Vikings Mock Draft: What If the Vikings Don’t Trade Up for a QB?

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

Folks, we are 10 days away from the 2024 NFL Draft.

The event promises to be a franchise-changing one for the Minnesota Vikings, seeing as they hold multiple first-round picks and could make a massive trade to acquire a franchise QB. But, what could happen if the Vikings don’t make that trade to snatch a quarterback? Should the draft be viewed as a failure? That is what we will explore in this Vikings mock draft conducted via the PFF simulator.

A Vikings Mock Draft, but Without a QB Trade

Vikings Mock Draft
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

R1, P11: Byron Murphy, Defensive Tackle, Texas

If the Vikings aren’t going to snatch one of the first four QBs, they have a chance to grab a top player at another major position of need. Byron Murphy has always been a powerful run-stopping presence at the defensive tackle position, but in 2023, he saw a significant boost in production as a pass rusher. After recording 31 pressures across his first two seasons, he put together 45 for the Longhorns in 2023 and totaled five sacks.

The Vikings need more help along the interior of their defensive line after missing out on the top free agents at the position. Murphy isn’t a quarterback, but he’d be a very strong addition to Minnesota’s defense.

R1, P23: Michael Penix, Quarterback, Washington

It was very tough not to snatch Cooper DeJean in this spot, but at the end of the day, the Vikings do need to come out of this draft with somebody at the quarterback position even if they don’t trade up. Michael Penix certainly isn’t the perfect quarterback prospect by any means.

He doesn’t perform well throwing on the run, and he can be impacted by pressure (completed an underwhelming 41.8% of his passes under pressure in 2023). Then there are the injury concerns after his tenure in Indiana was derailed by season-ending ailments.

However, Penix has a sharp arm and is plenty capable of leading an offense from within the pocket and has the athletic ability to scramble when necessary, though we haven’t seen as much of that part of his game since his injuries. If the Vikings’ offensive line (a unit that has continued to get better over the past couple years) can keep the pocket clean, Penix can lead a productive offense.

R3, P92: Mason McCormick, Guard, South Dakota State


  • Vikings Get: No. 92
  • Buccaneers Get: Nos. 129 and 167, 2025 fourth-round pick

Speaking of the Vikings’ offensive line, they have a pretty glaring need at left guard right now. Dalton Risner remains a free agent, and for now, there is no clear path forward at the position outside of Blake Brandel or switching Ed Ingram over to that spot.

As a result, I decided to get the Vikings back into the third round, swapping picks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and select Mason McCormick out of South Dakota State. Playing left guard for the Jackrabbits throughout his collegiate career, McCormick is a stout pass protector at the position and allowed just three pressures at the FCS level in 2023. He has gone 23 games without being blamed for a sack, per PFF.

Of course, there may be some growing pains going from FCS to the NFL, but McCormick has decent NFL size (6’4″ and 309 pounds) with an elite athletic profile.

R4, P108: Erick All, Tight End, Iowa

Simply put, the University of Iowa has been a factory for pumping out NFL tight ends over the years, including current Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson. After spending his first few collegiate years at Michigan, Erick All decided to transfer to Iowa this season.

All proceeded to put together a strong season as a receiver in Iowa’s offense, recording 21 receptions, a program-leading 299 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns. With Hockenson likely set to miss the opening portion of the 2024 season, All could be a nice depth piece to Minnesota’s offense.

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

R5, P157: Mekhi Wingo, Defensive Tackle, LSU

We’re double-dipping at the defensive tackle spot and reuniting Jaquelin Roy with a former LSU teammate. Mekhi Wingo is an undersized DT, but his athletic ability is off the charts and can be another pass rushing piece for Minnesota’s defense.

R6, P177: Luke McCaffrey, Wide Receiver, Rice

The Vikings have an elite WR duo in Jordan Addison and Justin Jefferson, but they could use more depth at the position behind those two. Luke McCaffrey, the brother of Christian, is a very smooth player when running routes and has 4.4 speed that allows him to break away from defenders.

Sep 24, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Rice Owls wide receiver Luke McCaffrey (10) makes a reception and runs for a touchdown as Houston Cougars defensive back Alex Hogan (19) defends during the third quarter at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

R7, P230: Isaiah Davis, Running Back, South Dakota State

What’s better than one Jackrabbit? That’s right, two Jackrabbits. After taking McCormick in the third round, the Vikings are dipping back into the South Dakota State pool here by selecting Isaiah Davis. The reasoning lies in Davis’ production at SDSU (over 3000 rushing yards and 33 rushing TDs over the past two seasons) as well as the Vikings’ need for a plan at the position past the 2024 season.

R7, P232: Curtis Jacobs, Linebacker, Penn State

Finally, we wrap things up with the Vikings making a selection at linebacker. Minnesota lost both Troy Dye and Jordan Hicks in free agency, and while they replaced Hicks with Eden Prairie native, Blake Cashman, they could use more depth at that spot. Curtis Jacobs has explosive athletic ability and could be a natural blitzer to be played alongside Ivan Pace.

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

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.