Vikings 2023 offseason mailbag: Senior Bowl preview

The premier event of the NFL offseason is here as teams, prospects and analysts will be heading down to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl to scout prospects and exchange information.

It’s not just a place to learn more about the NFL draft but also one to hear what teams are interested in this offseason. You can learn a lot about every team during this fateful week and we will be down there to cover every angle.

To kick off the week, we have a mailbag with questions about the Senior Bowl.

Favorite day 3 player

My favorite day-three running back is Oklahoma’s Eric Gray. A former five-star recruit, he fits like a glove into what the Vikings want to do. He’s got great field vision and the athleticism to make the necessary cuts and maneuver through traffic. The biggest issue with Gray is his inconsistency and the fact that he didn’t have his breakout season until he was a senior.

At wide receiver, it’s Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson, a player who got a second-round grade from me. He played in an offense that didn’t have a talented quarterback and the scheme played that out. He had an aDOT of fewer than 10 yards and for someone with his skillset, it’s an utter disappointment. He has the ball skills and size to dominate at the catch-point, but one thing he possesses that most guys his size don’t is really quick feet. He wins at the stem and on the line of scrimmage with quickness. He will likely fall due to a wide receiver class that is loaded on day two, but he has a chance to be a guy at the next level.

Most excited to see

Honestly, it’s Nathaniel “Tank” Dell the wide receiver from Houston. He was the engine of the Cougars offense over the last few years and it’s easy to see why. He is explosive, quick and dynamic in the open field. Dell doesn’t just win with speed, he is incredibly quick off the ball and separates with ease from defenders.

The reason why I am so interested in seeing Dell is his size. He is listed at 5’10” and 170 lbs which is one inch taller and 15 lbs heavier than Tutu Atwell. The major difference with him and Atwell is how they play. Atwell was mainly a guy you schemed touches to, but Dell does a little bit of everything on all three levels of the field. Seeing how he fares and measures will be fascinating on many levels and will be a big determination in his draft stock.

Where to go for draft stuff

On draft day, there won’t be a better spot for Vikings coverage than right here at Vikings Wire. We will have everything you need from a Vikings perspective. From a national perspective, I usually don’t watch either ESPN or NFL Network but rather I’ve watched the Bleacher Report stream with Connor Rogers for the last few years. He has left BR and will likely be doing something this year. Whatever that is, that gets my highest recommendation.

Vikings targets in Mobile

We don’t know any specific players that the Vikings will be targeting while being down there, but here are some things to keep in mind.

  • The Vikings needs cornerbacks so expect them to pay extra attention to them.

  • Anyone who exudes great quickness. The Vikings prioritized players in the draft last year.

  • With Kirk Cousins being 34 years old, their isn’t a truly great quarterback prospect in Mobile, but there are talented players that the Vikings could draft as a developmental option.

Who should be a Vikings next season

There are a lot of different options for the Vikings to be targeting in the NFL draft but I will highlight one that I really like in a trade down and that’s SMU WR Rashee Rice. He is a height/weight/speed guy that has more nuance than I was anticipating. He wins both with speed and quickness but also uses his body well at the catch point. I would be happy with him at 23, but I believe a trade down to round two and getting more draft capital is the best option to acquire him.

Brian Flores

This is a really good question. Flores is suing the NFL for their hiring practices of head coaches stating that they are unfair and it stems from both general hirings and that Flores found out he was going to interview with the New York Giants with Brian Daboll already having the job. As long as the Vikings go through the correct process and genuinely hire who they deem as the best candidate, they won’t be in danger on being involved.

The Real Forno Show

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire