Report: Vikings to Host Hometown 2023 Draft Prospect

Vikings to Host Hometown 2023 Draft Prospect
Nov 12, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Evan Hull (26) runs the ball against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings continue their evaluation of 2023 NFL Draft prospects this week, and according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP, the Vikings latest visit will happen with a hometown 2023 draft prospect, RB Evan Hull. Hull played his high school ball at Maple Grove before going to college at Northwestern.

While in college, Hull played a limited role during the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Wildcats before turning into a full-blown workhorse for Northwestern in 2021. During that season, he carried 196 times for a total of 1009 yards and 7 TDs compared to just 71 carries for 495 yards and 6 TDs over his first two seasons.

Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Northwestern running back Evan Hull (RB11) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2022, Hull’s efficiency as a rusher took a bit of a step back, carrying 221 times for 913 yards and 5 TDs. However, this also opened the door to him being a much larger piece of the receiving game for Northwestern. During the season, he caught 55 passes for 546 yards with both totals being career-highs for the RB.

Hull projects as a Day 3 pick, and with the Vikings holding selections in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds, he could be a viable option with any of these selections, depending on how the board falls. In his evaluation, Lance Zierlein had this to say regarding the potential of the Northwestern RB:

Compact, muscular runner with below-average explosiveness but decent downhill power. Hull’s lack of suddenness and foot quickness to quickly get in and out of cuts allows defenders to track him down. He needs to play with as much downhill movement as possible, so he will need a quality offensive line in front of him to succeed. He’s a very capable route-runner and pass-catcher but he needs to improve in pass protection for consideration as a third-down option. Hull might need the perfect team fit to stick around on a roster long-term.

Northwestern Wildcat Evan Hull (26) jumps over offensive lineman Ethan Wiederkehr (76) as he runs away from the Purdue Boilermaker defense during the NCAA football game, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. Np1 2868

As of now, the Vikings arguably have the best offensive line in recent memory, and they have many of their players locked up for years to come, with only LG Ezra Cleveland being a wild card following the 2023 season. In order to maximize Hull, as Zierlein suggests, a quality offensive line would certainly help his or any RB prospect to maximize his NFL potential.

Hull showcased some great athleticism and physical talent at the NFL scouting combine as well, putting together a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash as well as 37″ in the vertical jump, and 10′ 3″ in the broad jump. At 5’10 and 209 pounds, he has a sturdy build to find success in the NFL.

With uncertainty continuing to surround the Vikings RB room right now, perhaps Minnesota could look to move on from Dalvin Cook and snatch another young player at the position. Such a move would also free up valuable cap space for future years.

The 2023 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 27th.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.