One Man Keeps Popping up in Vikings Mock Drafts

Dustin Baker's Predictive 7-Round Mock Draft for Vikings
Vikings Draft

In all likelihood, the Minnesota Vikings will end up using their first pick in April’s draft on a quarterback or defensive lineman.

The club could spring for a cornerback instead, but all signs seem to point toward a quarterback, defensive tackle, or EDGE rusher.

One Man Keeps Popping up in Vikings Mock Drafts

And if it’s an EDGE defender, well, one man’s name keeps popping up in mock drafts for the Vikings. He’s Jared Verse from Florida State.

One Man Keeps Popping
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, the draft is still 11.5 weeks away, and much can change between now and then. Specifically, Minnesota must decide to re-sign incumbent quarterback Kirk Cousins or let him embark on free agency for the first time since 2018. If Cousins is not re-signed, Vikings fans’ attention is almost certain to universally pivot to quarterback as the team’s primary need in April.

However, if it’s a defensive player, various draft nuts believe Verse is the guy. The cycle continued this week when CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards mocked the Seminole to Minnesota. Edwards explained the selection, “Marcus Davenport and Danielle Hunter are free agents this offseason. Quarterback moves to the top of the list of needs if Kirk Cousins leaves, but it may be too early for the likes of Bo Nix and J.J. McCarthy right now.”

Defense for Vikings in Latest
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports.

Hunter, mentioned by Edwards, is also scheduled to hit free agency, although the 29-year-old said last month that he plans to return with the Vikings in 2024. We shall see if the team’s front office accommodates him with a contract.

Entering the 2024 offseason, the Vikings have zero starting outside linebackers under contract unless one assumes Patrick Jones II or Andre Carter II will make the leap this summer. If Hunter doesn’t re-sign, Minnesota would need two starting EDGE rushers. 

Domino Quietly
Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores chatting with Tatum Everett on February 15th, 2023. The Vikings hired Flores from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a linebackers coach for one season.

Verse is 6’4″ and 260 pounds and can start on Day One for the Vikings. Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings describes Verse as a prospect with “a bolt of lightning off the snap, which immediately stresses tackles vertically to the apex” and as “a high-octane, hyperactive athlete who moves in short, successive bursts of energy.”

In January, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks mock-drafted Verse to Minnesota and wrote, “Adding an athletic pass rusher to the lineup will enhance the Vikings’ aggressive schemes under Brian Flores. The Florida State standout flashes double-digit potential as a sack artist.”

Florida Gators quarterback Max Brown (17) gets stopped by Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) and Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Braden Fiske (55) during first half action as Florida takes on Florida State at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, November 25, 2023. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

The Draft Network has also linked Verse to the Vikings in mock drafts amid the last six weeks.

The Vikings haven’t used 1st-Round draft capital on an EDGE rusher since 2005, a man named Erasmus James.


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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