Vikings Draft 2024: Full 7-round mock draft following the 2023 regular season

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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Fifth-Round Pick No. 2 (159th overall)

Zak Zinter - OG (Michigan)

Depth along the offensive line is forever going to be important for the Vikings.

Minnesota made significant improvements along the interior of their line this season and even felt comfortable trading Ezra Cleveland following the arrival of Dalton Risner.

Even with those improvements, there are still questions to answer up front, as right guard Ed Ingram was better but still inconsistent at times, and injuries will quickly send things into a spiral.

Zak Zinter was one of the leaders of the Michigan team this season, even after his season-ending injury against Ohio State.

Zinter left the game with a broken tibia and fibula, but the Wolverines rallied for their teammate and scored immediately following his departure.

There is something to be said about a player having that sort of impact on his locker room, especially an offensive lineman who does not get a ton of credit or publicity.

Minnesota adding Zinter to the mix as the backup guard to Risner and Ingram gives them some breathing room in case of an injury and also seems to improve the locker room.

The injury is not going to overlap into next season, and Zinter should be healthy by the NFL Draft in April.

He can be a very good backup guard with a chance to start if Risner does not return or if injuries pile up again next season.