5 defensive prospects for Vikings to watch at the 2023 Senior Bowl

(Phot by Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Kyu Blu Kelly
(Phot by Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Kyu Blu Kelly /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gary Cosby Jr./USA TODAY Sports) Byron Young /

Byron Young – DT (Alabama)

The Vikings need some more beef in the middle of their line and the quality of those chops needs to improve. This team may lose Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency and while Harrison Phillips is a solid player, the rest of the offensive line, excluding Khyiris Tonga, is underwhelming.

Byron Young is an incredibly strong prospect with a powerful core and thick limbs. He is quick off the ball and stays low making sure he always has the leverage advantage.

Young’s bull rush is a thing of beauty as he uses his powerful legs to drive while pushing defenders back with extended arms and big bear paw hands. He can provide interior pressure and it shows with his seven career sacks, but is also stout against the run.

Young’s weaknesses are that his bull rush is pretty much his go-to move for pass rushing and he’ll need to add a few more to his arsenal. There are also concerns about his ability to move laterally and if he is quick enough to pursue from behind.

Young comes from Alabama and the SEC, so there’s no doubt he is well-coached, battled tested, and pro-ready. He could be a plug-and-play type of player for the Vikings on the draft’s second day if he performs well at the Senior Bowl.