The A+ Vikings Mock Drafts

NFL: Combine
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Take a few minutes to look around and it won’t be difficult to corral some Vikings mock drafts.

The 2024 NFL Draft is now less than a month away, so draft speculation is running amok on football analysis. Peeking at the picks leaves many with the impression that Minnesota is a phone call away from landing a QB very high. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is the proud owner of picks No. 11 and No. 23, but most are proceeding under the assumption that those opening-round selections get turned into a Top-5 choice. Is that the only path forward, though?

The A+ Vikings Mock Drafts

Make no mistake: the Vikings want to land a highly-regarded passer in the draft.

The only real mystery is who the quarterback will be and when he will be chosen. For a little while, J.J. McCarthy has been a popular pick due to his youth, athleticism, and accuracy. Oh, and he won a ton while playing at Michigan. But then there’s the possibility of Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye, both of whom look like excellent options. The downside with Daniels is simply that he seems more likely to get scooped up before Minnesota gets a chance to make its first pick.

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) reacts during the second quarter against the Washington Huskies in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A bit of a recent trend has been to eschew the major move up the board. Instead, some are wondering about a way for Minnesota to have its purple cake and eat it, too. Or, put differently, land that RD1 QB while nevertheless making a pair of RD1 selections.

Take a look at a trio of examples:

  1. Bucky Brooks, Drake Maye at 11 & Cooper DeJean at 23
  2. Ian Valentino, The 33rd Team: Dallas Turner at 11 & Bo Nix at 23
  3. Josh Frey, Vikings Territory: Drake Maye at 7 & Johnny Newton at 23

See the basic trend? In each instance, Minnesota was able to land a promising passer while also drafting a dynamic defender. One has to assume that the Vikings’ main decision makers would be thrilled by this outcome if it arrives at the end of April.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell (left) and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah react during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooks option is the one that would be the most exciting for the franchise and its fans. Without any more trading, the Vikings land someone — Maye — whom many regard as the draft’s second-best passer. And then there’s the addition of a highly-regarded corner, someone who would would fit Brian Flores well.

Brooks has the assessment on DeJean: “Adding a defensive back with a high football IQ and positional flexibility would give defensive coordinator Brian Flores another weapon to feature in his aggressive, blitz-heavy scheme.”

Oct 21, 2023; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) reacts during the second quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

But then one thinks of the upside with snagging Dallas Turner at 11. The edge rusher could become a dominant player, especially when placed into the mix alongside Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel.

Choosing Bo Nix wouldn’t be without some controversy. Valentino offers a few thoughts on Nix’s upside: “Nix would fit Kevin O’Connell’s system well and would be supported by a strong surrounding cast. He has the traits to be a Pro Bowl-caliber starter, which is a win for a mid- to late-first-round pick.”

Jan 1, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws against the Liberty Flames during the 2024 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

And then consider what our own Josh Frey had to say in his recent mock for VT.

Frey puts together a trade to go get Maye, doing so without needing to forfeit the team’s other 1st. Tennessee is the trade partner, a team that’s just a few spots ahead at No. 7. Ran Carthon and Kwesi Adodo-Mensah are friends, so one wonders if the negotiations could be relatively easy to navigate given that there’s a strong rapport.

Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023.

Rounding things out in Frey’s mock is the addition of Mr. Newton. No one can dispute that QB is the sport’s most important position, but it may not be the main need on Minnesota’s roster. Currently, the defensive line is lacking in depth and in high-end talent. Does Newton at 23 help to satisfy both of those concerns?

Earlier in the week, Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell cautioned about getting carried away with the assumption of trading up for a passer (as Lindsey Young relays on Any chance the team’s main leaders try to thread the needle, snagging a top passer while also reinforcing the defense?

If successful, the Vikings could walk away from the 2024 NFL Draft with an A+ grade.

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.