5 prospects the Vikings could miss out on without a 2023 second-round pick

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mazi Smith
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mazi Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Jack Campbell /

Jack Campbell – LB (Iowa)

It’ll be interesting to see if the Vikings draft a linebacker this year. They shockingly brought back Jordan Hicks but released Eric Kendricks.

The Kendricks’ release wasn’t a surprise as Brian Asamoah is waiting in the wings, but the team seems high on Troy Dye and William Kwenkeu, so maybe they are okay with the current talent and depth.

If they aren’t, one player who will be a great value in the second round is Iowa’s Jack Campbell. Campbell was a beast at Iowa, where he racked up 299 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, and five interceptions.

Campbell has crazy size standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 249 pounds. He had a very solid Combine workout at that size, running the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds, with a 37.5″ vertical and 10’8″ broad jump.

Campbell has the ability to start very early in his NFL career and could beat out Jordan Hicks in camp if he ends up in purple.

There is an outside chance that Campbell slides to the third round, but it’s not often a linebacker with this size and athletic ability become available, so he’s likely to be out of the Vikings’ range and come off the board in round two.

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) Mazi Smith /

Mazi Smith – DT (Michigan)

Defensive line has crept to the top of the Vikings’ needs list after the first week of free agency. They were majorly outbid for Dalvin Tomlinson’s services by the Browns, and that leaves them desperately thin at defensive end.

The team can’t go into the season with a combination of James Lynch and Esezi Otomewo as the starters. They need to add one in free agency and then address the position early in the draft. One player they likely will miss out on because they don’t have a pick in the second round is Michigan’s Mazi Smith.

Smith is a very impressive prospect. He’s got a thick build with a massive upper body. So he’s got the mass to plug running lanes and stuff the run, but he is also explosive off the ball.

While he doesn’t have the stats to back it up, Smith’s quick get-off and powerful lower body enable him to crash into opponents’ backfields. This allows him to pressure the quarterback or stop the runner before he gets anywhere near the line of scrimmage.

Mazi Smith is a prospect who has been getting some late first-round buzz as of late. While he could sneak into the latter portion of the first round, he’s more likely to come off the board in round two, and the Vikings will be able to do nothing about it.

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