Evaluating the Three Draft Options for the Vikings with the 11th Overall Pick
With the regular season coming to an end on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings are solidified with the 11th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
With the season now over in Minnesota, all focus turns to the offseason. A major part of that offseason discussion inevitably will revolve around the draft and what the Vikings could do with that 11th overall pick. Here is a look at the pros and cons of Minnesota’s three draft options in the first round.
1. Trade Up
The option that many Vikings fans are probably clamoring for right now is the one to trade up and get into the top-10 of the draft. There are a few potential trade partners in that top end of the draft right now, including the Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5) and Tennessee Titans (No. 7).
If the Vikings were to trade up, it would likely be a move in an attempt to land their quarterback of the future. As of now, it is pretty clear that that player does not exist on their roster after all the struggles at the position following Kirk Cousins’ Achilles tear.
With Cousins entering free agency, there is no certainty that he’ll be on the team in 2024. Even if the Vikings were to re-sign the veteran, he is set to enter his age-36 season, and there are only so many years of quality football left in him. The Vikings should address the QB spot in this draft, and this is likely the easiest way to do that.
While landing a QB, especially a top-end one, in this draft would be nice, it will certainly come at a price. Moving into the top-10 or even top-5 in any draft carries a steep price tag of multiple draft picks and even perhaps a quality player.
That will especially be the case in a draft filled with QB talent at the top. The Vikings likely won’t be the only team trying to trade up for a quarterback if they decide to go this route, and they will need to outbid a number of teams in order to grab that spot.
This is what the Vikings opted to do in the 2023 Draft. Despite an attempt to move up and draft Anthony Richardson, Minnesota ultimately decided to stay put at No. 23 overall and select WR Jordan Addison. The move worked out beautifully considering Addison had a stellar rookie season of 70 receptions for 911 yards and 10 TDs.
The beauty of holding the 11th overall pick in the draft is the fact that, regardless of how things go down in the top-10, there will inevitably be talent available when the Vikings go on the clock that can help their team in 2024.
Addison proved to be a perfect replacement for Adam Thielen in the offense this past season, and the Vikings have a large list of pending free agents this offseason that may need to be replaced this offseason. Landing a top prospect at EDGE would be a possibility here, such as Laiatu Latu out of UCLA.
The problem with sticking at No. 11, at least for some, is that the Vikings are very unlikely to land one of the top three quarterbacks in this spring’s draft (Caleb Williams/Drake Maye/Jayden Daniels). Instead, if Minnesota wants to take a quarterback, they likely would have to take a risk on Michael Penix, Bo Nix, or J.J. McCarthy.
3. Trade Down
The last time the Vikings traded down in the first round, it was with the Detroit Lions for Lewis Cine. While that hasn’t exactly panned out, it doesn’t make it a bad strategy for roster improvement. Consider what happened when Rick Spielman traded down in 2021 and still landed Christian Darrisaw.
This feels like the least likely option at this point in time for the Vikings, but with their needs across the roster, this would be the easiest way to land a few extra picks both in 2024 and the future. The Vikings have multiple needs across their roster, and they currently don’t have a third-round selection. A trade somewhere would be needed for Minnesota to land a third top-100 pick.
Trading down almost certainly means the Vikings will push their QB needs into 2025. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing on the surface, but again, Cousins can only be the option for so long. If the Vikings are going to wait another year to go after a quarterback, they will need to nail that pick and likely immediately plug him in as the starter.
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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.