Vikings Coach Lands Defensive Coordinator Position for 2024 Senior Bowl

Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In just a couple weeks, many of the top 2024 NFL Draft prospects will head to Mobile, Alabama to participate in the Senior Bowl.

When the event gets going, we will see a Vikings coach on the sidelines for the game that’s set to take place on Saturday, February 3rd. That Vikings coach is Daronte Jones, who will be the defensive coordinator for the National Team.

Vikings Coach Lands Gig for Senior Bowl

Vikings Coach Senior Bowl
Jan 27, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; General view of the Reese’s center field logo during the 2018 Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

This is the second straight year that the Senior Bowl has brought in NFL assistant coaches for elevated roles as part of their “Coach Up” format. Here is a look at how their press release describes it:

“This is the second year the Senior Bowl is implementing a “Coach Up” format where coordinators and assistant coaches are placed into elevated or different roles from the ones they currently hold with their respective clubs.  Head coaches and general managers from all non-playoff teams and Wild Card round participants had the opportunity to nominate assistant coaches and those candidates were then selected by a group comprised of league office executives and representatives from the General Managers Advisory Committee.  In total, at least one coach from all 18 teams that submitted nominations were chosen for this year’s game.”

Jones entered his third season as the Vikings’ defensive backs coach this year, and his seventh year of NFL coaching overall. Prior to his time in Minnesota, Jones spent the 2016-17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and the 2018-19 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Vikings saw a number of their 2023 Draft selections take part in last year’s Senior Bowl, including their third-round pick, Mekhi Blackmon.

Jan 31, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; National defensive back Riley Moss of Iowa (27) drills with National defensive back Mekhi Blackmon of USC (31) during the first day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Blackmon played 15 games for the Vikings this season, including three starts, and recorded 41 tackles, three tackles for loss, eight passes defended, an interception, and a fumble recovery. The cornerback earned PFF’s fifth-highest grade among rookie CBs with at least 100 defensive snaps. Blackmon had an overall defensive grade of 71.7.

Fifth-round pick Jaren Hall also attended the Senior Bowl following his final season at BYU. He joined four other quarterbacks at the event who would eventually go on to be selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Those other four QBs were Hendon Hooker, Jake Haener, Clayton Tune, and Max Duggan.

Feb 2, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; National quarterback Jaren Hall of Brigham Young (3) practices during the third day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Jones will now get first-hand experience with a number of eventual draft prospects, and it is very likely that at least one or two of the players that he works with will end up with the Vikings in April.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of 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.