The Vikings Unsung Move of the Offseason

Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Blackmon is a cornermback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

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Minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Blackmon is a cornerback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Minnesota Vikings have had a busy offseason in 2022 as they hope to maintain the standard of the NFC North title won by first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell.

The Vikings’ Unsung Move Off-Season

The club saw 10 players leave for new teams, including Cameron Dentzler (CB, free agent), Eric Kendricks (LB, Chargers), Patrick Peterson (CB, Steelers), Adam Thielen (WR, Panthers), Dalvin Tomlinson ( DT, Browns), Duke Shelley (CB, Raiders), Irv Smith (TE, Bengals), Chris Boyd (CB, Cardinals), Chandan Sullivan (CB, Steelers), and Za’Darius Smith (OLB, Browns – trade).

Meanwhile, eight newcomer free agents have joined the Vikings since the beginning of March: Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals), Dean Lowry (DT, Packers), Brandon Powell (WR, Rams), Troy Reeder (LB, Chargers), JoJuan Williams (CB, Patriots), and John Reed (CB, Falcons).

but according to pro football focusOff-season ‘unsung’ move in 2023 NFL Draft comes when general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah scoops cornerback Mekhi Blackmon Round 3 out.

November 5, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans defensive back Mekhi Blackmon (6) and linebacker Rayjon Davis (9) celebrate during the second half against the California Golden Bears at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports.

overall, PFF Gave the Vikings a ‘B+’ off-season grade and tabbed Blackmon as an unsung addition. P.F.F. Josh Liskewitz explained, “Considering how disastrous the Vikings’ secondary was last season, Blackmon could be an immediate contributor as a rookie. He transferred from Colorado to USC in 2022 and has blossomed into an elite coverage player.

Blackmon was teammates at USC with Vikings first-round wide receiver Jordan Addison.

Liskiewitz concluded about Blackmon, “He allowed only a 43.1% completion percentage in his coverages and forced a total of 17 incompletions while picking off three other passes.”

March 3, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California Defensive Back Mekhi Blackmon (DB04) participates in practice at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Because the Vikings have just one authentic starter at cornerback, free-agent Byron Murphy from the Arizona Cardinals, Blackmon will have an honest-to-goodness chance at winning the starter’s job this summer. He joined Andrew Booth, Akyleb Evans and JoJuan Williams as the Vikings’ starting point guards for the CB2 and CB3 gigs in September.

Blackmon played 14 games at USC in 2022 and four seasons at Colorado before that. He tabulated 3 interceptions last year as a Trojan, totaling 66 tackles. He’s not a huge cornerback, and that’s probably the primary reason for his mid-to-late-round draft stock.

November 19, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Jake Bobo (9) is fouled out of bounds by Southern California Trojans defensive back Mekhi Blackmon (6) during the second half in the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

The rookie guard is also super-excited to be wearing purple and gold in the NFL. He said about the draft And of his association with the Vikings in May, “I waited all night. I thought this was going to come first, but you guys traded back. I kind of had a premonition that I was probably going to come to you guys – just praying and wishing.

Blackmon concluded, “I made my trip there, and I fell in love with the facilities and the coaching staff, so I was looking forward to landing in Minnesota.”

The Vikings ended organized team activities over the next two weeks before mandatory minicamp began on June 13. We’ll see if Blackmon is truly unsung.

dustin baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, vikesnow, He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinney, which airs every Wednesday roan sau And Sal Masala, His Vikings passion dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds and The Doors (band).

All data provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead, All contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com,

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