The Mock Draft has the Vikings down to No. 23 overall for the promising quarterback

We’ve seen the full spectrum of draft scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings over the past few weeks. They traded up for a QB, stayed at No. 23, and now, the latest mock draft written by Lance Zierlein has the Vikings falling from No. 23 overall to one of the lower numbers. radar defenders in this draft class.

That quarterback is Arkansas LB Drew Sanders, who spent the 2022 season with the Razorbacks after transferring from Alabama. He spent two seasons with the Crimson Tide, but ultimately he was unable to crack the starting lineup due to excellent depth at the position, leading to his transfer.

Vikings top defensive prospects in ESPN's final 2023 NFL mock draft
September 10, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Drew Sanders (42) chases down South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) during the second half at Donald Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas won 44-30. Mandatory credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The trade that Zierlein is proposing forces the Vikings to make a deal with the Buffalo Bills, moving down to No. 27 in the first round. Meanwhile, Buffalo is trading up to grab Beajean Robinson, who will likely solve a missing piece for the Bills offense at running back.

Yours truly also traded with the Vikings earlier this week to draft Sanders later, and you can check out that mock draft here . As for Zierlein, here’s what the NFL analyst had to say about the Vikings trade and pick.

Sanders spent one season at inside linebacker and absolutely stuffed the stat sheet at Arkansas. He is a big and strong athlete. he could be a pass rusher for Minnesota to deploy if needed.

Sanders certainly fills the box score, and his decision to transfer quickly proved to be the right one as he took off in his new role for the Razorbacks. He was a prototypical EDGE player during his time at Alabama, but at Arkansas he was moved to inside linebacker, giving him a much wider responsibility in which he thrived.

October 29, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Drew Sanders (42) tackles Auburn Tigers running back Tank Bigsby (4) during the second quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

In his only season at Arkansas, he recorded 103 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, 5 passes defensed, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. His tackles, tackles for loss, sacks and forced fumbles all ranked in the top five in the SEC heading into the 2022 season.

After the Vikings’ release of Eric Kendricks and some uncertainty about how impactful Brian Asamoah could be in the starting role, it would make sense for Minnesota to take a stab at linebacker sometime in the 2023 Draft. Especially in Bryan Flores’ defense, which was full of blitzes, Sanders could be the type of player to thrive alongside Asamoah and Jordan Hicks.'s Mock Draft has the Vikings trading down from 23rd overall
November 5, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Liberty Flames running back Shadro Lewis (1) rushes as Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Drew Sanders (42) plays during the second half at Donald Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Liberty won 21-19. Mandatory credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

While Sanders is certainly best as a blitzer, he can certainly drop back in pass coverage as well, as detailed in our Vikings Draft Thermometer series feature on him. He’s still a bit raw in this aspect of his game, but with some development, the Vikings could find their Kendricks replacement with him.

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Josh Frey is a 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a BA in Creative Writing.. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, playing or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account. @Freyed_Chicken.

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