PFF’s Weird Pick for Vikings’ 2025 Watchlist

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The Minnesota Vikings have eight tight ends on the roster at the moment, but according to Pro Football Focus, that’s not enough for long-term planning.

PFF’s Weird Pick for Vikings’ 2025 Watchlist

The group is headlined by T.J. Hockenson, a handsomely-paid target who will likely miss the start of the 2024 season due to injury. After Hockenson, Josh Oliver, Robert Tonyan, Johnny Mundt, Nick Muse, and others live on Minnesota’s depth chart. And if PFF gets its way, the purple team will add Iowa TE Luke Lachey to the mix next April.

Iowa tight end Luke Lachey (85) runs a route during a spring NCAA football practice, Thursday, March 30, 2023, at the University of Iowa Indoor Practice Facility in Iowa City, Iowa. 230330 Iowa Spring Fb 096 Jpg. © Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Indeed, PFF sized up possible draft fits for each NFL team last week — even though the event is over nine months away — and it believes an extra tight end would truly unlock the Vikings’ offense.

“Yes, the Vikings have T.J. Hockenson. No, this isn’t a move to replace him; we’re setting up an impressive and impactful two-tight end offense that can complement wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison,” Trevor Sikkema explained.

Iowa tight end Luke Lachey celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Nebraska during a NCAA football game on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Iowavsneb 20221125 Bh. © Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Because Lachey is a playmaker with sweet potential, most Vikings fans wouldn’t object to the selection if it came to fruition.

Sikkema added, “Adding Lachey, who would have likely been a top-100 pick in 2023 had he not broken his ankle early in the season, would make for a legit heavy personnel group from which Minnesota could run or pass.”

Iowa tight end Luke Lachey (85) brings in a touchdown against Kentucky during the second quarter of the TransPerfect Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. Musiccitybowl 123122 An 025. © Andrew Nelles / / USA TODAY NETWORK.

For now, Lachey is labeled as a 2nd-Round pick next year, and Minnesota notably has no 2nd-Round picks because of a trade with the Houston Texans in March. In fact, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, at least for now, has only a 1st-Rounder and two 5th-Round picks in the piggybank for 2025. The club will probably receive a high 3rd-Round compensatory pick for Kirk Cousins’ free-agent departure four months ago.

Lachey is huge — 6’6″ — and is a catching machine. The biggest knock on his scouting report heading into the 2025 collegiate season is a lack of speed. That isn’t his jam. It’s worth noting, though, that Iowa tight ends rarely disappoint.

Minnesota Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media about the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the TCO Performance Center. The Vikings have long-term draft needs at quarterback, cornerback, and interior offensive line.

NFL Draft Buzz‘s K.C. Martinez recently described Lachey’s profile, “His football bloodlines, academic achievements, and on-field production at Iowa suggest a high football IQ and strong work ethic – traits that should aid in a smooth transition to the pros. While medical evaluations of his 2023 ankle injury will be crucial, Lachey appears poised to make an impact early in his NFL career, with the potential to outperform his draft position as he develops.”

The Vikings would likely have to trade back in Round 1 or find a way into Rounds 2 or 3 to land Lachey, although players’ draft stock will shift wildly between now and April.

Lachey turned 23 last week.

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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