NFL Draft Wizard Goes the Full Seven Rounds for the Vikings

NFL: 2017 NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft takes place a week from today, so the mocks are flying off the shelf faster than Randy Moss on a deep route.

Among the various prospect experts, Dane Brugler stands out as being among the foremost authorities. The writer for The Athletic recently took on the tremendously ambitious task of doing an entire seven-round mock draft for the NFL in its entirety. Brugler had the Vikings pull off a total of eight selections and an aggressive trade up the board.

The NFL Draft and Mocking Minnesota

Right off the top, Brugler’s picks for the Vikings.

  • RD1 — 4th Overall: Quarterback J.J. McCarthy
  • RD4 — 108th Overall: Defensive Tackle DeWayne Carter
  • RD4 — 129th Overall: Guard Mason McCormick
  • RD5 — 157th Overall: Corner Qwan’tez Stiggers
  • RD5 — 167th Overall: Edge Rusher Eric Watts
  • RD6 — 177th Overall: Receiver Ainias Smith
  • RD7 — 230th Overall: Linebacker Tyrice Knight
  • RD7 — 232nd Overall: Center Dylan McMahon
Dec 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws during the first quarter of the Big Ten Championship game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of folks will only care about what happens up top. Well, Brugler didn’t disappoint. The Vikings make their move for McCarthy, an outcome that is fairly easy to foresee at this stage.

What’s most notable is the price to leap up to 4th overall. Arizona shipped out their coveted pick for Minnesota’s No. 11, No. 23, and a 2025 3rd. Presumably, most Vikings fans would be thrilled by the cost; truth be told, the Vikings’ main leaders may even share that opinion.

Take a look at Brugler’s write up for the McCarthy-to-Minnesota outcome: “It is no secret that the Vikings are quarterback shopping in the NFL Draft, but how high can they trade up to secure their guy? In this scenario, Minnesota jumps to No. 4 for McCarthy, which would mark the first time in NFL Draft history we see quarterbacks drafted 1-2-3-4 overall.”

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

Keep in mind that making the move up the board exacerbates an already prominent issue: the Vikings will need to wait a very long time before they can make their next selection. The path that Brugler explores involves a 104-pick gap between Minnesota’s first selection and then their second selection. If the QB lives up to his potential, then it’s no problem, but there would be some antsy people in Minnesota.

For the most part, Brugler makes the pick without offering a follow-up blurb to discuss the player (doing 257 picks and 257 blurbs would be insane). The entire 1st round includes write ups but then just a select handful throughout the remainder of the mock.

The only other Vikings player to get a write up is Stiggers, the corner who put in work in the CFL last year. Over to Brugler: “The first non-combine prospect drafted here is Stiggers, a CFL product who has had a Hollywood-worthy journey to this point. But he is more than a feel-good story — Stiggers has the talent to work his way up an NFL depth chart.”

Not too long ago, Josh Frey wrote about the promising corner with an unusual journey to the NFL. Earlier in the week, Mr. Frey even relayed the news that Brian Flores is a bit like Mike Zimmer. The current DC always wants more corners, so bringing in another via the draft makes a lot of sense.

Jun 18, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Argonauts defensive back Qwan’tez Stiggers (42) reaches up to intercept a pass intended for Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Tim White (12) in the first quarter at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Otherwise, note the emphasis on the trenches in Brugler’s mock. There are a pair of offensive linemen added. There’s an addition at defensive tackle (with a player Frey has highlighted). There’s an edge rusher, which would be the first time Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulls an EDGE out of the draft.

And then tossing in a bit more competition at linebacker and receiver makes a lot of sense.

The 2024 NFL Draft — the real one — takes flight in a week. On Thursday, April 25th, Roger Goodell will get things rolling in Detroit, Michigan.

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.