The Vikings are Piling Up Picks for the 2024 NFL Draft

Syndication: Green Bay Press-Gazette

Admittedly, I jumped the gun a bit on this topic. A previous article erroneously suggested that Minnesota was working with eight selections when they only had seven.

Some greater attention to detail and a renewed commitment to checking over the facts have brought things back around to a conclusion that is correct. The Vikings are currently sitting at nine selections for the seven-round event (as Andrew Krammer confirms), an indication of the possibilities that are sitting in front of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as the calendar marches toward 2024.

The Vikings are Piling Up Draft Picks

Getting too far into the weeds isn’t the purpose of this piece (those who are interested in the finer details can find them in Section 121’s Draft Pick War Chest and Complete Kwesi Trade Tracker). Instead, the purpose is simply to relay the reality of the team’s draft picks before explaining some of the implications.

Every Draft Pick Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Has Played a Role in Making
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sport.

Currently, the Vikings have these selections:

  • 1st (MIN)
  • 2nd (MIN)
  • 4th (MIN)
  • 4th (DET)
  • 5th (KC)
  • 5th (CLE)
  • 6th (CAR)
  • 6th (NE)
  • 7th (ARI)

Obviously, there’s still much that needs to be determined when it comes to how valuable those picks will be. Minnesota’s record alongside the record of the various teams that have their picks sitting in Kwesi’s coffers will be vitally important information.

Vikings Get a Decent Grade
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Now, the event is a long way away. There’s still half of a football season, the playoffs, and free agency to tackle before the draft arrives. Don’t forget, though, that all of these events will factor into the value of the picks and how they could be used.

One thinks of free agency, a method of player acquisition that should be alive and well for Minnesota. The team has less than 40 players under contract for next season and a bit below $52 million in cap room available. The need for more talent alongside the pile of cap room point toward a busy March for the GM.

Something that will help Adofo-Mensah is the knowledge that he’s sitting on plenty of draft selections. A drafted rookie ensures a team has four year of cost-controlled play, meaning there’s added room in the budget to go big-game hunting in free agency. Indeed, a surefire way to offset major contracts for, say, Kirk Cousins, Danielle Hunter, and Justin Jefferson is to stockpile players who are functioning on their rookie deals.

8 Big Storylines for Vikings at Bills
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, all kinds of Vikings fans will be wondering about the possibility of drafting a young quarterback. That’s going to be an ever-present possibility leading up to the draft, especially since the film nerds are telling us that there are going to be a lot of strong QB prospects.

Again, though, we’ll need to wait and see. Maybe Jaren Hall excels, dispelling any concerns about Minnesota needing a QB of the future. Maybe Kirk Cousins pulls off a remarkable recovery and gets re-signed for a major deal. Maybe the team leverages their many picks to trade for a veteran signal caller.

Possibilities galore. And, to be sure, that’s part of the point.

in 2023 Offseason
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Kwesi has proven to be quite elusive with his approach. While all eyes were on the defense in March of 2023, Adofo-Mensah made Josh Oliver — a blocking specialist at tight end whom most had never heard of — as his first major signing. Not many had that one on their purple bingo card. Plenty of other examples — trading for T.J. Hockenson, dropping from 12th to 32nd in 2022, moving on from Ezra Cleveland — demonstrate that the GM is quite content doing his own thing.

The GM hasn’t always made the correct decisions, but he has consistently demonstrated that he’s unafraid of going against the prevailing wisdom.

Having nine draft picks gives the young executive options. Adofo-Mensah has pulled off a total of nine trades across his pair of NFL drafts, so the safest guess is that we’ll see him shuffle the deck before it’s all said and done. He could aggressively pursue a QB or maybe target high-end pass rushers. He could keep bolstering the offense’s skill positions, maybe by onboarding a dynamic runner to complement the O’Connell offense. Adding another corner couldn’t hurt, either.

The overarching point is simply that the Vikings have clearly made it a priority to stockpile picks for 2024. Doing so opens up plenty of avenues for improvement that should have fans excited about what’s to come.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.