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Lunchbreak: Experts Offer Grades & Takes on Vikings Draft of Jordan Addison

Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Head Coach Kevin O'Connell are excited about adding natural-born receiver Jordan Addison to the team.

And Minnesota's selection of Addison 23rd overall is being praised beyond the Vikings building, as well.

Several NFL pundits gave the Vikings an "A" grade for the draft pick, including NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks, who wrote the following:

Addison is a slippery route runner who'll benefit from playing alongside Justin Jefferson. He has impeccable timing and precision and has the ability to win from the slot or on the perimeter.

Brooks' NFL colleague and draft analyst Chad Reuter also gave Minnesota an “A,” saying Addison was "too strong a value for the Vikings to pass up" when they were on the clock.

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.

Over at CBS Sports, Pete Prisco concurred with Brooks and Reuter.

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 Ringer's Danny Kelly put together a comprehensive evaluation of all 31 draft picks from Thursday night, and he gave Minnesota an "A+" for nabbing Addison.

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.

Kelly provided a "scouting report" of the Vikings newest receiver, calling Addison "a slim, ultra-productive pass catcher with a well-rounded skill set."

Addison's quickness is one of the foundations of his game, and he leans on it as a route runner and run-after-the-catch creator. He uses slick footwork and hand swipes to get off the line and is sudden at the top of his route, creating separation with sharp cuts and agile change of direction. He'll put opposing corners in a blender with head and shoulder fakes and leaves opponents in the dust on whip routes. He's a good deep threat with the speed to run past defenders and a knack for tracking the ball over his shoulder. He's confident in his hands and is tough at the catch point. He'll let a few passes go off his fingers, but he can elevate and bring down tough throws. He's a creator after the catch, regularly making the first man miss or spinning and churning his feet to break tackle attempts and stay on his feet. He can line up at multiple spots in the formation, and even got a few snaps in the backfield in college.

Addison has a slight, slender frame and may struggle to put on much bulk at the next level. He can get knocked around by physical defensive backs and linebackers early in his routes. He's not going to give you much as a blocker. He dropped 11 passes in 2021 but cleaned that issue up for the most part in 2022.

View photos WR Jordan Addison being selected as the Vikings 2023 first round draft pick in Kansas City.

FOX Sports analyst Rob Rang gave the Vikings an “A-” for their pick. Rang wrote that 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.

View photos of Vikings WR Jordan Addison posing for photos after he was drafted in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Zierlein's Day 2 Mock Draft

Like any year, there were quite a few surprises in the first round on Thursday night.

The Texas using their No. 2 pick and then vaulting up to No. 3 in a trade with the Cardinals was the first completely unforeseen element.

A total of 31 selections were made by teams (Miami had to forfeit its first pick).

Minnesota does not currently have a second-round pick because of the trade that brought T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings last fall. That means the team is not scheduled to be on the clock until well into the third round at No. 87.

Teams are now resetting their draft boards in accordance with who is still available. draft analyst Lance Zierlein on Friday released a Day 2 mock draft, and predicted the Vikings would be able to select a QB without moving up from pick No. 87.

Zierlein believes Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker, who is recovering from a torn ACL, could still be on the board at that spot. If so, the Vikings would draft him while Kirk Cousins remains under contract.

Several previous mock drafts projected Hooker to the Vikings at No. 23. He was rated in the top five quarterbacks by NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks, as well as ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr.

Zierlein projected another QB with plenty of first-round mentions also winding up in the NFC North, saying Detroit will use the second-round pick obtained from Minnesota to select Will Levis at No. 55 overall.