Vikings Appear Ready to Navigate a Massive Gulf Between their Draft Picks

NFL: NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what, Minnesota is moving themselves into a tremendously fascinating 1st Round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Pulling off a trade with the Texans to get the 23rd to partner with the 11th means Thursday, April 25th is going to be must-see TV in Minnesota.

There is a distinct downside, though, to the trade from Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. The Vikings appear ready to allow a ton of talent fly off the board before getting their shot at welcoming in another rookie. Indeed, Minnesota owns the 11th, 23rd, and then the 108th. Packaging the opening pair of picks to get to 3rd or 5th would make the chasm even wider.

Vikings Appear Ready to Wait a While for Next Picks

Vikings fans got the appetizer last year.

Jordan Addison got snagged with the 23rd pick of the 2023 NFL Draft. The next selection was sunk into Mekhi Blackmon at 102nd. The wait between picks made more than a few people antsy, especially the college football fans and draft nerds who had a good understanding of the talent being scooped up by other teams.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (5) celebrates his interception with his team against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The issue could be even more pronounced in 2024.

Once again, the Vikings own the 23rd selection. But, of course, next up is 108. If nothing changes, there will be 85 players picked between those two spots in the draft order.

Look at last year’s draft for an example of what this could mean. Corner Joey Porter Jr. (32), tight end Sam LaPorta (34), receiver Jayden Reed (50), running back Zach Charbonnet (52), receiver Rashee Rice (55), receiver Tank Dell (69), and running back De’Von Achane (84) are just some of the promising players who got chosen in that inactive period between picks.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

In fairness, the Vikings exacerbated the distance between picks by trading with the San Francisco 49ers. Originally, Minnesota had the 87th selection but were convinced to ship it out in exchange for the 102nd (Mekhi Blackmon), 164th (Jaren Hall), and 222nd (DeWayne McBride).

The current vantage point suggests that the GM could once again make the gap larger through a trade. A lot of the rumors are suggesting that Minnesota is positioning itself to jump up for the 3rd (New England Patriots) or 5th (Los Angeles Chargers).

Every Draft Pick Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Has Played a Role in Making
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sport.

Assume the Patriots decide to send over the 3rd overall selection. In that scenario, the Vikings would see a stunning 105 players get scooped up before picking again at 108th.

The Vikings could jump back into Day 2 of the draft. Just because Minnesota doesn’t currently have a Round 2 or 3 selection in mid-March doesn’t mean that’s how things will look at the end of April. And even if they don’t hop up into those rounds, the Vikings can content themselves with either making a move for a QB in Round 1 or by bringing in a pair of excellent players at 11 and 23.

So, the draft discussion isn’t about prophesying doom and gloom. Rather, the point is simply to note that Minnesota’s current outlook involves major upside at the top of the draft before moving into a painful period where they miss on a lot of promising talent. The trade off could be more than worth it, though.

Minnesota is working with nine total selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. A complete list of their specific draft slots can be found on PurplePTSD.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.

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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.