The Vikings were thrilled to select Jordan Addison 23rd overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, believing the former USC receiver will be a tremendous addition to their offense.
And Minnesota isn't the only one who feels strongly about Addison's immediate benefit to the team.
ESPN's Matt Bowen recently looked at this year's draft picks and highlighted those, including Addison, he sees as best fits for their respective teams. He wrote:
We talk a lot about value and need when sizing up NFL draft picks, but finding the right team fit is also crucial in projecting rookies to the next level. So which of the top players selected in the 2023 draft landed in the perfect spot for their skill sets?
I picked out my 16 favorite fits among prospects who will have an impact in Year 1, factoring in scheme, tendencies and coaching. I see players here who are set up for success as rookies and beyond as they join their new teams. Let's dive in on the ideal landing spots, starting with an elite pass-rusher who could have high sack totals right out of the gate. I listed the 16 prospects by draft pick order.
Bowen said Addison is a "perfect fit" for the Vikings because he "should see immediate target volume playing opposite Justin Jefferson in [Head Coach] Kevin O'Connell's heavily schemed route tree.
Addison brings serious separation speed at the top of his routes, but the Vikings will also use motion, movement and formation savviness to give the rookie free access off the ball. O'Connell can get Addison into the route quicker there, while also creating open voids for him against zone looks. And with slot/outside versatility, Addison's detailed route tree fits well in Minnesota's staple three-WR sets.
Over three collegiate seasons (two at Pitt, one at USC), Addison compiled 3,134 yards and 29 TDs. With Adam Thielen off to Carolina, there are targets available in Minnesota.
Bowen tabbed two other NFC North additions, as well; he pointed to Lions defensive back Brian Branch, whom Detroit drafted 45th overall, and Bears cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, snagged 56th overall.
Bowen called Branch a "multidimensional defensive back with first-round traits."
Branch brings even more versatility to the Lions upgraded secondary. The Alabama product can match over the slot, play from depth or spin to the post. I see great range and high-level instincts on tape. He did it all last year, too. Branch had 89 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups, two interceptions and three sacks across 13 games.
After signing C.J. Gardner-Johnson in free agency, the Lions and Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn can use more three-safety sub sets to play matchups. You'll see late rotation and disguise with the position versatility in this Detroit secondary. That gives you an edge in the pre- and post-snap chess match.
And for Chicago, Bowen said he's most excited about Stevenson's "play demeanor and the coverage fit in [Head Coach] Matt Eberflus' defense."
Stevenson shows the physical coverage skills to match up with boundary X receivers in the Bears nickel sets, which would allow Kyler Gordon to stay inside at the slot position. Plus, Stevenson can reroute in Cover 2, jamming and sinking. And he will hit in the run game, too. He had 68 tackles and three interceptions over the past two years.
Chicago is building a secondary with urgent and aggressive defensive backs, and Stevenson fits that profile.
To see all 16 prospects Bowen said were great fits for their new teams, click here.
PFF tabs 'favorite draft pick' for every NFL team
Considering Bowen's take about the Vikings first-round draft pick, let's bookend today's "Lunchbreak" with Minnesota's final pick of the three-day event.
The Vikings drafted six players, capping their weekend with seventh-round selection DeWayne McBride.
There's been some buzz by analysts around McBride, and Pro Football Focus' Trevor Sikkema is no different. Sikkema recently spotlighted a “favorite” draft pick for every NFL team, and he pointed to McBride for Minnesota. He wrote:
As the most productive running back in all of college football the past two seasons, McBride shouldn't have lasted until the seventh round (outside of bad medical reports). He won't have the long speed of some other backs, but he boasts good vision, footwork and contact balance to be a contributor at the pro level.
Also worth noting is the players Sikkema highlighted for the Vikings division rivals.
View photos of UAB RB DeWayne McBridel who was selected No. 222 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.
He also loved the Stevenson and Branch selections by Chicago and Detroit, respectively.
It felt like there wasn't much talk of the Bears targeting a cornerback early on in the draft, and that should not have been the case. That's why I like that they were able to grab Stevenson in the late second round. He has the explosiveness and overall movement skills to win as a man coverage cornerback.
And as for Green Bay? Sikkema looked to tight end Tucker Kraft, whom the Packers drafted 78th overall out of South Dakota State.
I like Kraft's skill set as a big receiver at the pro level, and I like that the Packers double-dipped to hit a position of need, choosing to add Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave one round earlier.