New Fox Sports Mock Draft Would Be Just Lovely for Vikings

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

In about 12 weeks, the Minnesota Vikings will be on deck with the 11th overall pick in the draft, their highest position since 2016.

The club is tentatively expected to draft a quarterback for life after Kirk Cousins or a defensive lineman to fill out the trenches.

New Fox Sports Mock Draft Would Be Just Lovely for Vikings

And as theories on the pick swirl like a twist cone, mock draft personalities are kicking off their season with a bang. Many credible draftheads send an EDGE rusher like Jared Verse (Florida State) to the Vikings or cornerback Nate Wiggins (Clemson) to the purple team. ‘Tis the season.

New Fox Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

Well, according to Fox Sports, Minnesota could have an absolutely treat in store for the draft, linked to LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels via an apparent draft night plunge. Routinely, Daniels is mock-drafted in the Top 5, if not the Top 3, so Daniels to Minnesota is a brave new world.

Fox Sports’ Rob Rang defended the pick last week, “The Vikings have a big decision coming on Kirk Cousins, who will be a free agent and is recovering from a torn Achilles, putting his availability for the start of next year in question.”

New Fox Sports
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in his first year on the job at the 2022 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Cousins is expected to command $40-$50 million with his next contract, a fee that could be too rich for the Vikings’ blood. Other players like Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter, and Christian Darrisaw will need fat extensions in the next two years. Cousins, in theory, could be the odd man out.

Rang added about Daniels to Vikings, “The Vikings don’t have to take a quarterback, but if the Heisman Trophy-winning Daniels is still on the board, it would be hard to pass up the opportunity to pair him with fellow Tiger Justin Jefferson.”

Quarterback Jayden Daniels 5 runs the ball as the LSU Tigers take on Georgia State in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 18, 2023. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

This can be fairly classified as the best-case scenario for Minnesota. It is severely unlikely for Daniels to plummet the draftboard to No. 11, barring a poor NFL Combine or unforeseen scandal. But, indeed, if Daniels were available, the Vikings would almost have to pounce.

Editor Josh Frey of VikingsTerritory’s sister site, PurplePTSD, wrote about Daniels last month, “Daniels possesses a rocket of an arm which allows him to spread the ball across all three levels of the field, and he throws accurately as well. His average depth of target was 10.5 yards this season, ranking 17th among 86 QBs in college football with at least 300 drop backs, per PFF.”

In short, Daniels has both coveted characteristics craved by Vikings fans and NFL general managers — he can fling the rock from the pocket and also has a running back’s mobility.

Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota has drafted four players from LSU, Daniels’ school, in the last four drafts:

  • WR Justin Jefferson (2020)
  • RG Ed Ingram (2022)
  • DL Jaquelin Roy (2023)
  • S Jay Ward (2023)

Daniels turned 23 in December.

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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