The 3 Biggest Post-Draft Vikings Needs

The Vikings Must Improve This Position in 2023
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) snaps the football along side of guard Ezra Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The 2023 NFL Draft has come and gone, and the Vikings have added six players that should bring a boost to their roster this season and into the future. However, they still have areas of need if they want to build the best roster possible for the 2023 season. Here are the 3 biggest post-draft Vikings needs.


3 Biggest Post-Draft Vikings Needs
Sep 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates after scoring on a 59-yard fumble recovery in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It may be tough to fill this need at this point in the offseason, but the Vikings cornerback room remains thin and largely unproven. A couple UDFA signings added some camp bodies, but this is a group that still needs additional veteran presence.

Byron Murphy remains the CB1 after the draft, and it doesn’t appear that this is going to change anytime soon. Minnesota seems content to rely on their young guys at the position and see what new-draftee Mekhi Blackmon along with Andrew Booth Jr. and Akayleb Evans can do when given a larger role. Hopefully, the front office and coaching staff is proven correct.

Interior Offensive Line

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and guard Oli Udoh (74) and center Garrett Bradbury (56) and guard Ezra Cleveland (72) in action against the Los Angeles Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It seemed like interior offensive line was a sneaky need for Minnesota heading into this draft, but this remains a thin group behind the starters Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, and Ed Ingram. The Vikings tested a thin room out last season, and they finished the year essentially one injury away from needing to find extra free agent help to protect Kirk Cousins.

So far this offseason, Minnesota has done very little along the offensive line other than simply bring back their players from 2022. Perhaps they’ll have better injury luck this year, but banking on health in the NFL can be a very slippery slope.


Za'Darius Smith Wants to Be Released
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

If Za’Darius Smith sticks around for the 2023 season, this becomes much less dire. However, we simply have no way of knowing how much his thought process has changed since requesting his release from the Vikings.

Minnesota did go out and get Marcus Davenport in free agency, and they added a freakish player in Andre Carter II as an UDFA signing. However, Davenport has a long history of injury troubles at this point, and without Smith, the Vikings are once again looking at Patrick Jones II or D.J. Wonnum to take on a big role.

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