2023 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings
For much of the 2022 season, Minnesota was among the league’s elite. The Vikings got out to a 8-1 start before finishing 13-4 and ultimately losing to the 9-7-1 New York Giants in the wildcard round. As was the case all season, the Vikings were done in by their poor secondary, allowing Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to throw for 301 yards. Jones threw for 300+ yards only three times this season; two of them came against this Vikings defense.
Top Draft Needs: CB, IDL, WR
The Vikings had the 31st ranked passing defense in the NFL, allowing 265.6 yards per game. Their poor cornerback play was the biggest reason why. To make matters worse, top cornerback Patrick Peterson is set to be a free agent. Andrew Booth was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft but was limited to only six games due to injury. Duke Shelley was surprisingly okay down the stretch, but is also a free agent. This defense needs a high-ceiling perimeter cornerback early on.
Up front, the Vikings will also need some help at defensive tackle. Dalvin Tomlinson is set to be a free agent and would leave a huge void in between two solid edge rushers (assuming Za’Darius Smith is re-signed). The Vikings would love to have him back, but if they can’t get him at the right price, they will need a top-end replacement. Even if Tomlinson does return, interior depth is a must.
On the offensive side of the ball, finding a running mate for all-world wide receiver Justin Jefferson would do wonders for this offense. Adam Thielen will be 33 years old by Week 1 and isn’t the same player he was a few seasons ago. He’s at risk of being cut this offseason. K.J. Osborn is a slot receiver. Minnesota could use another outside threat to keep defenses honest. Also keep an eye on the backfield. Alexander Mattison is a free agent and may have earned an opportunity to start elsewhere. Dalvin Cook could be a cap casualty also. Picking up a running back is a must if one or both players are gone next season.