Every Draft Prospect the Vikings Have Met for Top-30 Visits

Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates after a play during the second quarter in the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow is April 1st, and we will officially enter NFL Draft month.

As the event continues to get closer, the Minnesota Vikings and the other 31 teams across the league are wrapping up their evaluations of prospects who could join their teams in less than 30 days. Top-30 visits allow teams to get closer looks at the players who teams are particularly interested in learning more about. So far, the Vikings have been confirmed to have eight of these visits. Here is a look at each draft prospect the Vikings have conducted these visits with, per Pro Football Network.

EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

Draft Prospect
Dec 2, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner (15) celebrates after a sack in the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings lost all three of Marcus Davenport, Danielle Hunter, and D.J. Wonnum in free agency this spring. While they’ve done a solid job of filling out their pass rushing group with other signings like Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel, Minnesota certainly could try to continue adding strength to that group with another draft selection.

Dallas Turner is widely considered to be the top prospect among the edge rushers because of his outstanding measurements, production at Alabama, and the fact that he is only 21 years old. If the Vikings are going to land Turner, it would likely require them to use the 11th overall pick.

RB Dillon Johnson, Washington

Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Huskies running back Dillon Johnson (7) carries the ball against the Texas Longhorns in the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies largely were powered by their passing attack behind QB Michael Penix, but Dillon Johnson gave them a very adequate counter in the running game. After transferring from Mississippi State, Johnson recorded 233 carries for 1195 yards and 16 TDs this season. That rushing TD total led the PAC-12 and bolstered his draft stock heading into the offseason.

The Vikings had one of the worst rushing offenses during the 2023 season, and while the combination of Ty Chandler and newly signed Aaron Jones should stabilize that a bit, Minnesota still needs to think about the future of their rushing attack past 2024. Johnson could be that solution.

TE Erick All, Iowa

Sep 30, 2023; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Erick All (83) against Michigan State Spartans defensive back Angelo Grose (15) during the fourth quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa has become the university for NFL tight ends over the past few years. It’s the school that some of the top players at the position hail from, including T.J. Hockenson. However, the Vikings could be without Hockenson for at least a portion of the 2024 season, which could prompt them to add another tight end in the draft.

Erick All transferred to Iowa from Michigan in 2023, and while Brock Bowers is the cream of the crop in this year’s draft class, the Hawkeye looks like another strong prospect at the position. He recorded 21 receptions for 299 yards and three touchdowns this past season while offering terrific athleticism and strong blocking abilities.

DT Khristian Boyd, Northern Iowa

Sep 4, 2021; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) runs from Northern Iowa Panthers defensive lineman Khristian Boyd (99) in the second half at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle is a major need for the Vikings in this spring’s draft. If the Vikings want to use one of their seven Day 3 picks to select a DT, Khristian Boyd could be a solid depth option.

The defensive lineman was a third-team FCS All-American in 2023 for the Panthers this past season, recording 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. In total, he spent six seasons at UNI and recorded 149 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, five passes defended, and a pair of forced fumbles.

TE McCallan Castles, Tennessee

Tennessee tight end McCallan Castles (34) scores a touchdown during the NCAA college football game between Connecticut and Tennessee on Saturday, November 4, 2023 in Knoxville, Tenn. Credit: Angelina Alcantar/News Sentinel.

McCallan Castles has been through a long journey throughout his collegiate career. He began at the University of California back in 2018 before transferring to UC Davis for two seasons in 2021 and 2022. Finally, he got a chance to be true starter at the FBS level with Tennessee in 2023 and lived up to the expectations.

Along with strong blocking abilities, he caught 22 passes for 283 yards and five touchdowns this past season.

EDGE Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan

Sep 9, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Schrader (6) runs with the ball as Western Michigan Broncos defensive lineman Marshawn Kneeland (99) defends during the first half at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Marshawn Kneeland won’t blow anyone away with elite athletic ability, but he is a grinder in the trenches. He utilizes a strong bullrush with his 265-pound frame to overpower opposing offensive linemen. This past season at Western Michigan, he racked up 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

OT Donovan Jennings, South Florida

Sep 9, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; South Florida Bulls offensive line Donovan Jennings (73) celebrates a touchdown against Florida A&M Rattlers during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings obviously have two of the better offensive tackles in the NFL with Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill, but more depth at the position is always a positive. Donovan Jennings doesn’t quite have ideal length for an NFL tackle, but he makes up for it with his mass and strength.

DT Byron Murphy, Texas

Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates sacking Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht (3) during the game at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2023 in Ames, Iowa.

And finally, we reach the player who may be the most likely selection for Minnesota if they opt to keep their 11th overall pick. Byron Murphy is an elite defensive tackle prospect who can not only be a run stuffer but also offers plenty of skill as a pass rusher. The Vikings need more of a pass rushing presence at their defensive tackle spot this season, and Murphy would be a strong candidate if Minnesota is unable to land a top QB.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. 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.