EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings used their second pick of the 2023 NFL Draft on a cornerback.
Minnesota selected USC's Mekhi Blackmon with the 102nd overall pick, closing out Friday night's draft activity. The Vikings initially were slated to pick at 87, but executed a trade with San Francisco to move down, acquiring two more Saturday selections along the way.
The Vikings did not have a second-round pick this year, having dealt it to the Lions in acquiring tight end T.J. Hockenson last season.
Blackmon started his collegiate career at the College of San Mateo in 2017 and transferred to Colorado in 2018. After four seasons with the Buffaloes, he transferred to USC. In 2022 for the Trojans, he started all 14 games and totaled 66 tackles, three interceptions, 12 pass breakups, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Over five seasons with Colorado and USC, he recorded 142 tackles, five interceptions, 1.0 sack, 24 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
1. A pair of Trojans
Blackmon became the second of two Vikings draft picks taken from USC.
He and Jordan Addison, whom Minnesota drafted 23rd overall Thursday night, teamed together with the Trojans last season after Blackmon transferred from Colorado and Addison transferred from Pittsburgh.
Blackmon and Addison faced each other numerous times at USC's practices and visited Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center on the same day as part of the Top 30 visits hosted by the Vikings.
2. Hardwood & hashmarks
Blackmon attended Menlo-Atherton High School, where he played football (receiver and defensive back) and basketball.
As a senior, Blackmon was named Honorable Mention All-Metro by the San Francisco Chronicle after he recorded 23 catches for 620 yards and nine touchdowns, along with six interceptions on defense.
View photos of USC CB Mekhi Blackmon who was selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
3. Shares a hometown with Adams
A native of East Palo Alto, California, Blackmon grew up in the hometown of NFL receiver Davante Adams.
Blackmon played with the same AAU basketball program Adams did, though the two didn't overlap due to age difference.
4. Family in the NFL
Blackmon's cousin, KeeSean Johnson, was a wide receiver at Fresno State (2015-18) who set the school's career receptions and receiving yardage records. Johnson was drafted 174th overall by the Cardinals in 2019, and he's spent the past two seasons with Philadelphia.
5. Student athlete
Blackmon has balanced athletics and academics throughout his collegiate career.
He currently is pursuing his master's degree at USC in gerontology, the scientific study of aging and its effects on medical treatment and well-being.