Vikings Could Also Dip into Round 2 of Draft for QB

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Depending on incumbent quarterback Kirk Cousins’ free-agent status, the Minnesota Vikings may need a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Vikings Could Also Dip into Round 2 of Draft for QB

Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency in 5.5 weeks, so Minnesota must decide in February or early March to extend the 35-year-old or cut ties after six years. The outcome is truly a coinflip at the moment.

Meanwhile, with or without Cousins, Minnesota could draft “the next guy” in 12 weeks. Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Round 1.

Interestingly, though, there’s a way for the Vikings to marry both worlds — using their 11th overall pick on a defensive player and drafting a quarterback early, for example, in Round 2. His name is Michael Pratt.

Could Also Dip
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The Tulane alumnus is tentatively expected to go off the board in Round 2 — maybe 3, subject to the NFL Combine and the draft hype machine — at the end of April. He will likely become the candidate whom NFL fans fall in love with if the person doesn’t want their team to use 1st-Round draft capital on a quarterback but still wants the club to draft a quarterback early.

Pratt has all the necessary biographical information for intrigue: 6’3″, 220 pounds, age 22. He just doesn’t quite have the 1st-Round label attached to his name, at least not as of early February.

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Editor Josh Frey of PurplePTSD, a sister site to VikingsTerritory, wrote about the rookie this week, “Pratt is very experienced and has been starting for the Green Wave since his freshman season, and he has improved in each season. His ability to move and throw on the run makes him an intriguing prospect. In the open field, he is a bear to bring down at 6’3″ and 220 pounds. He’s very poised in the pocket and delivers an accurate throw regularly.”

The Vikings haven’t used 1st- or 2nd-Round draft capital on a quarterback in 10 years.

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Frey added, “If the Vikings select Pratt, it would likely be later in the draft as a developmental piece. It should be assumed that Kirk Cousins is back in a purple uniform if he is on the list of quarterbacks for Minnesota in April.”

The Draft Network described Pratt this month, “Pratt is an intriguing signal-caller with the skill set to succeed at the NFL level. He’s a strong athlete with the footwork and processing ability to pump throws all over the field. Offenses that prioritize play-action will value Pratt’s game.”

Need to Get into Top
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If the Vikings take the plunge with Pratt, he’d effectuate what fans have coined The Packers Plan. Pratt would likely sit and watch for a year or two behind Kirk Cousins. Then, in 2025 or 2026, Minnesota would hand the baton to the youngster and hope he is ready for the big leagues.

The takeaway on Pratt? He’s the compromise guy. Minnesota could use its 11th overall pick on a defensive lineman like Jared Verse (Florida State) or Jer’Zhan Newton (Illinois) and still grab a quarterback before or during Round 3.

The NFL draft is 79 days away.

Pratt scored 119 touchdowns in 46 games at Tulane.

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).

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