5 prospects moving up the Vikings draft board after the 2023 NFL Combine

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Nolan Smith
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Nolan Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) Nolan Smith /

Nolan Smith – EDGE (Georgia)

Nolan Smith was the talk of the Combine’s first day. He was impressive when he went to the podium, answering questions and being very open with the media. Smith was even more impressive with his workout on the field.

He simply blew every single test and drill right out of the water. He ran a ridiculous 4.39 official forty-yard dash. He did this standing 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 238 pounds. That is faster than most wide receivers run it in.  Smith also posted a 42.2-inch vertical jump, and a 4.08 short shuttle, and ultimately finished in the 99th percentile in all events.

That is the type of workout that makes teams go back and look at a guy’s tape. The Vikings are surely now doing that with Smith. The athletic freak was seen as a borderline first-round pick prior to the Combine but has now securely landed himself to be taken somewhere in the top 31 choices.

Edge isn’t the Vikings’ biggest need. The interior defensive line is more of a problem, as are linebacker and cornerback. However, this defense needs all the help it can get, and a bolster to the pass rush in the form of Smith would pay dividends on every level.