You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Vikings Mock Draft: Mel Kiper’s prediction for 2023 first-round pick

ClutchPoints logo: MainLogo ClutchPoints 1/27/2023 Reese Nasser
1/26/23 © Provided by ClutchPoints 1/26/23

The Minnesota Vikings put together their best season in recent history in 2022. They finished the campaign with a 13-4 record and a first-place finish in the NFC North.

The Vikings season ultimately ended in the Wild Card round of the playoffs as they fell to the New York Giants. But this team proved that they have a strong foundation in place.

On offense, wide receiver Justin Jefferson solidified himself as the best pass catcher in the game. Along with Jefferson, Dalvin Cook proved to still be a reliable option out of the backfield.

On defense, the Vikings have several elite playmakers. This includes safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Erik Kendricks, who have both served as the leaders of this unit. But there is still room for improvement in this group, especially in the secondary.

For the entire season, the Vikings secondary struggled to produce. They allowed the second most passing yards in the NFL with 4,515. Along with this, they allowed 23 touchdowns through the air.

The Vikings secondary was met with several major injuries last season. This includes safety Lewis Cine missing nearly the entire season, and Andrew Booth Jr. appearing in just six games.

The Vikings leaned heavily on veteran Patrick Peterson last season. But with the veteran set to hit free agency, he could find himself on a new team in 2023. With that being said, the Vikings have a glaring need at the cornerback position.

Many believe that the team could look to address the secondary with their first-round pick. With such a deep cornerback class, they could have their pick of several intriguing options. But they are now being linked to one player in particular.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his first mock draft of the year. In his mock, he has the Vikings adding Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes with the 24th overall pick.

Kiper went in depth with why the pick makes sense for the Vikings.

“Veteran Patrick Peterson was the Vikings’ top corner this season, but he’s a free agent, and even if the team brings him back, it should start thinking about the future in the secondary. Safety Lewis Cine, Minnesota’s first-rounder last April, played just two defensive snaps before breaking his leg and missing the rest of the season. He should make a full recovery, but can the Vikings improve on the outside too? Rookie second-round pick Andrew Booth Jr. played in just six games due to injury, and he’s not a lock to start. Whoever takes over for fired coordinator Ed Donatell needs options. Forbes was an interception magnet for the Bulldogs; he had 14 over three seasons, including six in 2022. He gave up a few big plays, but he has tremendous potential as a cover corner.”

During his three seasons at Mississippi State, Emmanuel Forbes was a key competent in the secondary. Over 35 appearances, he recorded 150 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 20 defended passes, 14 interceptions, and six total touchdowns.

This past season, Forbes turned in maybe the best outing of his collegiate career. Over 12 games, he recorded 46 total tackles, 10 defended passes, six interceptions, and three touchdowns.

Forbes was a dominant presence in the SEC. He played against elite wide receivers on a weekly basis. In doing so, he proved that he could hold his own.

Forbes has also proven that he has a knack for not only finding the ball but in creating turnovers. By adding him to the Vikings secondary, they could get a much-needed boost.

The post Vikings Mock Draft: Mel Kiper’s prediction for 2023 first-round pick appeared first on ClutchPoints.


Nish Patel

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon