Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Kept the NFL “Guessing” During the 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft was a very momentous occasion for the Minnesota Vikings.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took many of the old Vikings draft trends and threw them out the window. Not only did he make J.J. McCarthy the highest selected QB in franchise history, but Dallas Turner became Minnesota’s first edge rusher to be selected in round one since Erasmus James in 2005.

Adofo-Mensah not only kept Vikings fans on the edge of their seats throughout the event, but apparently, he also had the rest of the NFL “guessing” over the course of the weekend.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Had the NFL “Guessing” in the Draft

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN put together an article detailing how this happened. The analyst wrote, “Adofo-Mensah, with an analytical background, played to his reputation early in his tenure. The first two moves of his first two drafts were trade-backs, including a significant jump from No. 12 to 32 with division rival Detroit in 2022. But over the past two months, Adofo-Mensah went all-in to move up — three times, twice while on the clock — to secure McCarthy and Alabama pass-rusher Dallas Turner.”

Indeed, Adofo-Mensah’s reputation heading into this spring’s draft suggested that he was much more apt to trade down rather than up, particularly early on in the draft. Through his first two drafts with the Vikings, the GM had swung nine trades with only three of them being made to move up the board (Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Jaquelin Roy).

That all changed in 2024. Adofo-Mensah made just two trades during this spring’s event, and both moves were made to go up the board on the first night.

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fowler was told by an AFC executive, “I had to think twice because I had him pegged as a volume guy when it came to draft picks. It looks like he’s shifted his thinking to where, the reality is it’s hard to win without players you can build around.”

The analyst also noted that the Jaguars were “surprised” when the Vikings reached out about a move up to the 17th overall pick. In the end, the Vikings sent Jacksonville a hefty amount of draft capital in order to select Turner, which included a fifth-round pick in 2024, as well as a third-rounder and a fourth-rounder in 2025.

This change in philosophy could have happened for a couple reasons. It cannot be ignored that the selections of McCarthy and Turner came just weeks after Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter left in free agency. One of the better ways to replace franchise cornerstones is by snatching younger, cheaper talent through draft picks.

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner (15) reacts during the first half against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, the Vikings still need to get star receiver Justin Jefferson signed to a new contract extension. In all likelihood, the deal is coming, but at his core, Jefferson is a competitor. Minnesota needs to prove to him that they are all about winning while he’s a member of the Vikings franchise.

These selections hopefully showed exactly that as Jefferson approaches his age-25 season.


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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