Vikings Mock Draft: A Playmaking CB, Ferocious Defensive Lineman, and Round 2 QB

Nov 4, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Kendrick Law (19) is tackled by LSU Tigers defensive tackle Maason Smith (0) and safety Sage Ryan (15) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated LSU 42-28. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than 10 weeks away.

The offseason is beginning to heat up this week and moving forward, and there won’t be much of a slow down until the draft concludes on April 27th. With the draft fast approaching, here is a look at another Vikings mock draft conducted on NFL Mock Draft Database.

R1, P11: CB Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo)

Dec 2, 2023; Detroit, MI, USA; Toledo Rockets cornerback Quinyon Mitchell (27) breaks up a pass intended for Miami (OH) Redhawks wide receiver Gage Larvadain (10) in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

If the Vikings want a physical cornerback who is absolutely ready to contribute at the NFL level, they won’t do much better than Quinyon Mitchell. He is a vicious tackler and very aggressive at the point of the catch, which allowed him pile up a whopping 37 passes defended over the past two seasons at Toledo.

Mitchell brings solid NFL size, and his initial burst in coverage is alarmingly quick. There is a very good chance that he runs in the 4.4s at the combine or perhaps even faster. His toughness can be seen in his willingness to shed blockers against the run.

R2, P42: QB Michael Penix (Washington)

Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns in the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The need for a quarterback in Minnesota really depends on what they do in about a month when free agency arrives. Will they re-sign Kirk Cousins? Could they bring in another veteran to start during the 2024 season?

If “no” is the answer to both of these questions, Minnesota will almost certainly take a quarterback in the first round, but if they can bring in either Cousins or another veteran capable of starting, they can afford to wait until the second round for a prospect. Michael Penix has some work to do if he is to prove himself at the NFL level, but the assumption here is that he will have at least one year to sit and learn.

R4, P109: DL Maason Smith (LSU)

Sep 4, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Louisiana State Tigers defensive tackle Maason Smith (0) celebrates a play during the first half against the Florida State Seminoles at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings need to find a youthful playmaker at either EDGE or DT in this draft early on, and Maason Smith is an absolute freak who can immediately impact an NFL defense.

Smith stands at 6’6″ and weighs 315 pounds. His brute force in the middle of LSU’s defensive line wreaked havoc on opposing offenses all season, and his ability to stop the run should make him a top-75 pick in next spring’s draft. If he isn’t, the Vikings could get a steal here in the fourth round.

R4, P130: RB Will Shipley (Clemson)

Nov 18, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Will Shipley (1) runs the ball against North Carolina Tar Heels defensive back Will Hardy (31) during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings need more production out of the running back position, but they are going to have to marry the talents of whatever prospect they select alongside those of Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler.

Will Shipley isn’t necessarily the guy to bowl over defenders between the tackles, but he can create yards in a hurry both on screen passes as well as outside zone runs. The Clemson product has excellent speed and has natural receiver hands giving him the versatility to be on the field in many different situations.

R5, 156: WR Javon Baker (UCF)

Mock Draft
UCF’s wide receiver Javon Baker (1) runs for a touchdown against Texas Tech in a Big 12 football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at Jones AT&T Stadium.

After spending his first two collegiate seasons buried on Alabama’s depth chart, Javon Baker transferred to UCF and recorded 50+ receptions and 5+ receiving touchdowns in each of the past two years for the Knights.

Baker has proven to be capable of contributing either on the boundary or in the slot, which is not something that could have been said last year at this time. His snaps out of the slot jumped from 46 to 102 in 2023, and he proved himself as a threat anywhere on the field throughout the Senior Bowl.

R5, P166: LB Jaylan Ford (Texas)

Texas Longhorns linebacker Jaylan Ford (41) celebrates a defensive stop during the Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff semifinals game against the Washington Huskies at the Caesars Superdome on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Vikings could be in need of a linebacker if Jordan Hicks doesn’t return in free agency. Ivan Pace was fantastic as a rookie, but there is very little telling if Brian Asamoah can step up in a similar fashion in 2024. As a result, Minnesota lands Jaylan Ford, who is a very aggressive downhill defender capable of making plays as a run stopper and pass rusher.

R6, P179: EDGE Cedric Johnson (Ole Miss)

Oct 28, 2023; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive linemen Cedric Johnson (2) during the second half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

If the Vikings can re-sign Danielle Hunter, they potentially can wait to draft an edge rusher. However, similarly to the Cousins situation, this position could jump to the top of the list in terms of importance if Hunter is gone. We’ll assume that the veteran is coming back to Minnesota for now, and the Vikings land Cedric Johnson to help fill some of their depth needs at the position.

R6, P190: IOL Brandon Coleman (TCU)

Nov 2, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Christian Horned Frogs offensive tackle Brandon Coleman (77) blocks Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive tackle Tony Bradford Jr. (97) in the second half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

There is a decent chance that the Vikings will be in need of offensive line depth by the time April rolls around. Players like Blake Brandel, Dalton Risner, and Austin Schlottmann are all set to enter free agency, and especially in the cases of Brandel and Schlottmann, they’ve played crucial roles as versatile depth pieces capable of lining up at multiple spots.

Over the course of his career at TCU, Brandon Coleman played 1481 snaps at left tackle (per PFF), but he also had 690 snaps at left guard, 26 snaps at right guard, and 117 snaps at right tackle. He would be a great swing piece to add late in the draft.

R7, P222: TE Isaac Rex (BYU)

Sep 23, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars tight end Isaac Rex (83) runs with the ball during the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Depending on T.J. Hockenson’s health, the Vikings will need some extra depth at the tight end position. Currently, both Johnny Mundt and Nick Muse are going to enter free agency, and Josh Oliver is the only healthy tight end on the roster.

Isaac Rex is a sturdy tight end at 6’6″ and 255 pounds, and he offers an intriguing combination of athleticism along with his blocking ability. Rex became a proficient pass catcher in BYU’s offense and should be able to play a versatile role in the NFL.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Focus and 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.

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