With a Month Remaining Before the 2024 NFL Draft, Here are 10 Prospects that the Vikings Could Select in Round 1

Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) signals the Tar Heels will be going for a two point conversion after scoring a touchdown in the second overtime at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is officially one month away.

The Minnesota Vikings have a number of different directions that they could take in this spring’s draft after they traded to acquire the 23rd overall pick from the Houston Texans. They could trade up for a QB, or they could stay put and make their picks at Nos. 11 and 23. Here is a look at 10 prospects the Vikings could take in these different scenarios.

Trade Up

NFL Draft
Oct 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) runs the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

The LSU pipeline runs deep in Minnesota, and it very well could continue to flow in 2024. Jayden Daniels is one of the top QB prospects in this spring’s draft, and his combination of terrific arm strength and elite athletic ability makes him a very intriguing candidate to become the next Vikings quarterback. Unfortunately, it will likely take a massive trade to move up to No. 2 in order to steal the LSU quarterback, which would cost a ton of draft capital.

QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

Drake Maye very well could be the prize that the Vikings are eying after their trade with the Texans. He is an NFL-ready QB at just 21 years old, so if Minnesota has a chance to trade up and select him, it should be a no-brainer. If it is indeed Caleb Williams and Daniels to go off the board with the first two picks, Minnesota can land him if they swing a deal with the Patriots.

QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

Like Maye, J.J. McCarthy is a very young quarterback prospect, and he has a pretty similar skillset to that of the North Carolina product. He has plenty of arm talent to get the ball downfield, and he may actually be more accurate in the short and intermediate portions of the field than Maye. McCarthy is a proven winner at the collegiate level, and he should be able to make things work in the Vikings offense.

No. 11

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

DT Byron Murphy, Texas

Byron Murphy is an incredible pass rushing presence at the defensive tackle position, piling up 45 pressures in 14 games for the Texas Longhorns this past season. He isn’t the most technically sound player at the defensive tackle spot, but he brings great athleticism and explosion at the position. With Minnesota’s need for another pass rusher at the position, the Texas product should be (and has been) on the Vikings’ radar.

DT Johnny Newton, Illinois

The best part of Johnny Newton’s game is his versatility, and this skillset is what ultimately should land him among the top defenders in the 2024 NFL Draft. The defensive tackle has an innate ability to impact the game both as a pass-rusher and run-stuffer because of his freakish athletic ability, but size and length could be a bit of a problem.

EDGE Laiatu Latu, LSU

Laiatu Latu won’t blow anyone away with elite athleticism, though he did perform better than expected at the NFL Scouting Combine. Despite a lack of elite athleticism, he is a very technically sound pass rusher. The UCLA product has multiple countermoves in his arsenal that always keeps blockers guessing, and he can be a productive player in run defense as well.

CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Quinyon Mitchell has burst onto the scene with stellar showings at the Senior Bowl and Combine. The Toledo cornerback already showcased elite coverage skills throughout his collegiate career, and then, he did so against some of the top wide receiver prospects in this draft class. The Vikings need a true CB1 in that room for next season, and Mitchell could be exactly that.

No. 23

Nov 11, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Darius Robinson (6) looks on during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

QB Michael Penix, Washington

There is a lot of upside to Michael Penix, but there are a number of question marks as well. He has a long injury history, which derailed his collegiate career at Indiana before transferring to Washington, and he has a good bit of headway to make in his development. Still, he is an athletic quarterback with a rocket launcher for an arm. If the Vikings opt to take a defender at No. 11, Penix could be the guy at 23.

DL Darius Robinson, Missouri

Darius Robinson’s unique combination of size and athleticism has allowed him to thrive at just about any position on the Missouri defensive line, playing primarily defensive tackle in 2021 and 2022 before jumping out to the edge in 2023. Some elite arm length and explosion could allow him to continue playing on the edge in the NFL, but he has the size and strength to move back to his more natural position of defensive tackle if needed.

WR Brian Thomas, LSU

Let’s go out on a limb to wrap things up. Perhaps the Vikings want to try and truly revive Sam Darnold’s career, or maybe they select a QB like McCarthy or Penix at No. 11. Regardless of the starter, the Vikings will want to put their new QB1 in the best position to succeed, and WR Brian Thomas would create a ridiculously talented trio of receivers alongside Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. Thomas possesses elite size and speed at the position, making him an immediate big-play threat.

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.