The 2023 NFL draft is in the rearview and of course people are quick to judge how teams did with their selections.
But who is kidding who — we all want to know what others think of the picks made by our favorite team now. And there is no shortage of people doing just this.
There are a number of rave reviews on the Minnesota Vikings’ draft class. We’ve included varying opinions from across the web – and added in appropriate comments – and tabulated the grade-point averages.
With that said, here’s this year’s draft grades for both individual players and the overall haul for the Vikings.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A. “Addison was too strong a value for the Vikings to pass up. He would have been picked earlier if not for his slight build, average top-end speed for his size and occasional drops. Addison is such a tough player, though. He will be a great complement for Justin Jefferson working from the slot.”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: A. “He is my favorite receiver in this class. He will be a perfect complement to Justin Jefferson, He is a great route runner. Needs to get a little bigger since he weighs 175 pounds, but that will happen.”
The 33rd team scouting department: A. “Jordan Addison is the purest route runner in this class. He plays fast and has good quickness to separate off the line of scrimmage. The former Biletnikoff winner will get to line up opposite Justin Jefferson and see single coverage looks the majority of the time. He can play inside and outside. He can run past you on the deep ball as well as grind out tough yards underneath.”
Danny Kelly of The Ringer: A+. “This is a player-team connection that I frequently put in my mock drafts because I absolutely love Addison’s fit with the Vikings. The former Biletnikoff winner brings nuanced route-running skills and natural playmaking talent—making him the perfect complement to Justin Jefferson. With T.J. Hockenson and K.J. Osborn also in the mix, Kirk Cousins won’t have any shortage of pass catchers downfield.”
Scott Dochterman of The Athletic ($): C. “The Vikings’ offense gets more explosive with this move, but it comes at the risk of exposing an already challenged defense.”
Pro Football Focus editorial team: Good (B). “The Vikings stick at Pick 23 and come away with a talented wide receiver to pair with Justin Jefferson. Addison won the Biletnikoff Award with Pittsburgh in 2021 before transferring to USC, and he finished the past two seasons with 25 touchdowns from 159 receptions.”
Charles McDonald of Yahoo Sports: B+. “Addison is the ideal No. 2 wide receiver prospect, and that's exactly what he's going to be in the NFL playing next to Justin Jefferson. In an offense that projects to throw the ball a lot, especially if the Vikings trade Dalvin Cook, Addison can be a star.”
Matt Verderame and Gilberto Manzano of SI.com: C. “The run on receivers continued in Minnesota, with the Vikings taking Addison to play opposite Justin Jefferson. While the player is terrific, Minnesota had one of the league’s worst defenses in 2022 and still has ample holes. There were terrific options in edge rusher Nolan Smith and corner Deonte Banks as well. Good player, strange pick.”
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: B. “With Aaron Rodgers now out of the NFC North, the division is there for the Vikings to take yet again. Jefferson and Addison can maximize what could be Kirk Cousins' final season with the organization.”
Rob Rang of FOXSports.com: A-. “Addison may not be as big or dynamic as some of the other top receivers in this class, but he’s a significantly more polished player, winning with fluidity and savviness alike. He has the sure routes and hands to potentially became a real stat-monster in the NFL, specializing out of the slot. The greater size and physicality he’ll face at the pro level are legitimate concerns, but modern NFL rules favor slight pass-catchers like Addison. Proven effective in two different offenses against quality competition, I think he has the grit and smarts to prove a quality starter early in his pro career and should be an immediate boost to a Minnesota offense that needed to find a replacement for Adam Thielen opposite superstar Justin Jefferson.”
Joseph Acosta of SB Nation: A. “I love Jordan Addison. Despite his size and frame, he just knows how to get open. He has a nice understanding of how to create space and how to work blind spots against opposing defenders. In Minnesota, he won’t face as much attention because of some guy named Justin Jefferson, but he’s a very nice complement to Jefferson and will make that offense more efficient.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: A+. “The Vikings took full advantage of Addison’s stock slipping to this part of the first round as a slot-forward replacement for Adam Thielen. Addison is an absolute route-running technician with ideal quickness and toughness for the slot. He will benefit nicely from the coverage attention Justin Jefferson gets all over the field.”
Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire: A-. “Pairing Addison, the finest route chef in this class, with Justin Jefferson should give Kirk Cousins a big smile this offseason. Addison isn’t the most powerful receiver, but as Jefferson can, he’ll foil cornerbacks with his nuanced understanding of the position. You can throw a debit at this pick because Addison isn’t a cornerback, and the Vikings REALLY need cornerbacks, but you can’t really argue it in any other way.”
Tim Bielik of Cleveland.com: A-. “Addison is a good complement to Justin Jefferson and may eventually take some of the attention away, which helps balance the field for the Vikings.”
Chet Gresham of DraftKings Nation: A.
Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: B. “Addison puts extra pressure on defenses with his combined vertical and lateral appeal, and in turn, takes pressure off Jefferson. That in and of itself is a good thing. That said, the Vikings had Will Levis available, and Kirk Cousins is entering a contract year. That might’ve been an opportunity to capitalize on, but maximizing the window with Cousins makes sense.”
WalterFootball.com: A. “No one is going to question this need. If Justin Jefferson goes down this year, Minnesota's No. 1 receiver would be K.J. Osborn. Jordan Addison is a gifted receiver who easily could have gone several picks earlier than this. I love this pick.”
Nick Gray of The Tennessean: B. “Addison is a good and elusive receiver in the slot despite some not-so-great running times this winter. That's not my issue, because I like Addison. Minnesota needs front seven more than it needs receivers alongside Justin Jefferson.”
Christian D’Andrea and Robert Zeglinski of For the Win: B+. “Getting Addison in the late first round is a wonderful value for the Vikings. ... Addison gets to be the speedster complement to Justin Jefferson, pro football’s top boundary weapon. I wouldn’t be sleeping well tonight if I was a cornerback in the NFC North.”
Jonathan Alfano of Clutch Points: B.
Matt McKay of OddsChecker: A.
Chris Thomas of GameHaus: B.
Adam Gorney or Rivals.com: B+.
Tom Downey of Chat Sports: B-.
GPA: 3.42 (3.39 if you don’t believe in A+)
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com A-. “Chippy, sticky outside CB with a tiny, spindly frame. Always around the football. Was a big-time sleeper. Can play inside or on the perimeter. Great pick.”
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: C+.
Scott Dochterman of The Athletic ($): B-. “He has good speed (4.47 in the 40) and has decent strength (11 reps of 225 in the bench press) but needs to avoid penalties (five pass interference calls). But Minnesota needs defensive backs for the No. 31-ranked defense, and Blackmon has the capability to play right away.”
WalterFootball.com: B+. “The Vikings really needed a cornerback, and Mekhi Blackmon is very talented. He's small, but very speedy. He had a great Senior Bowl to push himself up draft boards. I like him at the end of the third round.”
Joseph Acosta of SB Nation: C+. “nteresting pick with guys like Kelee Ringo and Clark Phillips still on the board, but Blackmon is scrappy to the point of getting flags for being too grabby. He’ll need that coached out of him, but it’s a scheme fit for Brian Flores and the Vikings D.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: D. “The Vikings needed more corner help but decided not to stop the strange freefall of Kelee Ringo and reached deep into Day 3 for a limited physical, aggressive cover man.”
Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: D. “Blackmon has intriguing qualities as a coverage defender. He has good speed and explosiveness, as evidenced by his Combine testing, and he’s also an instinctive playmaker at the catch point. His three picks and 12 deflections in 2022 are supporting evidence of that. That said, in such a strong CB class, you have to look at how Blackmon stacks up against other prospects on the board. At 5’11”, 178 pounds, he’s noticeably underweight, and that shows up both in support and in contested situations. He also lacks elite hip fluidity for his size, and he’ll be a 24-year-old rookie.”
Chet Gresham of DraftKings Nation: D. “Blackmon is overly physical as a cover man, which likely won’t fly in the NFL. But he needs to grab receivers because he is small and can’t compete on jump balls.”
Pro Football Focus editorial team: Average (C).
Christian D’Andrea and Robert Zeglinski of For the Win: C.
