4 Big Mysteries Remain for the Vikings

The majority of the roster construction phase of the NFL offseason in now behind us after the 2024 NFL Draft took place a couple weeks ago.

In the coming months, the Minnesota Vikings will now begin evaluating which players can fill certain roles for the 2024 season. Rookie minicamp began on Friday while OTAs, mandatory minicamp, and training camp will follow later this summer. Over these next couple months, the Vikings will have to solve a couple big mysteries.

The Starting QB

Vikings
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

The QB battle is set in Minnesota after the Vikings drafted J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick back in April. The rookie will be taking on veteran Sam Darnold, who was signed in free agency following Kirk Cousins’ departure.

This battle between the newest Vikings quarterbacks will be a fascinating storyline to watch throughout the course of the summer, but it is one that will require Minnesota’s leadership to tread lightly. McCarthy can only win this battle if they are absolutely sure that he is ready to lead an NFL offense, or it could end up sending his career down a drastically negative route.

Justin Jefferson Extension

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates wide receiver K.J. Osborn’s (17) touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

In all likelihood, an extension with Justin Jefferson will get done this offseason. For now, though, it remains an open book and a mystery that the Vikings need to solve sooner rather than later. The star receiver is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and he might not be particularly keen to play on a franchise tag moving forward.

Luckily, the Vikings have made a number of moves this offseason that should calm any of Jefferson’s potential fears of the team going into an all-out rebuild over the next couple years. Hopefully, a deal can be agreed to in the coming months.

Left Guard

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Blake Brandel (64) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings boasted one of the better offensive lines in the entire NFL last season, and it should remain that way in 2024. However, they still need to figure out their starter at left guard after they traded Ezra Cleveland last year and haven’t re-signed Dalton Risner at this point.

For now, it would make the most sense for Blake Brandel to hold down the position, or perhaps Ed Ingram can switch over to that spot while Brandel takes on right guard. Dan Feeney could also be an option while Michael Jurgens, a seventh-round pick, played the position during 2023 for Wake Forest.

WR3

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) celebrates after a touchdown with guard Dalton Risner (66) against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

K.J. Osborn left the Vikings in free agency, thus leaving a void on the roster at WR3. Ultimately, this shouldn’t be a huge deal considering Jordan Addison and Jefferson hold down the top two spots at the position.

However, the Vikings might need to get more production out of this spot considering T.J. Hockenson’s injury. Minnesota does have a couple options, including Brandon Powell, who re-signed after a semi-breakout season with the team in 2023. Otherwise, free agent acquisition Trent Sherfield and 2022 sixth-round pick Jalen Nailor could be in the mix as well.


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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