The Vikings Are Keeping an Eye on QB Prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft

Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings captured their second victory of the season in Week 6 by defeating the Chicago Bears 19-13.

Despite the victory, many were left underwhelmed by the team’s inability to run up a big victory considering Justin Fields would leave the game with a hand injury.

With Kirk Cousins entering free agency at the end of the year, and this season still not seeming like one where the Vikings will be competing for a Super Bowl, Minnesota could finally take a shot on a young QB in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Over the past few weeks, the Vikings have been doing plenty of research on some of the QB prospects that could be available next spring. Here is a look at some of the QBs that the Vikings have been in attendance to watch.

Caleb Williams (USC)

QB Prospects
Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) celebrates his touchdown scored against the Arizona Wildcats during the first overtime at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Typically, NFL GMs will send scouts out to check out college prospects. However, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made sure he himself was in the building when Caleb Williams and USC took on Notre Dame this past weekend.

Charleston Bowles of Rivals reported that the Vikings GM was in attendance for the game. The USC QB has been the consensus top prospect in the 2024 Draft following his Heisman-winning season in 2022. Unfortunately, he had a tough go of things against the Fighting Irish, throwing for just 199 yards, a single touchdown, and 3 interceptions. Still, he has over 2000 passing yards, 23 TDs, and just 4 interceptions through Week 7.

With their Week 6 victory over the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings are very unlikely to stumble their way into this top pick, but if they did lose enough games to land it or somehow traded their way into it, Williams would likely be the selection.

Drake Maye (UNC)

Oct 7, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) speaks to an official during the first half of the game against the Syracuse Orange at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings also had a couple scouts in attendance for North Carolina-Miami this weekend as reported by Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Amongst the NFL talent on that field, the most notable player was UNC QB Drake Maye.

Maye showed out in the game, passing for 273 yards and 4 TDs as the Tar Heels took down the Hurricanes by a score of 41-31. Depending on how the draft board shakes out, there is a chance that Maye could be the second overall pick in this draft. He has a terrific arm and has displayed pinpoint accuracy throughout his two seasons as a starter.

Sam Hartman (Notre Dame)

Oct 7, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Sam Hartman (10) looks to pass against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, if Adofo-Mensah was in attendance when USC took on Notre Dame this past Saturday, he also got himself a look at Sam Hartman. The QB of the Fighting Irish was an early Heisman favorite this year, but a couple rough games have dropped him down the list.

Notre Dame got a win against USC, but they didn’t have to rely on Hartman for much of the night. They had a defensive TD and a kick return TD in the game, meaning Hartman had to throw for just 126 yards and 2 TDs in order to rack up 48 points versus the Trojans.

Hartman is in the middle of his sixth collegiate season, making him one of the older QBs in this upcoming draft class at 24 years old. Regardless, if the early QBs get scooped up before the Vikings pick in the first round, Minnesota may have their eyes on Hartman for Day 2.

J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is sacked by Indiana linebacker Aaron Casey during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

In Week 6 of the college football season, the Minnesota Gophers and Michigan Wolverines did battle in a Big Ten matchup. Again, Wolfson of KSTP reported that the Vikings had folks in attendance for the game, meaning they got an up-close look at Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy.

The Wolverines cruised to a 52-10 victory over the Gophers, meaning they didn’t have to rely on McCarthy for much throughout the game. Still, he completed 14 of his 20 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown.

A week later, McCarthy showed out against Indiana throwing just three incompletions while passing for 222 yards and 3 TDs. The Michigan QB is another player that probably won’t sneak into the first round, but if the Vikings want a Day 2 QB, he could be on the list.

Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma)

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) runs for a touchdown during the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.

Back in May, Dillon Gabriel was my choice for the Vikings in the first round of my early 2024 NFL mock draft. The southpaw has explosive arm talent while also being very mobile in the pocket, making him a strong fit in Kevin O’Connell’s offense.

When Oklahoma took on Texas last weekend, Wolfson of KSTP was all over it once again, reporting that assistant director of player personnel Chisom Opara would be in attendance for the Vikings.

That matchup proved to be an exciting one with Gabriel leading the Sooners to a 34-30 victory while passing for 285 yards and a touchdown and rushing for an additional 114 yards and another touchdown. It was a full display of how the QB can completely take over a football game. If the Vikings land in the middle of the first round, Gabriel remains a player to keep an eye on.

Quinn Ewers (Texas)

Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws a pass during the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. Oklahoma won 34-30.

If Opara was in attendance to check out Gabriel against Texas, he also got a look at Quinn Ewers for Texas. Ewers burst onto the scene in 2022 with a couple strong games, including a victory over Oklahoma where he threw for 4 TDs.

This time around, Ewers would not get a victory, but he did throw for 346 yards and a touchdown while completing 83.8% of his passes. However, a couple interceptions from the Texas gunslinger ultimately allowed Oklahoma to snag a win.

Michael Pratt (Tulane)

Oct 13, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) passes the ball during the second half against the Memphis Tigers at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the dark horse QB prospect for Vikings fans to keep an eye on. Tulane was one of the biggest surprises in 2022, and a big part of that came as a result of the growth of QB Michael Pratt. He threw for over 3000 yards and 27 TDs during the year while also totaling 478 yards and 10 TDs on the ground.

This season, Pratt has built off that success. Despite missing two games early in the year with a knee injury, he has still passed for 927 yards and 9 TDs while completing 70.7% of his passes.

The Vikings had folks in attendance for Tulane’s game against Memphis this weekend, again reported by Wolfson of KSTP. In that game, Pratt threw for 259 yards and a touchdown as part of the Green Wave’s 31-21 victory over the Tigers.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.