2023 NFL Draft: Seven-round post-free agency Vikings mock draft

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Tanner McKee
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Tanner McKee /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Mekhi Blackmon /

Fifth Round (Pick No. 158)

Mekhi Blackmon – CB (USC)

I know what you’re thinking. “Where are the cornerbacks?”

Cornerback is one of the Vikings’ biggest needs, but it hasn’t lined up with the value on the board in this simulation. While Cam Smith, Emmanuel Forbes, and Kelee Ringo were all available in the first round, the Vikings probably would have liked to have acquired them with a trade back, which isn’t an option in this mock draft.

So here we are in the fifth round, and Mekhi Blackmon is one of the more intriguing prospects at this point in the draft. At 6-feet and 180 pounds, Blackmon has the size to play on the outside and is also one of the best cover corners in the draft, compiling a 91.1 grade and averaging 0.53 yards per coverage snap during his lone season with the Trojans.

Blackmon’s technique in run-stopping situations probably limits him as a cover corner, but that could be good enough for a cornerback room that is lacking in talent.

While Byron Murphy Jr. will help as a versatile corner, Andrew Booth Jr. and Akayleb Evans are both wild cards coming off of injury. There’s a good chance the Vikings will look to add one more cornerback in free agency, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a swing in the later rounds of the draft.