NFL Draft Final Steps

Aidan Hofstedt, Writer

The 2023 NFL Draft took place the weekend of April 27-29, and many teams made potentially franchise-altering selections. 

With the first pick, the Carolina Panthers selected Bryce Young (Alabama) to be their next quarterback. Despite Alabama’s long, successful football history, he was the first former Crimson Tide player to be selected first overall. After that, the Houston Texans made the biggest splash of the night. They took CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State) 2nd, then traded up to 3rd to take Will Anderson (DE, Alabama). Anthony Richardson (Florida) became the third quarterback selected in 4 picks, with the Colts grabbing him at #4. 

After that, a wider variety of positions started to get picked. Bijan Robinson (Texas), a running back widely considered to be one of the best prospects at that position in years, went 8th overall to Atlanta. The teams were filled with linemen and defensive players, with the first wide receiver drafted at the 20th pick: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State) to the Seahawks. At 23rd, the Vikings still had Will Levis (QB, Kentucky) on the board, but instead picked Jordan Addison (USC), a wide receiver that could line up as a number 2 to Justin Jefferson. Levis would slide to the second round, where he was picked 33rd overall by the Tennessee Titans.

The Vikings did not pick again until 87th overall – the final pick of round 3 – where they selected Addison’s former USC teammate Mekhi Blackmon (CB) to bolster a young secondary. The Vikings then selected two LSU defenders in the fifth round: Jay Ward (CB) and Jaquelin Roy (DT). Both of them add depth to a defense that desperately needs it. Later in the fifth round, they eventually did take a quarterback. However, Jaren Hall (BYU) does not look to be the team’s quarterback of the future, and the Vikings will still search for a long-term replacement for Cousins. Finally, they took DeWayne McBride (RB, UAB), but, as a seventh-round pick, he faces an uphill battle to make an NFL roster. Also of note were 3 former Gophers drafted, headlined by lineman John Michael Schmitz going to the New York Giants in the second round. Safety Jordan Howden was selected in the fourth round by New Orleans, and the Chicago Bears took Terell Smith (CB) in the fifth.


  1. MIN – Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
  2. NYG – John Michael Smith (C, Gophers)
  3. MIN – Mekhi Blackmon (CB, USC)
  4. MIN – Jay Ward (CB, LSU)
  5. MIN – Jaquelin Roy (DT, LSU)
  6. NO – Jordan Howden (S, Gophers)
  7. MIN – Jaren Hall (QB, BYU)
  8. CHI – Terell Smith (CB, Gophers)
  9. MIN – DeWayne McBride (RB, UAB)