PFF’s “Best Case Draft Scenario” Doesn’t Involve QB for Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to pick 11th on draft night, about 7.5 weeks for now.

PFF’s “Best Case Draft Scenario” Doesn’t Involve QB for Vikings

Per long-term roster need, Minnesota needs a quarterback, defensive lineman, or cornerback, per most fans and pundits. Quarterback Kirk Cousins will hit free agency in one week if no extension is finalized, and he signs elsewhere, the Vikings will really need a quarterback.

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But according to Pro Football Focus, Minnesota’s “best case draft scenario” isn’t aligned with a fresh new rookie passer. It’s an EDGE rusher.

PFF claimed the Vikings’ primary goal this offseason should be building upon defensive improvement from last year, and Dalton Wasserman explained, “Defensive coordinator Brian Flores did an excellent job of turning Minnesota’s defense into a more respectable unit in 2023. Rookies Ivan Pace Jr. and Mekhi Blackmon stood out in Flores’ aggressive scheme. Assuming the Vikings re-sign Kirk Cousins, their biggest need will be the pass rush. They may lose Danielle Hunter in free agency and don’t yet have another player who can win up front with blitz help.”

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The Vikings haven’t drafted an EDGE defender in Rounds 1 or 2 since 2005. That last guy was Erasmus James. That’s how long it’s been, believe it or not.

Wasserman added, “Alabama’s Dallas Turner makes sense as a consistent stand-up edge rusher with experience against NFL-caliber tackles. Flores also has extensive experience with drafting Alabama defenders during his time in New England.”

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Turner would be a fantastic draft selection for Minnesota, rest assured. Few would decry the pick. However, the time feels ripe for a quarterback, whether Cousins re-signs or not. Minnesota hasn’t drafted one of those in Round 1 since 2014 — Teddy Bridgewater.

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 Rounds 1 and 2 as quarterback options.

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Finally, the Vikings’ need for an outside linebacker will lessen if Danielle Hunter returns for a 10th season. Yet, like Cousins, Hunter is slated to test free agency next week.

If PFF is correct, and Cousins is back in Minnesota, but Turner is not the pick at No. 11, the Vikings could be in the mix for these EDGE defenders:

  • Laiatu Latu (UCLA)
  • Dallas Turner (Alabama)
  • Jared Verse (Florid State)
  • Chop Robinson (Penn State)
  • Chris Braswell (Alabama)

The NFL Draft is 52 days away.

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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