ESPN Names Three Main Draft Needs for the Vikings in 2024

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
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The 2024 NFL Draft begins in just 23 days.

The Minnesota Vikings are a team that could go in a number of different directions later this month because of a number of different very notable needs across their roster. This week, ESPN’s Matt Miller and Jordan Reid gave their takes on the three biggest draft needs for each team, including Minnesota.

ESPN Names Three Main Draft Needs for the Vikings

Draft Needs
Oct 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) runs the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In order, this is how Miller and Reid ranked those top three needs:

  1. Quarterback
  2. Cornerback
  3. Defensive Tackle

The quarterback position is a relatively obvious spot to include and has been a very popular selection for the Vikings in many mock drafts. This comes primarily as a result of Kirk Cousins heading to the Atlanta Falcons. Unless the Vikings have supreme confidence that they can turn around Sam Darnold’s career, it makes sense for a quarterback to be at the top of draft targets for Minnesota.

Kevin Seifert wrote the following on a prospective quarterback selection: “The Vikings’ offseason intent is clear — they want a long-term replacement for former starter Kirk Cousins. This has been a three-year project for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell, loosely targeted at the 2024 class. Newly acquired Sam Darnold is best viewed as a bridge despite his youth and potential upside.”

Nov 25, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) during warmups before the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle also looks like a big need for the Vikings this year. With the departures of Danielle Hunter and D.J. Wonnum, Minnesota may need more pass rushing help from the interior of their defensive line to help counter those losses.

If the Vikings fail to land a top quarterback prospect, a defensive tackle certainly could be next on the list. Byron Murphy and Johnny Newton would be ideal candidates either at 11 or 23. Newton is a terrific pass rusher who lives in the backfield while Murphy might be a more well-rounded candidate.

Even if Minnesota does opt to take a quarterback in the first round, Reid suggested a potential fit for the team later on in the draft in Duke defensive tackle DeWayne Carter. Reid wrote, “Carter is an explosive interior defender who has the upside to develop into a starter down the road. He had 47 tackles and 10 run stops last season.”

Nov 6, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Jer’Zhan Newton (94) reacts to a missed stop in the third quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the cornerback position is an interesting one when it comes to the Vikings. They have a number of decent players such as Byron Murphy, Mekhi Blackmon, Akayleb Evans, and recent free agent signing Shaquill Griffin.

However, Minnesota doesn’t have a true lockdown player at the position. If they want to turn towards more man coverage this season, another CB could be in order for the team.

Overall, this month looks to be a franchise-changing one for the Vikings. It’s an exciting time of year for the team.

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.