Vikings Interested in Particular Rookie, Says Insider

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Many Minnesota Vikings fans expect the club to step up to the plate in late April and draft a quarterback of the future.

Vikings Interested in Particular Rookie, Says Insider

The yes or no on that plan may be determined in the next six weeks, depending on the outcome of Kirk Cousins’ free agency. If Cousins walks, Minnesota would be all but required to draft a passer in 12 weeks.

in Particular Rookie
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But after the quarterback theories, some believe Minnesota will invest defensively in the draft, perhaps bolstering the defensive line after the Vikings’ defense collapsed in December and January. And according to Tony Pauline, Minnesota could be interested in one defender in particular — Byron Murphy II, a defensive tackle from the University of Texas.

No, he’s not the current Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr., nor are the two related. But the two share a name, and both play defense. Via SportsKeeda, Pauline wrote Tuesday, “The Minnesota Vikings, who desperately need a defensive tackle, are said to have a lot of interest in Murphy. The insanely athletic defender, who is expected to test off the charts at the combine, would be a terrific fit for the Vikings defensive scheme.”

Fans Already Split
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The relationship would make sense, too, because there’s a reasonable chance that Murphy II is available to Minnesota with its No. 11 pick. The Vikings wouldn’t have to trade up or down to net the Longhorn; he’s simply a fit at the organic draft spot.

Earlier this month, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah authored his first mock draft of the 2024 cycle, and lo and behold, Murphy II ended up in Minnesota. Jeremiah briefly explained, “I believe Murphy is the top defensive tackle in the class. The Vikings need to add more firepower up front.”

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So, the theory is already out there from two credible sources, Pauline and Jeremiah.

The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez describes Murphy II: “Murphy does a good job of immediately getting into a gap. Because he plays with low pad height, he makes it difficult for offensive linemen to get proper hand placement on him to stop his penetration. Murphy has plus-level functional strength and can knock offensive linemen’s hands down with hand counters.”

Per roster building, if selected by the Vikings, Murphy II would presumably slide into Jonathan Bullard’s spot from 2023 and represent the Vikings’ most significant DT upgrade since Sharrif Floyd or Sheldon Richardson.

Vikings GM Has 4
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If not a quarterback or defensive tackle, the Vikings could also explore an EDGE rusher or cornerback at No. 11 if they don’t trade out of the pick in 85 days.

Murphy is 21 years old.


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.

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