Vikings 2023 Draft Pick “Fell in Love” with the Team Facilities During Pre-Draft Visit

Vikings Draft Pick
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

With the 102nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings added former USC Trojan cornerback Mekhi Blackmon. It was the final pick of the third round and acquired by the Vikings via a trade down the board with the San Francisco 49ers. He was the second Vikings 2023 draft pick after Minnesota also acquired his USC teammate in wide receiver Jordan Addison in the first round.

It’s a very exciting pick for a Vikings secondary that went into this draft with very limited depth at the cornerback position, and Vikings fans have been buzzing about Blackmon’s potential ever since the selection.

Sep 10, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; USC Trojans defensive lineman Solomon Byrd (51) and defensive back Mekhi Blackmon (6) celebrate during the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

However, apparently Vikings fans weren’t the only ones excited about this pick. In a post-draft interview with Tatum Everett posted by the official Vikings Twitter account, Blackmon revealed that he was hoping to land in Minnesota following his pre-draft visit to Eagan:

Thank God you guys came and got me. I took a visit with you guys, I believe, about two, three weeks ago. I fell in love with the [facilities] up there. Me and [Jordan Addison] happened to visit at the same time, so we were talking about it, but for you guys to give me the call with the last pick in the third, I would say I’m real honored and thankful.

These words from the Vikings third-round pick just further confirms what we already knew: the Minnesota Vikings are running one of the best training facilities in the NFL. Earlier this offseason, a poll was put out by the NFL Players Association, asking players to rank where team’s stood in terms of eight key categories:

  • Treatment of families
  • Food service/nutrition
  • Weight room
  • Strength coaches
  • Training room
  • Training staff
  • Locker room
  • Team travel
What is the Biggest Need for the Minnesota Vikings in 2023?
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The results were compiled into the first ever NFLPA  “player team report cards,” and the Minnesota Vikings came out on top as the No. 1 NFL franchise. In this report card, the Vikings were the only franchise in the league to have at least “A-” grades across the board. Minnesota received three “A+” grades coming in the strength staff, training staff, and training room categories. Their only “A-” came in the nutrition category.

This shows the Vikings are not only putting work into creating the most successful team possible, but they also truly care about the well-being of their players. Blackmon’s comments are not the first to rave about Minnesota’s team facilities, and they certainly won’t be the last.

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.