There’s a New Favorite Position for the Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft

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Vikings fans across the world seem to want Minnesota to take a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

It makes sense considering Kirk Cousins is entering free agency and is heading into his age-36 season coming off an Achilles tear. However, recently there has been a new favorite position for the Vikings amongst mock drafters.

A New Favorite Position for the Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft

Favorite Position
Oct 14, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Jared Verse (5) against the Syracuse Orange during the first half at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of sending Minnesota quarterbacks, many mock drafts in recent weeks have had the Vikings taking an EDGE. Take, for example, the most recent CBS Sports mock draft from Josh Edwards. The analyst opted to send Minnesota Laiatu Latu, a pass-rusher out of UCLA.

Edwards defended the selection by writing, “Edge rusher is a very popular pick for Minnesota and will remain as such until it is learned whether Marcus Davenport and/or Danielle Hunter will return next season. Plus, D.J. Wonnum will be coming back from injury.”

All three of Davenport, Hunter, and Wonnum will hit free agency this spring, and there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding that position. Is Hunter going to command too much money to retain him? Will Davenport and Wonnum be able to bounce back from their injuries?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

In fact, according to NFL Mock Draft Database, 37.3% of recent mock drafts have sent the Vikings one of two pass-rushers in the first round. 20.7% of the selections have gone to Latu while Jared Verse of Florida State has become a trendy selection as well, jumping ahead of the QB prospects to command 16.6% of selections in the first round.

Latu is a very talented prospect and looks like he will be selected very early on in the upcoming draft this April. This season, the UCLA product put together a ridiculous stat line of 21.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.

Meanwhile, Verse went into the 2023 season largely viewed as the best pass-rusher in the class, and he put together another dominant season for the Seminoles this year by recording 12.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

Sep 9, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) battles against San Diego State Aztecs tight end Mark Redman (81) during the first half at Snapdragon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It does make some sense for Minnesota to pivot towards a pass-rusher in this spring’s draft. The Vikings relied heavily on Hunter to carry them in that department last season, and it would certainly be smart to find another young player to pair him with on the edge.

In addition, if QBs fly off the board early, and the Vikings don’t find a trade partner to move up the board, they may need to pivot away from finding a prospect under center rather than reach for another quarterback with the 11th overall pick.

The Vikings have not selected an edge rusher in the first round since 2005 when they took Erasmus James out of Wisconsin with the 18th overall pick, but this could certainly be the year that changes.

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 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.