Vikings 7-Round 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Minnesota focuses on defense

Cam Smith
Cam Smith / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota Vikings
Drew Sanders / Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Round 3, Pick 87

LB Drew Sanders - Arkansas

Not having a second-round pick hurts, since the Minnesota Vikings will have to watch many great prospects go off the board while they wait for their turn. And when they do finally pick again, they could make a pick that isn't very exciting.

Selecting Drew Sanders out of Arkansas in the third round won't elicit the excitement that an offensive weapon would, but depth and talent is needed for the interior linebackers and Sanders fills a big need.

Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 235 pounds according to his combine profile, Sanders can fill in anywhere he is needed. He can be a traditional thumping defender or he can rush the passer if needed, making his versatility a huge reason drafting him is so appealing.

Limited experience could make teams look at him as an edge rusher, but he has the size, athleticism, and ability to win against opposing offenses in a number of ways. It would be fun to see what Brian Flores would do with Sanders in his defense.