Redrafting the Minnesota Vikings 2023 rookie class

Former Georgia CB Kelee Ringo
Former Georgia CB Kelee Ringo / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
4 of 7

Fourth-Round Selection (134th overall)

Original Selection: Jay Ward - DB (LSU)

Redraft Selection: Dorian Thompson-Robinson - QB (UCLA)

In this redraft, we went with a quarterback a little earlier than Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did. The Jay Ward pick was another head-scratcher. Ward was probably going to be available in the fifth round, and selecting him in the fourth seemed like a reach.

Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones was both Ward's and Jaquelin Roy's defensive coordinator at LSU in 2021, and it almost seems like Adofo-Mensah made those picks as favors to Jones.

Minnesota has not been quiet about finding their next successor to Kirk Cousins. The Vikings interviewed a number of quarterback prospects in the 2023 pre-draft process. Most notably, the eventual fourth overall pick Anthony Richardson, who landed with the Indianapolis Colts.

Minnesota is clearly preparing for life after Cousins. In the 2023 draft, the Vikings eventually landed a young quarterback to develop in BYU's Jaren Hall. There was one quarterback, however, that Minnesota's front office did a ton of work on and comes from a system that helps young signal-callers transition easier to the NFL.

In this redraft, former UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. is the pick. Thompson-Robinson was the fourth-best quarterback prospect in this year's draft behind Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson.

UCLA, under head coach Chip Kelly, runs a very traditional NFL-style offense. Thompson-Robinson had run that same offense for four years, and each year, he continued to get better. Thompson-Robinson can make every throw and has elite athleticism, something the Vikings currently don't have at the quarterback position.

This pick is purely based off of the fact that Thompson-Robinson can likely pick up on O'Connell's system very quickly and will be prepared if his name is called in 2023. This isn't saying Jaren Hall can't catch on quickly, but with the experience that DTR has had and the offense he runs, his transition would be smoother.