There’s an Early Mock Draft Frontrunner for Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings have five games remaining in 2023, possessing around 50%-60% chances of reaching the playoffs, odds that have dampened in the last two weeks after losses to the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears.

There’s an Early Mock Draft Frontrunner for Vikings

For now, the purple team is slated to choose 20th in the 2024 NFL Draft, which can obviously change drastically in the next several weeks.

But if the draft were held tonight, there’s an early darling, per mock drafters, for Minnesota — Oregon quarterback Bo Nix.

Early Mock Draft
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, draft hype, speculation, and scouting will change significantly in the next five months, but for now, the draft community suggests Nix is the best fit for Minnesota. According to NFLMockDraftDatabase.com, the Oregon passer is the most frequently selected player associated with the Vikings’ 1st-Round pick as of December 1st.

Why do the Vikings need a quarterback? Simple — the current QB1 Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles in October and is a free agent in March. Cousins could return to the Vikings or sign elsewhere. The outcome of his free agency is a total coinflip at the moment.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

And whether Cousins returns for Year No. 7 in purple might be moot for Minnesota’s draft purposes. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell took over the club about two years ago, and sooner or later, the pair will probably want a young signal-caller to groom and pay on the cheap for 4-5 years.

That could be Nix, per draftheads, who’s a 23-year-old with a big arm, thick frame, and impressive speed. His footwork will need NFL refinement as well as consistency in all aspects, but those items basically apply to every NFL rookie.

dead period
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, after a 20-17 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 9 of the 2022 regular season.

The 33rd Team’s Connor Livesay mock-drafted Nix to Minnesota this week and explained, “Oregon QB Bo NIx won’t be for everyone, but he is a nice fit for the Minnesota Vikings and coach Kevin O’Connell. Nix has made drastic improvements in 2023 at Oregon, but he will likely need to be drafted in the right system with the right coordinator to carry over his success to the NFL. Nix won’t be a guy who should be expected to step in and win right away, but he can find some success in O’Connell’s offense.”

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso did the same and succinctly wrote, “Nix’s athleticism would be accentuated by Kevin O’Connell’s boot-action system.”

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

If the Vikings are indeed interested in a 1st-Round quarterback but don’t trade into the Top 5 or don’t prefer Nix, other passers like Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) will be in the mix.

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off in 146 days.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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