Vikings Mock Draft: Minnesota Lands Versatile Safety Early in Round 2

Vikings Mock Draft
Oct 9, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada (10) rolls away from pressure by Alabama defensive back Brian Branch (14) at Kyle Field. Texas A&M defeated Alabama 41-38 on a field goal as time expired. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is just 10 days away, and as we approach that time of the year again, we continue chugging along with our weekly Vikings mock draft series. Heading into the final countdown before the draft, here is the latest Vikings mock. Check out who we have headed to Minnesota this time around.

Day 1

The Vikings Still Have Work to Do in Free Agency
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Trade Down with Texans

Vikings Get:

  • 2023 Round 2, Pick 33
  • 2023 Round 3, Pick 65
  • 2024 Round 6

Texans Get:

  • 2023 Round 1, Pick 23

The Vikings trade out of the first round entirely after cornerbacks begin flying off the board early in the round. Meanwhile, the Texans trade up to land WR Zay Flowers to pair with new QB Bryce Young.

Day 2

VDT: S Brian Branch Could Bring a Physical Presence to the Vikings Secondary
Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Brian Branch (14) celebrates his interception against the Kansas State Wildcats during the second half in the 2022 Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Round 2, Pick 33: S Brian Branch, Alabama

Weird things always happen in the first round, and especially if the Packers and Commanders opt to take players from the offensive side of the ball, that could spell a drop down the board for safety Brian Branch.

However, with the second selection in the second round, the Vikings scoop him up to add to a young secondary. He can immediately step into a slot cornerback role for Minnesota and adds an extra safety blanket if either Lewis Cine or Harrison Smith run into injury trouble this season.

Round 3, Pick 65: DL Gervon Dexter, Florida

An underrated need for the Vikings this spring is at defensive tackle after they lost Dalvin Tomlinson to the Cleveland Browns in free agency. Gervon Dexter is one of the more powerful interior forces in this class, and he should help improve the Vikings run defense next season.

Round 3, Pick 87: WR Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

If the Vikings want to find a speedy slot receiver to add to their offense, they won’t do much better than Marvin Mims. At Oklahoma, he proved to be an incredible playmaker when he got the ball in his hands, and he is a huge producer of yards after the catch.

Day 3

UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
Dec 30, 2022; El Paso, Texas, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) throws ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers defense in the first half in the 2022 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Round 4, Pick 119: CB Eli Ricks, Alabama

The Vikings need additional depth at CB regardless of how they may feel about some of their young players at the position, and while Eli Ricks may be a developmental project at this point, he’s shown flashes throughout his collegiate career that point towards a bright NFL future. This is solid value in the fourth round.

Round 5, Pick 158: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

Being one of the few QB prospects to visit with the Vikings this offseason, it makes sense that Dorian Thompson-Robinson would be on Minnesota’s radar at this point in the draft. He makes a few too many turnover-worthy plays at this point in his development, but he is terrific at utilizing his mobility to create plays with his legs.

Round 6, Pick 211: CB Mekhi Blackmon, USC

Again, Mekhi Blackmon has gotten a visit with the Vikings this offseason, and while this mock draft has put a large emphasis on Minnesota’s secondary, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that they’d take another CB here. Blackmon has played both in the slot and on the outside, so he brings more versatility to the Vikings defense.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. 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.