Final 2024 NFL Mock Drafts Are Pointing to the Same Player for the Vikings

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) reacts during the second quarter against the Washington Huskies in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is just hours away, and as the event rapidly approaches, analysts are publishing their final mock drafts of the spring.

Throughout the process, there has been much debate regarding what happens with the Minnesota Vikings and their picks. Do they trade up for a QB? Do they stick and pick best players available? Do they even consider trading down?

Well, over the past day, the most recent of these mock drafts from NFL Network analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Peter Schrager are pointing to the same player for the Vikings.

Final Mock Drafts Point to One Player for the Vikings

Mock Drafts
Sep 16, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws against the Bowling Green Falcons in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday evening, Daniel Jeremiah published his final mock draft of the year, and unfortunately for Vikings fans hoping for a last-minute trade up the board, no such event occurred in this mock draft. Instead, Minnesota opted to stick at Nos. 11 and 23. With the 11th overall pick, though, Jeremiah has the Vikings landing QB J.J. McCarthy. Here is how Jeremiah defends the selection:

“I wouldn’t rule out Minnesota trading up a couple spots for a quarterback, but all the information I’ve gathered in the last couple days suggests the Vikings are not crazy about making a bold move up the board for McCarthy. I believe they’ve grown more comfortable with Michael Penix Jr. as a fallback option if a team were to leapfrog them for McCarthy.”

So, it appears that if the Vikings are unable to get a deal done that they view as reasonable, Minnesota is at least putting information out that they are comfortable with Penix as a backup plan. The Las Vegas Raiders have also been a team in recent days suggesting that they could be interested in the Washington QB.

However, in Jeremiah’s final mock, the Vikings land McCarthy, and they didn’t even need to trade up. As a result, their pick at No. 23 ended up being Penn State pass rusher Chop Robinson. Robinson is an elite athlete, but his production never quite lived up to the billing throughout college, totaling just 20 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks across three seasons.

Oct 14, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Chop Robinson (44) celebrates following a sack on Massachusetts Minutemen quarterback Taisun Phommachanh (3) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Massachusetts 63-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

“Robinson is a dynamic edge rusher who fills a need for Minnesota,” Jeremiah wrote in defense of the pick. If not in 2024, then certainly down the line pass rushers could be a pretty major need in Minnesota once again. The Vikings lost Marcus Davenport, Danielle Hunter, and D.J. Wonnum this past offseason, so they were very active in free agency, signing Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Jihad Ward to help fill the void.

Still, Van Ginkel is only on a two-year deal, and depth piece Patrick Jones is in the final year of his contract. Robinson offers the insurance as a young player with plenty of upside.

Yet another NFL Network analyst, Peter Schrager, also had McCarthy as his pick for the Vikings in the first round. This time, though, Schrager had the Vikings make a slight trade up the board, swapping picks with the Tennessee Titans.

This is a trade I’ve advocated for in the past because it likely would allow the Vikings to hold onto their 23rd overall pick, thus allowing Minnesota to get their QB while also adding a piece on defense. “The Vikings sweat through the Chargers’ and Giants’ picks and care to sweat no more. To move up four spots, Minnesota gives Tennessee a host of future picks, including a first-rounder, but holds on to No. 23 overall. McCarthy lands in the best immediate situation of all of this year’s top QBs. Remember, GMs Ran Carthon and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have a history from their days together in San Francisco,” Schrager wrote.

Dec 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws during the first quarter of the Big Ten Championship game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

At 23, Schrager then has the Vikings adding CB Quinyon Mitchell, who would instantly become a key piece of Minnesota’s secondary. “The Vikings, having already made a deal to secure their new quarterback, stay put here and get one of the top corners in the draft. Awesome person, well-regarded small-school prospect and a steal at No. 23. Brian Flores would love to add Mitchell to his defense,” Schrager explains.

Ultimately, we won’t know exactly what happens with the Vikings in the first round until Thursday evening, but signs are pointing towards McCarthy in these final mock drafts.

The Vikings, having already made a deal to secure their new quarterback, stay put here and get one of the top corners in the draft. Awesome person, well-regarded small-school prospect and a steal at No. 23. Brian Flores would love to add Mitchell to his defense.