Minnesota Vikings 2023 Draft Grade

The Minnesota Vikings have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL. Now that Aaron Rodgers is out of the NFC North, the Vikings will likely be the favorite to win the North next season. Although it wasn’t vital for them to hit on their picks, they did a solid job of adding young talent with high potential.


Round 1: No. 23 – Jordan Addison, WR, USC

What a pick! Although I had Jordan Addison listed as my number 4 WR in this draft, I couldn’t think of a better fit for the Vikings. He is a tremendous route runner at all levels of the field. He also does a good job of tracking the ball over his shoulder deep down the field. But, he is most dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands. He is very elusive in open space and can change direction on a dime. Finally, the Vikings will be able to play him wherever they want because he is solid as an X, Z, and slot receiver.

Grade: A


Round 3: No. 102 (via SF) – Mekhi Blackmon, CB, USC

Personally, I am not the biggest fan of this pick, considering that Jakorian Bennett and Kelee Ringo went a few picks after him. However, he has the potential to grow into a solid talent in the Vikings’ secondary. He is an explosive athlete who has experience on the outside and in the slot. In man coverage, he does a good job of staying with his target after they make a break in their route. However, he does have a tendency to lose leverage at the top of route stems. This is due to a lack of hip mobility out of a backpedal. Given that he has a ways to go, and better corners were on the board, I am going to be brutally honest with this pick.

Grade: C


Round 4: No. 134 (via KC) – Jay Ward, CB, LSU

Although the Vikings had a questionable pick in Mekhi Blackmon, they redeemed themselves here with this pick. Jay Ward plays with a lot of aggression and physicality. This allows him to fight off smaller receivers and hold his ground against bigger receivers. He also plays with amazing quickness and alertness. This allows him to disrupt plays below him such as curl routes, screen plays, and run plays toward the outside. In Minnesota, he will likely slide down to the slot and make his money covering the middle of the field.

Grade: B+


Round 5: No. 141 (via IND) – Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU

Here we go again with Minnesota drafting back-to-back players from the same school. Roy is a very talented player who was highly ranked coming into the 2022 season, but gradually fell down boards. For a player of his size, he has solid lateral agility that allows him to win by getting around blockers. This is also due to his high motor and relentless effort to shed blocks. He is going to have to work on keeping his pad level low if he wants to improve his versatility in the NFL. His role for the Vikings will likely be a situational DT for the next few seasons.

Grade: B-


Round 5: No. 164 (via SF) – Jaren Hall, QB, BYU

Now here is a pick that I can completely get behind for the Minnesota Vikings. Hall is a very underrated QB who has a high ceiling for a 5th-round pick. He is a natural and fluid athlete who is very good at making plays. In the pocket, he shows off incredible poise to stay calm when the pocket is collapsing. This allows him to make the right decisions and keep moving the chains. If he is forced outside of the pocket, he does a good job of buying time and allowing his receivers to get open. Finally, when you watch his film, I want you to watch his mechanics and how fluid of a throwing motion he has. If developed properly, he will be an amazing successor to Kirk Cousins.

Grade: A-


Round 7: No. 222 (via SF) – DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB

Another late-round pick for the Vikings that could lead to something special. Despite his late-round grade, McBride has one of the highest ceilings of all running backs in the 2023 NFL Draft. To give you an idea of why I believe that, he had 10 games where he ran for over 120 yards. This is because once he gets into open space, he has the speed, elusiveness, and physicality to shed tackles and keep going. Eventually, he will be a dynamic backup to Dalvin Cook.

Grade: A-



Final Thoughts on Minnesota Vikings Draft

Overall, I would say this was a solid draft for the Vikings. They added one of the most versatile receivers in the draft to pair up with Justin Jefferson. They also added a solid backup QB and RB who have very high ceilings. Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, they could have done a better job. But, I am not going to say too much until I see them perform for the Vikings. However, I am going to be brutally honest with my overall draft grade.

Overall Draft Grade: B


Vikings 2023 Draft Grade Analyst – Matthew Lewis