cousins ​​wanted a three-year deal with the Vikings, but Adofo-Mensah and Co. didn’t want such a long-term commitment.

Levis started in 24 games for Kentucky in two seasons and threw for more than 4,200 yards, 43 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. If the Vikings make a move for a quarterback after Cousins, Levis is the likely candidate. But it’s unlikely he’ll be there at 23.


If the Vikings want to bolster their high school under Brian Flores and make a splash, look to Illinois defender Devon Witherspoon. But here, too, they have to move up to get him. Witherspoon is widely regarded as one of the top corners in the draft and is likely a top 10 pick.

The Vikings have signed Byron Murphy to free agency, but Andrew Booth Jr. and Akayleb Evans are both coming back from injuries, as is Cine. Witherspoon was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after three interceptions, 17 passes defended and 41 tackles in 12 starts.


With Adam Thielen released and going to Carolina on a free-hand basis, the Vikings may be looking for a No. 2 receiver to complement Justin Jefferson. One could argue that KJ Osborn is the favorite there, but depth in position never hurts.

Enter Jackson Smith Njigba from the state of Ohio. He only had five catches for the Buckeyes last year because of a hamstring, but two years ago he had 95 catches for 1,606 yards. He’s widely considered one of the best receivers in the draft and will be a playmaker.


The Vikings have Harrison Phillips, Dean Lowry, Danielle Hunter and possibly Za’Darius Smith back on the defensive line. But maybe they want some more meat in Flores’ defense.

Bryan Bresee combines size with athleticism at 6-5 and nearly 300 pounds. He ran 4.86 40-yard dashes at the NFL Combine and had a 29-inch vertical. In 10 games last season, he had 15.5 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two pass breakups.


The name should sound familiar, Joey Porter Jr. is the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers star Joey Porter. His son was in the Penn State First Team All-Big Ten last season with 27 tackles and 11 pass break-ups in 10 starts. Two seasons ago, in 13 starts, he had 51 tackles, one interception and four pass breakups.

The Vikings may be looking for a future linebacker with Eric Kendricks gone, Jordan Hicks making a last minute return, and Brian Asamoah returning as linebacker again.

We’ll see how much Deal Adofo-Mensah has to offer on April 27th as the Vikings have choices to make.


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