It’s never too early to take a look at an NFL Draft class, right? That’s always been my motto, and the 2023 class looks like it will be filled with talent once again. The Vikings have a number of positions that they will need to improve through the draft next April, and with Week 2 of the college football season getting underway tonight, here are a few names and positions to keep an eye on that could be on the Vikings draft radar next spring.
If the Vikings are truly ready to move on from Kirk Cousins following the 2023 season, now is the perfect time to look for his replacement in the draft. The 2023 draft class looks much closer to the 2021 class in terms of QBs rather than the historic talent dip that the 2022 class took.
If they go after a QB now, it will give him an opportunity to learn the offense for a year rather than throwing him out to the wolves as a rookie in 2024. The player I’ve had my eye on for a while at this spot is Anthony Richardson out of Florida.
We’ve seen big names in recent years come out of the tight end position, and the 2023 draft class looks like it will be one of the best that we’ve had. Michael Mayer out of Notre Dame is the consensus TE1 as of now, but Georgia’s Arik Gilbert is an athletic freak as well at 6’5 and nearly 250 pounds.
The Vikings enter the 2022 season with question marks at tight end, particularly surrounding Irv Smith Jr. Smith is in a contract year, but after spending his early career behind Kyle Rudolph and missing the entire 2021 season with a meniscus tear. If Smith does not have a breakout campaign, the Vikings may begin looking for a new tight end.
The Vikinigs have a pair of star EDGE rushers as their starters for the foreseeable future, but behind Patrick Jones II and D.J. Wonnum, there is very little depth at the position. In fact, Luiji Vilain is the only other pass-rusher listed on the depth chart behind these four.
EDGE doesn’t necessarily need to be a first-round focus for the Vikings, but that just makes it even better to target in this draft. There are talented players all up and down next spring’s class. One player to keep an eye on in Round 2 is LSU’s BJ Ojulari, the brother of Azeez Ojulari who plays for the New York Giants.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh‘s hobbies include training for a marathon, playing video games, and rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken