It’s Defense for Vikings in Latest Mock Draft

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A theme is developing among Minnesota Vikings mock drafts, and it probably won’t go away until the club decides on Kirk Cousins’ free agency.

It’s Defense for Vikings in Latest Mock Draft

All over the place, credible draft heads are selecting defensive players for the Vikings’ 11th overall pick in an offseason when Minnesota employs a 35-year-old quarterback recovering from an Achilles tear who is not under contract in 2024.

To each their own.

One of the latest renditions arrived on Monday with’s mock draft authored by Bucky Brooks. For Minnesota at No. 11, he selected Florida State EDGE rusher Jared Verse.

Defense for Vikings in
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Vikings fans wouldn’t bemoan Verse one bit, but all signs point to Minnesota drafting a rookie quarterback sooner or later, especially if Cousins vamooses to free agency in seven weeks. Nevertheless, Brooks explained Verse to Vikings, “Adding an athletic pass rusher to the lineup will enhance the Vikings’ aggressive schemes under Brian Flores. The Florida State standout flashes double-digit potential as a sack artist.”

Brooks stacked the draft class’ top three quarterbacks at the top, sending Caleb Williams (USC) to the Chicago Bears, Drake Maye to Washington, and Jayden Daniels to the New England Patriots.

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Entering the 2024 offseason, the Vikings have zero starting outside linebackers under contract unless one assumes Patrick Jones II or Andre Carter II will make the leap this summer. Danielle Hunter is also a free agent, and if he doesn’t re-sign, well, Minnesota would need two starting EDGE rushers. In that vein, Brooks’ Verse choice adds up.

Conversely, the Vikings are likely to re-sign Hunter some time in the next seven weeks — otherwise, they would’ve traded him last October when the win-loss record was upside down. Trading Hunter before the 2023 deadline would’ve fetched the Vikings a 2nd-Round pick and change or something of the sort.

going to stick
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Most mock drafters will cease with defensive players if Minnesota lets Cousins walk to free agency. If Cousins hits the open market, the Vikings would have Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall under contract at quarterback — and then that’s it.

Earlier this month, The Draft Network’s Damian Parson chose Verse for the Vikings at No. 11 as well and opined, “Three of the Vikings’ edge defenders are heading into free agency, including Danielle Hunter. Jared Verse would provide an outstanding replacement or partner if Hunter is re-signed. Verse’s first step and speed-to-power conversion make him a candidate for the EDGE1 crown of this draft class.”

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Verse is 6’4″ and 260 pounds and can start on Day One for the Vikings.

The Vikings defense ranked 11th per DVOA in 2023, up from 24th in 2022.

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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