Because of the Minnesota Vikings‘ record in the 2022 season, it was deemed a disappointment when they lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs to the Giants. It was, to be sure, but this was always a team that seemed to be enjoying a bit of luck. And now they head into a 2023 offseason when they have major questions to answer and need to fill key holes on the roster in the NFL Draft and free agency.
In terms of the draft, though, this could be an important one for the Vikings. Not only do they obviously need more young talent on the roster, but they could have some familiar faces leaving as cap casualties. Specifically, we could see guys like Adam Thielen, Za’Darius Smith and even Dalvin Cook being released to help Minnesota save money.
Filling those voids will be key and the 2023 NFL Draft is arguably the best option given that the team would be making such moves to save money against the cap. What makes that a bit more difficult is Minnesota having no second-round pick and no picks after the fifth round. That requires smart drafting.
It’s possible to do that and help the roster immediately all five selections, which is what we do in this full Vikings NFL mock draft for the 2023 class.
Vikings NFL mock draft 2023: Minnesota replaces 3 possible cap casualties
If the Vikings do or don’t cut Adam Thielen, Jordan Addison would be an asset
As mentioned, Thielen is a potential cut this offseason if the veteran wideout and the team aren’t able to negotiate a new deal that would take his cap number down. Whether or not he’s on the roster or not in the 2023 season, though, the Vikings need to get more wide receiver help on the roster.
Thielen himself has undoubtedly declined in performance over the past few years. Sure, Justin Jefferson is a complete stud. Outside of Jefferson and Thielen, though, Minnesota was being forced to rely on players like K.J. Osborn, Jalen Reagor and so on. For all of Kirk Cousins’ faults, it’s hard to blame the quarterback when the weaponry is so shallow.
That’s why a player of Jordan Addison’s caliber being on the board with the 23rd overall pick would be huge. He was the Biletnikoff Award winner at Pitt in the 2021 season and then continued to shine after transferring to USC for this past season and teaming up with Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams.
Addison isn’t the most physically gifted receiver. But he’s going to be open. There are sure to be people who say his listed 6-foot, 175-pound frame needs more mass and is worrisome. But he’s going to be open. There are some who will question his ability to make contested catches. But he’s going to be open.
As a complement to someone like Jefferson, Addison would be a huge asset for the Vikings offense that helps everyone involved.