Vikings NFL Draft Picks Recap 2023

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2022

In a weak NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings went 8-9 while finishing in second place in the division. The Vikings had no chance at achieving first place in the division, with the Green Bay Packers winning 13 games last season.

However, the NFC North is still wide open with uncertainty with the Packers, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions.

Of course, the Packers seem like a lock to win the NFC North with Aaron Rodgers back. But Rodgers’ favorite receiver, Davante Adams, is now on the Las Vegas Raiders. Meanwhile, the Bears will still need to develop Justin Fields while the Lions need to continue to dig themselves out of the bottom portion of the NFL.

With a strong offseason, it seems like the Vikings could fight their way into a Wild Card spot next year.

In free agency, Minnesota added OLB Za’Darius Smith to a three-year deal. Smith is currently in his prime, at 29-years-old, and has nearly 45 career sacks in the league. Smith was injured in 2021 throughout the entire season for the Packers and has stayed in the division but went to a rival.

At linebacker, the Vikings also added Jordan Hicks, who had been released by the Arizona Cardinals a week prior. Also, Patrick Peterson has re-signed with Minnesota. With the defense coming together, the Vikings are really starting to look better.

Despite all these signings, Minnesota continued to go after defensive talent in the 2022 NFL Draft and made some interesting trades with their division rivals.

Vikings NFL Draft Picks 2022

  • Round 1, Pick 32 (32nd Overall): Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
  • Round 2, Pick 10 (42nd Overall): Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
  • Round 2, Pick 27 (59th Overall): Ed Ingram, G, LSU
  • Round 3, Pick 2 (66th Overall): Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
  • Round 4, Pick 13 (118th Overall): Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
  • Round 5, Pick 22 (165th Overall): Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota
  • Round 5, Pick 26 (169th Overall): Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
  • Round 6, Pick 5 (184th Overall): Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
  • Round 6, Pick 12 (191st Overall): Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
  • Round 7, Pick 6 (227th Overall): Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina

This draft was very surprising for the Vikings and just didn’t make a ton of sense. For first-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, this was his first time really running the show in the NFL Draft.

It felt like Minnesota basically handed their top picks to the rival Lions and Packers. However, it was clear that the strategy was to trade down and acquire more picks, which all in all, they did end up with a bunch of solid picks.

The trade with the Lions made absolutely no sense and the Vikings got fleeced, simply put. And with the Packers being so desperate for a wide receiver, it seemed like the Vikings did their division rivals a favor by letting them trade up to get the guy that they wanted.

Outside of the trades, Minnesota did well to address their biggest need, which was simply the defense as a whole. The defensive line needed some work and the secondary was one of the worst in the NFL last season.

Targeting their secondary was the first thing the Vikings did, drafting Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth with their first two picks. Cine was a nice value and is someone who I believe can step in immediately and become a starter as soon as Week 1.

Brian Asamoah and Akayleb Evans were also nice picks, both of which felt like solid value for this team. All in all, they did a solid job of potentially improving their defense, and I liked a lot of these picks.

The trades with two division rivals still do not make sense at all and make it really hard to like what Minnesota did in this draft overall.

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Note: The Vikings NFL Draft predictions below were published before the 2022 NFL Draft.

Pre-Draft Vikings NFL Mock Draft Predictions 2022

  • Round 1, Pick 12 (12th Overall): Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
  • Round 2, Pick 14 (46th Overall): Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
  • Round 3, Pick 13 (77th Overall): Cole Strange, G, UT Chattanooga

More Possible Vikings Draft Targets: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati; Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia; Cameron Thomas, EDGE, SDSU; Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor; Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati; Amare Barno, DE, Virginia Tech

Pre-Draft Vikings Team Needs 2022

1. Cornerback

This is no secret. The Vikings need cornerback help in a draft that is loaded with cornerbacks at the top of the board. The Vikings will watch Mackensie Alexander test free agency and have just Cameron Dantzler, Kris Boyd, Harrison Hand, and Parry Nickerson left on the roster.

Luckily for the Vikings, Peterson will be returning to the team on a one-year deal.

This is easily the biggest need for the Vikings, who have already added some free agent talent at linebacker and on the line. Look for the Vikings to go strictly cornerback in with their first pick of the draft.

2. Offensive Line

The Vikings likely won’t draft an offensive lineman in the first round of the NFL Draft, but it’s still an essential need for this team.

The Vikings added Garrett Bradbury to play center with their first pick in 2019, and he’s never really developed into what the team had hoped he would. The two guards haven’t been great either between Wyatt Davis and Ezra Cleveland.

On Day 2, the Vikings will get the highest guy on their board to help fill a need at the offensive line.

3. Safety

Are we going to sit here and trust an aging Harrison Smith? Can Smith really keep up his production for another couple of seasons? I thought Camryn Bynum stepped up last season, but this team needs more depth at the safety position.

Bynum is still a wild card. It’s a wait-and-see game to know if he’ll develop into anything more than just a solid role player that can come in when another guy is injured or out.

Vikings May Also Consider Drafting: EDGE, Linebacker, Quarterback


Jason Radowitz

Jason Radowitz is a jack of all trades when it comes to writing sports. Jason writes and bets the MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAAF, and NCAAB when the sports are in season. Currently, he's a Writer and Betting Analyst for The Game Day providing daily content in the MLB. Earlier in his sports career, Jason was a graduate assistant for the University of Hartford Men's Basketball team using analytics and numbers to help put together the winningest season in program history. With his articles, you will be sure to get an analytical approach.

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