Questions Answered: J.J. McCarthy’s QB1 Debut, Next Draft Target, Dream Scenario for Rest of Draft

Mock Draft
Nov 25, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Ohio State lost 30-24. © Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by VikingsTerritory. Today is the April 26th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Questions Answered: J.J. McCarthy’s QB1 Debut, Next Draft Target, Dream Scenario for Rest of Draft

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

vikings wr3
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Q: When do you think J.J. McCarthy will actually start as QB1?

Vikings Vegas Odds
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: Probably sometime in the middle of 2024.

J.J. McCarthy is actually more game-ready than Drake Maye. Minnesota’s other would-be quarterback target, Maye, might’ve needed all of 2024 to marinate.

Still, Minnesota will “take it easy” with McCarthy and probably roll with Sam Darnold indefinitely. And given Vikings’ history, Darnold will probably play just fine and enable Minnesota to remain competitive. There’s still a chance that McCarthy wins the job outright this summer, but we’d bet on Darnold, with McCarthy getting acclimated on the field in November or December.

Left up to us — the choice obviously isn’t ours — we’d start McCarthy out of the gate and let him take his lumps.

Q: What position should the Vikings target first on Saturday with their next pick?

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: Defensive tackle or wide receiver.

If Minnesota can land a promising defensive tackle prospect, this draft will be a resounding success. It all depends on how the draftboard shakes out.

Kevin O’Connell’s team also needs a WR3 unless he trusts Brandon Powell, Trent Sherfield, or Jalen Nailor for the job. Minnesota could’ve already signed a veteran WR3 from a free agency like Hunter Renfrow, Tyler Boyd, or DJ Chark, but no cigar.

We expect DT or WR for the 108th overall pick.

Q: What’s the dream scenario for the rest of the Vikings draft?

J.J. McCarthy
Texas Longhorns defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat (93), center, huddles with teammates during the game against Kansas State at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Austin. © Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK.

A: Our choice would be landing Texas DT T’Vondre Sweat or Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen.

Sweat was arrested for a DUI not long ago, sinking his draft stock accordingly. If there had been no infractions, he likely would’ve gone off the board in Round 2.

On Allen, well, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah showed enthusiasm for youth on Thursday night — J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner just turned 21 — and Allen is 20, believe it or not. Minnesota has plenty of running backs, but Allen would prepare for the future. He’s huge, fast, and young.

Sweat or Allen for us.

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 MIN 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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