With the 102nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have selected cornerback Mekhi Blackmon from the University of Southern California.
Blackmon was one of the stars of the USC defense this past season, as evidenced by his All Pac-12 honors. Daniel Jeremiah said on the NFL Network broadcast just now that Blackmon would jump to the front of the line so that he could go against Jordan Addison in practice, and now they’ll be teammates in purple going forward.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Blackmon as the #25 cornerback in this year’s draft class. Here’s what Brugler has to say about Blackmon:
A one-year starter at USC, Blackmon was the left outside cornerback in defensive coordinator Alex Grinch’s man-heavy scheme. After four solid seasons at Colorado, he transferred and was one of the few bright spots on the Trojans’ 2022 defense, leading the Pac-12 in passes defended (15). A fluid athlete with average size, Blackmon has seen a lot of football, and it shows with his anticipation and confidence to be disruptive in coverage (allowed only one reception of 20-plus yards on 63 targets in 2022). Though he tends to play too physically, NFL coaches will appreciate his mental and competitive toughness at the position, especially in the run game. Overall, Blackmon will sacrifice coverage phase and attract flags when he doesn’t trust his technique, but he is instinctive and aggressive playing the ball in the air. He projects best on the perimeter with man-to-man responsibilities.
Well, if his strength lies in man-to-man coverage, it sounds like he’ll fit in quite nicely in the new Brian Flores-led defense in Minnesota. He joins a very young group of cornerbacks that the new DC will get every opportunity to develop
Welcome to Minnesota, Mekhi!