Nick Gray of The Tennessean: B+. “The Vikings need more young pieces, and Blackmon has good potential. But stop me where you've read this before: Blackmon needs to quit grabbing at the top of routes and trust himself to make the play.”
The 33rd team scouting department: C. “Solid overall athlete with good enough speed, but has inconsistencies and gives up too many plays. He needs to work on his technique and overall eye control.”
Nick Gray of The Tennessean: B.
Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: A.
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: C. “Skinny, slot/safety hybrid. Click and close ability is special. Coverage skill a little iffy, because his stiffness appears then. He isn't the most consistent tackler. Versatility is his key attribute.”
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: B.
Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: B-.
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: C+. “Grown man at defensive tackle. On the draft radar for a while for a reason. Pre-planned rushes are usually effective. Despite his menacing size does get moved in the run game relatively often. Plays more athletic than his workout.”
Nick Gray of The Tennessean: B-.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: B.
Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: A.
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: B-. “Has Day 2 flashes as a passer. Quick release. Unafraid to make all the throws and the ball jumps out of his hands. Smooth athleticism in the boot-action game, so there's a fit with O'Connell's offense. Locks onto the first read too often and his pocket presence isn't great. Sensible backup option here.”
Nick Gray of The Tennessean: C.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: C+.
Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: B.
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com: A. “Could be one of the biggest steals in the class. Feature-back size and has the complete skill set to be very elusive at the next level. Not crazy fast but has juice. Compact balance is awesome. Plus value pick.”
Nick Gray of The Tennessean: B+.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: B+.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A-. "Addison will complement star receiver Justin Jefferson so well from the slot that it seemed the marriage was fate. Tight end T.J. Hockenson cost the team its second-rounder, which may prove wise if the Vikings are able to extend or re-sign him next offseason. Blackmon's competitiveness and sticky coverage met a crucial need. Ward is a tough-minded safety who can play some nickel for the Vikings, picking him after gaining a 2024 fifth-round pick when trading down. Roy was an excellent value in the fifth as an active interior defender. Hall is a developmental passer but flashed the velocity and accuracy of an NFL starter as often as some other quarterbacks selected before him. McBride went two rounds later than I expected."
Rob Maaddi of The Associated Press: A. “WR Jordan Addison (23) replaces Adam Thielen. CBs Mekhi Blackmon and Jay Ward upgrade secondary.”
Gilbert Manzano and Matt Verderame of SI.com: B. “To start the draft, the Vikings passed on adding a future replacement for Kirk Cousins and found help for Justin Jefferson. Addison has the speed to be a downfield threat, but he can also help in the intermediate game because of his smooth route running. Addison has the skillset to punish teams that decide to double Jefferson. Blackmon is a competitive cornerback, and one who pushed Addison during USC practices. After a disastrous season defending the pass, Minnesota suddenly has an intriguing secondary with Blackmon, Ward and free-agent addition Byron Murphy Jr. Later in the draft, Minnesota found Hall to be Cousins’s backup, and maybe as a potential replacement.”
Pro Football Focus: B-.
Staff at DraftKings Nation: B. “The Vikings started strong with Jordan Addison, who had showed up in several mocks as the perfect guy to pair with Justin Jefferson. They filled some major needs in the secondary with Blackmon and Ward, grabbed a solid Kirk Cousins backup in Jaren Hall, and may have gotten Roy and McBride at a steal in these later rounds. They may not have gotten any stars, but they grabbed some solid options to fill in some struggling positions and added to their depth chart.”
Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post: D.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post: B-. “The Vikings closed out an opening-round run of four straight wide receivers by taking Jordan Addison at No. 23. That was well done, as they needed a complement to Justin Jefferson. The fifth-round selection of QB Jaren Hall is intriguing, with some trade speculation about Kirk Cousins.”
Nate Davis of USA Today: B.
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: B+. “The Vikings started off with a bang taking Addison to pair with Justin Jefferson. They lost their way with shaky consecutive selections for corner, but quickly rebounded with a steal of Roy. Hall and McBride may not be the late-round answers, but their developmental plan put the Vikings on track to think more about life with Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook, likely in 2024.”
Danny Kelly of The Ringer: C+.