Vikings Mock Draft Monday: Minnesota Takes a Defensive Approach

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Oct 8, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Trenton Simpson (22) during the second half against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft season is upon us, and throughout this period of the offseason, we will continue doing our Mock Draft Monday series all the way up until the 2023 Draft kicks off in late April. In this latest Vikings mock draft, we see Minnesota take a heavy defensive emphasis early in the draft. Here are the prospects that we ended up with.

NOTE: As usual, this mock draft was done using the simulator on

Day 1

Oct 2, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Trenton Simpson (22) reacts after an incomplete pass against the Boston College Eagles during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Round 1, Pick 23: Clemson LB Trenton Simpson

If you’ve been following the 2023 NFL Draft content on this site, you are well aware of my feelings towards Trenton Simpson as a football player. I think he is the best linebacker in this class, and with the Vikings potentially needing to replace at least one of Jordan Hicks and/or Eric Kendricks, he feels like a safe bet to bear a starting role in the NFL. If he’s available, I’m sprinting that pick to Roger Goodell.

Day 2

Dec 10, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Army Black Knights outside linebacker Andre Carter II (34) reacts after a play against the Navy Midshipmen during the first half of the 123rd Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA Today Sports

Round 3, Pick 87: Army EDGE Andre Carter II

Andre Carter is an elite athlete as a pass rusher, and while he certainly didn’t play against the top-tier competition with Army, he absolutely dominated opponents in front of him. There is a lot to like about Carter’s game, and while he remains very raw in terms of a prospect, being able to get him in the third round is a win for the Vikings.

Day 3

Feb 1, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; National running back Roschon Johnson of Texas (0) talks on the sideline during the second day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Round 4, Pick 119: Houston WR Tank Dell

Tank Dell remains a strong prospect in terms of his ability as a slot receiver. We’ve drafted him in one of these Monday mocks before, and I still believe he should be on the Vikings radar in April. Minnesota needs a deep threat to complement Justin Jefferson, and Dell is one of the fastest receivers in this class while also showcasing terrific playmaking ability for the Cougars.

Round 5, Pick 160: Texas RB Roschon Johnson

Eric Gray went to the Vikings last week, and now, we will be introduced to another running back this week. Roschon Johnson out of Texas certainly played second fiddle to Bijan Robinson, who is almost a lock to go in the first round of April’s draft.

However, Johnson still put up some respectable numbers with the Longhorns, and he too brings an intriguing combo of rushing and receiving abilities. It will be interesting to see just how NFL teams view him considering he was a backup throughout college, but this feels like a good spot for him to be picked.

Round 5, Pick 177: Northwestern CB Cameron Mitchell

Cameron Mitchell really thrived as a cornerback during his final two years with Northwestern, and he now enters the 2023 Draft as yet another CB that can move fluidly up and down the field while also bringing a physical nature to a defense. Minnesota should probably take a CB at some point in this draft, and they sneak in with their final pick to snatch one.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.