Does It Matter WHERE in Round 1 Vikings Draft QB?

Mock Draft Reveals Splashy
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings will pick 11th on April 25, 2024, in the NFL Draft, a decent spot to possibly land a quarterback of the future. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must decide in the next 5.5 weeks to re-sign incumbent quarterback Kirk Cousins or let him waltz to free agency. The choice will shed light on Minnesota’s draft plan, although, in theory, the Vikings could do both — extend Cousins and draft a quarterback. We shall see.

Does It Matter WHERE in Round 1 Vikings Draft QB?

Mock drafts for the Vikings are split as of early February, with some choosing an impact defensive player while others pair the purple team with a quarterback. 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 Round 1.

Matter WHERE
December 31, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (9) throws a pass during the pregame before the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

Some have even suggested the Vikings conduct a massive trade up the draftboard for a blue-chip prospect like Williams, Maye, or Daniels. But here’s the thing: Does it matter where the Vikings pick a passer in Round 1 (if they pick one at all)?

Here’s a look at the quarterbacks and numbers by Round 1 draft spot since 2000. You decide.

QBs Picked 1 thru 10

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

QBs Drafted: 44
Total Pro Bowls: 62
Total Games Started: 3,588
Pro Bowls per Draftee: 1.4
Games Started per Draftee:
81.5

The Picks:

  • Philip Rivers
  • Matt Ryan
  • Eli Manning
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Carson Palmer
  • Cam Newton
  • Alex Smith
  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Michael Vick
  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Jared Goff
  • Josh Allen
  • Andrew Luck
  • Carson Wentz
  • Jameis Winston
  • Baker Mayfield
  • Kyler Murray
  • Marcus Mariota
  • Justin Herbert
  • Sam Bradford
  • David Carr
  • Blake Bortles
  • Joe Burrow
  • Mitchell Trubisky
  • Daniel Jones
  • Tua Tagovailoa
  • Robert Griffin III
  • Byron Leftwich
  • Vince Young
  • Trevor Lawrence
  • Mark Sanchez
  • Joey Harrington
  • Sam Darnold
  • Blaine Gabbert
  • Jake Locker
  • C.J. Stroud
  • Zach Wilson
  • Matt Leinart
  • Terrelle Pryor
  • JaMarcus Russell
  • Bryce Young
  • Trey Lance
  • Anthony Richardson
  • Josh Rosen

The only item certain — totally ironclad — about men chosen in the first 10 picks is that they get more chances to succeed than most. The Pro-Bowls-per-Draftee numbers are lower than Picks 21-32 (shown below). The games-started metric is basically the same as Picks 21-32 (also shown below).

By a mile, general managers are more likely to take a swing at a quarterback in the first 10 picks. It’s the nature of the beast. And the tendency likely won’t change in the upcoming draft.

More quarterbacks are selected in the first 10 picks, are afforded more chances to catch on as a career-long starter, and usually make 1.4 Pro Bowls throughout their careers. So, fans will see more starters fly off the board in these 10 spots, but that doesn’t necessarily translate equitably to stardom.

QBs Picked 11 thru 20

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QBs Drafted: 13
Total Pro Bowls: 11
Total Games Started: 1,065
Pro Bowls per Draftee: 0.84
Games Started per Draftee:
81.9

The Picks:

  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Joe Flacco
  • Jay Cutler
  • Deshaun Watson
  • Chad Pennington
  • Josh Freeman
  • Justin Fields
  • Mac Jones
  • Christian Ponder
  • Kyle Boller
  • Kenny Pickett
  • EJ Manuel
  • Dwayne Haskins

Surprisingly, general managers shy away from rookie quarterbacks in this section. Ben Roethlisberger and the untainted version of Deshaun Watson highlight the crop. Otherwise, the list is nasty, assuming Justin Fields doesn’t take a fourth-year leap in 2024.

Per the last 24 drafts, this feels like the spot to avoid, and inconveniently, this is where the Vikings are scheduled to pick. Start your cynicism.

QBs Picked 21 thru 32

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

QBs Drafted: 14
Total Pro Bowls: 27
Total Games Started: 926
Pro Bowls per Draftee: 1.92
Games Started per Draftee: 66.1

The Picks:

  • Drew Brees
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Lamar Jackson
  • Jason Campbell
  • Teddy Bridgewater
  • Rex Grossman
  • J.P. Losman
  • Jordan Love
  • Patrick Ramsey
  • Brandon Weeden
  • Tim Tebow
  • Johnny Manziel
  • Paxton Lynch
  • Brady Quinn

Propped up by Brees, Rodgers, and Jackson, gems can be unearthed from Picks 21-32. Because those three men have dazzled in their careers, this looks like a great spot to find the quarterback of the future.

But the Vikings — or whichever team — must get the pick right.

Alternatively, other franchises have been stuck with Manziels, Lynches, and Quinns.

Overall, the first 10 picks are the safest spot to swing at a quarterback, but about half are guaranteed to disappoint. Scroll up and decide how many quarterbacks from the 1-10 group you would’ve liked for the Vikings in retrospect. Divide that number by 44, and that’s the successful hit rate.


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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