2 Vikings Starters Already on Hot Seat, Says Bleacher Report

Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel suffered a broken nose Sunday against the Jets but by Monday, he'd been patched up.© HAL HABIB / The Palm Beach Post / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Minnesota Vikings found two foundational pieces in last week’s draft: quarterback J.J. McCarthy of Michigan and outside linebacker Dallas Turner from Alabama.

2 Vikings Starters Already on Hot Seat, Says Bleacher Report

Those men will start before too long, and according to Bleacher Report, the timetable may be swift.

Of course, Minnesota doesn’t play a regular season game for four months, so there is plenty of time for hot seats to cool and jobs to be preserved. Yet, per BR’s Gary Davenport, these two would-be Vikings starters might have to surrender their starters’ gigs.

Sam Darnold

Darnold joined the Vikings’ roster one day after Kirk Cousins bolted for the Atlanta Falcons in March. He’s a quintessential patchover quarterback at this juncture in his career, though some purple and gold fans believe he’ll blossom in Kevin O’Connell’s system. Stay tuned.

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But per Davenport, McCarthy could usurp Darnold’s job sooner rather than later. He wrote, “Unless McCarthy struggles in acclimating to the NFL, the slow-and-steady approach is probably going to give way to ‘he’s ready to start.’ Because the cold, hard truth is Darnold just isn’t that good.”

Believe it or not, even at the ripe old age of 21, McCarthy was considered more game-ready than many quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. One of the knocks on Drake Maye — who landed in New England but was firmly on Minnesota’s draft radar — was the raw nature of his scouting report. McCarthy isn’t necessarily like that. With a productive summer, he could, in theory, start out of the gate.

Minnesota Vikings 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

Davenport added about Darnold, “The third overall pick in the 2018 draft started the season opener that year, throwing two touchdown passes in a 48-17 rout of the Detroit Lions. However, it didn’t take things long to go south from there — 21 wins in 56 starts, 56 career interceptions and a career passer rating of 78.3.”

Get ready for “Darnold or McCarthy” conversations among Vikings fans because they will be all the rage in no time.

Andrew Van Ginkel

Back in March, Danielle Hunter departed for the Houston Texans, while general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel as replacements. Life was good. Then, Minnesota became richer in the draft by selecting Turner, who should be able to start sooner than most.

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That’s why Davenport labeled Van Ginkel as a man with a job in jeopardy. “Minnesota drafted Alabama edge-rusher Dallas Turner, a wildly athletic youngster who some believe is the top prospect at the position in this class. Van Ginkel is a hard-nosed grinder, but he doesn’t have Turner’s raw talent — and by Week 1 he’ll likely be relegated to a complementary role,” he explained.

And BR is correct on Turner and Van Ginkel. While Darnold will probably take the QB1 baton in September, Turner is significantly more likely to line up opposite Greenard in Week 1 instead of Van Ginkel if the summer proceeds without hiccups.

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Thankfully, too much EDGE depth is not a bad thing.

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.