The Vikings are Building a Small Mountain of 2024 Draft Picks

2023 NFL Draft
Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys on the clock in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Since taking over as Minnesota’s GM, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been responsible for pulling off 15 trades. In every single one of them, draft picks have been involved. Perhaps that’ll change soon, but the overwhelming trend has been to either trade out or bring in draft capital.

As of right now, the Vikings are building up a decent amount of draft capital for 2024.

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Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

First off, we need to recognize the subtractions. Getting T.J. Hockenson into a purple uniform required Minnesota to include their ’24 3rd in the trade. However, the deal with Detroit didn’t deplete Minnesota’s overall amount of selections. They have less valuable picks, but not a lesser amount. Detroit’s 2024 4th belongs to the Vikings.

Moreover, Minnesota is without their own 5th-round selection as a result of acquiring Jalen Reagor. The 21st-pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Reagor has been a disappointment in both Philadelphia and Minnesota. He had 8 catches, 104 yards, and 1 TD last season. Getting to 40 catches, 500 yards, or 5 TDs in the upcoming season will bump up the pick to a 4th. Based on what we’ve seen, those stat thresholds seem unlikely.

He’s legitimately fighting for a roster spot for the upcoming season. Does the GM look to recoup some draft capital by seeing if there are any teams out there interested in giving the ultra-athletic WR/PR another shot? If so, Minnesota will likely only be able to get late-round draft capital. Trading him would mean Minnesota gets his entire $2,419,639 off the books.

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Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

More positive has been the pick additions.

During the 2023 NFL Draft, the Vikings moved down the board from 119th overall. They gained pick #134 – used on LSU DB Jay Ward – alongside Kansas City’s 5th-rounder from the 2024 draft. Furthermore, the recent deal shipping Za’Darius Smith to Cleveland involved getting a 5th in upcoming draft (as well as another for 2025).

The Vikings are thus heading into 2024 with both their 1st and 2nd. They’ll be without a 3rd – a painful reality – but have a pair of 4ths and a pair of picks in the 5th. Furthermore, the team still has their 6th, but not their 7th rounder (Nick Mullens trade).* Sitting on seven selections is a good spot to be when we remember all of the deals the GM has pulled off.

Over on Vikings Territory, Dustin Baker has discussed the major free agency wildness that’s upcoming for the Purple & Gold. Josh Frey has made a similar observation, drawing attention to how the team is scheduled to have 30 free agents. Marquee players like Marcus Davenport, Kirk Cousins, Danielle Hunter, T.J. Hockenson, and K.J. Osborn all find themselves on the list.

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Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) is pressured by New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) and defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A lot will change, of course, but the point is that the team’s roster could look very different. Piling up a lot of picks is an easy, cost-efficient way of getting replacements onto the team.

Before it’s all said and done, Minnesota’s draft pick allotment is going to change. The 2024 Draft is nearly a year away, which can feel like an eternity in the NFL. Minnesota must still navigate the meat and potatoes of their offseason competition, regular season (and hopefully playoffs), as well as whatever occurs during next year’s free agency.

As of right now, though, it’s worth noting that the Vikings are building up their overall amount of picks. We may once again see them come away from the event with a draft class total that hits the double digits.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.

* My thanks to a social media post that very helpfully reminded me about the trade involving Nick Mullens.