2023 Vikings Mock Draft: What Minnesota needs 4 games into the 2022 season

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) Rakim Jarrett
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) Rakim Jarrett /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images) Cade Stover /

Fifth-Round Pick

Cade Stover – TE (Ohio State)

With no fourth-round pick, the Vikings are in line to make their first Day 3 selection in the fifth round. Irv Smith Jr. has been underwhelming after finally returning from injury, and the future at tight end seems awfully bleak for the Vikings.

Ohio State’s Cade Stover has had quite the journey to get where he’s at right now. He joined the Buckeyes as a linebacker and transitioned to tight end in 2020. He was never really a threat on offense until this season when he was given an opportunity to help C.J. Stroud in the passing game.

Prior to this season, Stover had just five catches for 76 yards and never reached the end zone. In 2022, Stover already has 13 catches for 200 yards and two scores, both of which came in a blowout win over Wisconsin.

He’s a tough-minded in-line tight end that can be a massive help in the run game, but his ceiling continues to grow as a receiver. The Vikings may not be the most desperate for a blocking tight end, but for a fifth-round pick, this is as good as you can hope for.

Stover has improved every season in his new role. If he declares in 2023, he will be one of the better tight end prospects available on Day 3.

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