Latest Vikings Mock Draft from PFF Does the Thing

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings are about to start a new era of football as quarterback Kirk Cousins, the leader of the ship over the last six seasons, exited for the Atlanta Falcons, leaving the Vikings with bridge option Sam Darnold and the hope to land another passing prospect in the draft. The good news is that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah seems to have a plan to achieve that.

Latest Vikings Mock Draft from PFF Does the Thing

Latest Vikings Mock Draft from PFF Does the Thing
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

In the draft on April 25, the Vikings used to have one pick in the first round, the 11th overall. That changed when the GM facilitated a move, sending primarily the next two second-rounders to Houston in exchange for the 23rd overall slot. That allows the Vikings to beat any trade package other teams could use to jump them, and it will be intriguing for front offices with top-five picks to secure that extra first-rounder and some change.

In the latest mock draft from PFF, written by analyst Trevor Sikkema, Adofo-Mensah chooses Minnesota’s new QB, J.J. McCarthy, after trading up with the Arizona Cardinals, obtaining their fourth overall pick.

The details of the deal:

Vikings send:

  • 2024 – pick 11
  • 2024 – pick 23
  • 2025 – third rounder

Vikings receive:

  • 2024 – pick 4
  • 2025 – fifth-rounder
Need to Get into Top
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

There will be two major trade scenarios in the upcoming weeks leading up to the draft. Everyone knows the Vikings want to trade into the top five, and that’s why they acquired an additional first-rounder without knowing who would be on the board at that point. Deals like that happen, but when they do, it’s in the moment to acquire a specific player, not weeks in advance.

The potential trade calls are Washington and New England, presumably for Jayden Daniels (LSU) or Drake Maye (North Carolina) or Arizona and the Los Angeles Chargers to jump the New York Giants, who are set to draft sixth overall. Those picks would likely land J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan.

Forced by Broncos
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

In Sikkema’s mock draft, Williams, Maye, and Daniels are off the board, so the Vikings just select McCarthy fourth overall.

The Vikings didn’t trade for the Texans’ No. 23 overall pick just to hear Roger Goodell say their name twice on Day 1. They’re eyeing a trade-up for their quarterback of the future and can now give a team picking in the top five an enticing deal. I ultimately think that is with the Arizona Cardinals. In doing so, Minnesota pairs the budding McCarthy with Kevin O’Connell, and McCarthy is put in a comfortable situation to not start right away with Sam Darnold also in the mix.

Trevor Sikkema, PFF
camp schedule
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are a desirable spot for rookie passers because throwing to Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson will benefit their growth. The coaching will also be from former NFL quarterbacks Kevin O’Connell and Josh McCown. Sitting behind Sam Darnold, who could be an improved passer playing in the best offense of his career by a mile, while learning in peace is another blessing of landing in Minnesota.

McCarthy guided the Wolverines to a national title. However, it has been noted ad nauseam that he wasn’t the driving force of the offense, which was filled with excellent receivers and an unstoppable running attack. However, when McCarthy was asked to make a play, he delivered, regularly showing playmaking ability on crucial third downs and in the clutch.

One advantage is that he just turned 21, so he has a lot of time to develop into the best version of himself. Improving his decision-making and moving off of his first read should be on top of his agenda if it isn’t there. His slender build is no longer a concern after weighing in at 219 lbs at the combine.

Vikings Should Look
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Besides those flaws that can be corrected, he possesses natural throwing ability inside the pocket and on the run, which allows him to scramble and perform Aaron Rodgers-like tosses down the field while throwing off-platform. In addition, he has the athleticism to be an asset in the running game on read-option plays and can take off when a play is breaking down.

McCarthy would fit Minnesota’s offense pretty well because he can push the ball downfield but is also able to execute the quick game and RPO, which could feature Hockenson and Jefferson. Furthermore, his poise on the field and his leadership ability earned him a lot of praise.

If the Vikings miss out on the top three guys and only get McCarthy in the draft, he is much more than a consolation prize, and trading up without mortgaging another future first-rounder would be an additional plus.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt