Vikings Draft 2023: Five-round post-NFL Scouting Combine mock draft

(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images) Michael Wilson
(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images) Michael Wilson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Daiyan Henley /

Second Round (Pick No. 39)

Daiyan Henley – LB (Washington State)

Trade Details:

  • Vikings receive picks No. 39, 61, and 119
  • Panthers receive picks No. 23 and 160

The abundance of talent on the defensive side of the ball made a trade down much easier to stomach after doing the same last year. In this scenario, the cornerbacks went flying off the board, leaving the Vikings with a tough decision between Emmanuel Forbes, Kelee Ringo, and Daiyan Henley.

Given the lack of depth amongst the linebackers in this class, the safe play was to take the best player at the position and fill the other need with one of the picks that were added in the trade.

Henley is a late riser that made a name for himself during the All-Star circuit at the end of the season. His athleticism is something that will translate to the next level and give an NFL defense a game-changer in the middle of the defense.

Brian Flores loves to utilize athletic linebackers, which makes Henley an even better fit at this spot in the draft. He is very new to the position after starting his college career as a wide receiver and trying his luck at defensive back before switching to linebacker for his final three seasons.

Over his last two seasons at linebacker, Henly recorded 200 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, five interceptions, five fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has hinted at the possibility that the Vikings do not bring back Jordan Hicks or Eric Kendricks next season. At the time of writing this, Eric Kendricks has already been released by Minnesota.

Daiyan Henley is as athletic as they come and would make for a fun pairing with Brian Asamoah for the next 5-8 years.