Mock Draft Has New Flavor for Vikings

Mock Draft Has Defense
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By most fan and pundit accounts, the Minnesota Vikings will likely use the 11th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on a quarterback or defensive lineman. Mock Draft Has New Flavor for Vikings

The draft is exactly 10 weeks away, so there is plenty of time for the hype machine to play its course. But on Thursday, flipped the script on the Vikings’ would-be draft plan, connecting Minnesota to Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold in its latest mock draft.

Draft Has New Flavor
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports.

Heading into 2024, the Vikings have these cornerbacks under contract:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Andrew Booth
  • Akayleb Evans
  • Najee Thompson
  • Joejuan Williams
  • Jaylin Williams

So, Minnesota certainly doesn’t have a quantity problem at corner, but it could have a quality concern, depending on the opinions of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Kevin O’Connell, and Brian Flores.

Terrion Arnold of St. John Paul II is the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year. He had 49 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 interception returns, and 1 forced fumble. © Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via Imagn Content Services, LLC.’s Luke Easterling said about his Arnold pick for the Vikings, “Quarterback is obviously the big question mark here, but Kirk Cousins returning still makes the most sense for both parties. If that happens, the Vikings will be freed up to address multiple needs on defense, and while the trenches need plenty of work, they’ll find more value at corner with Arnold if the board falls this way.”

The Vikings’ defense ranked 32nd in the NFL per completion percentage allowed last season, also known as last place. In that vein, cornerback is indeed a roster need unless the coaching staff and front office trust the young building-block CBs to mature quickly in 2024.

Flores Flourish
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Minnesota has used 1st-Round draft capital on cornerbacks in 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2020. They also spent a 2nd-Rounder on the aforementioned Booth in 2022. In that regard, it’s borderline criminal that the Vikings haven’t solved the cornerback roster spot in the last half-decade.

The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez described Arnold’s scouting report last month, “Terrion Arnold profiles as an elite-level athlete who entered the Alabama program as a safety and made the transition to playing the cornerback position. Arnold became a starter entering the 2022 season and continued to develop his skill set through the offseason, putting together one of the best cornerback seasons and becoming one of the biggest rising 2024 NFL Draft prospects. Arnold’s elite athletic traits combined with his technique allow him to be an impact player in both pass coverage and in the run game.”

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports.

In ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of the 2024 cycle, he, too, theorized a corner for Minnesota but opted for Clemson’s Nate Wiggins.

NFL free agency kicks off in 25 days, and the Vikings could also pursue that avenue for cornerback roster help.

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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