Sixth-Round Pick No. 2 (190th overall)
Xavier Thomas - Edge (Clemson)
Xavier Thomas’ name might ring a bell if you follow high school football. He was a highly-rated prospect, once a five-star and 99-rated player, according to 247sports.com.
Touted as a potential first-round pick within three seasons, Thomas was expected to be an excellent pass rusher, but his time at Clemson has been underwhelming so far. Thomas has been average, with no eye-popping numbers or contributions.
Thomas does possess the traits that made him a top prospect in high school, but they need to be developed. Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores could be the one to bring out the best in him.
Minnesota may sign an established edge rusher in free agency and re-sign Daniel Hunter in 2024, so they may not even draft an edge rusher until the later rounds.
Still, Thomas would provide good depth, especially since D.J. Wonnum is out for the season and potentially the start of next season if he re-signs with the Vikings, and Patrick Jones II hasn't made much of an impact yet.
Thomas has qualities that make him a good situational pass rusher, and he could even play inside on certain downs. He lacks a game plan and gets taken out of plays too often, but he could be a valuable role player for the Vikings if they decide to draft him.