Are the Vikings Set on Picking at No. 11?

Ranking the Vikings' Needs Prior to Free Agency
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When the Minnesota Vikings embark upon the 2024 NFL draft, they are set to see their name on the clock for the first time with the 11th overall pick. Whether they make a selection there remains to be seen, and they could trade up, but what if they trade down?

Are the Vikings Set on Picking at No. 11?

During his first season as general manager for the Minnesota Vikings, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made a splash with his first draft pick. Rather than using the 12th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, he sent it to the division rival Detroit Lions and looked to recoup additional ammo. Ultimately, he settled on safety Lewis Cine, who has so far been a bust, and the passing of Kyle Hamilton still looks like a stain from that decision.

set on picking
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Trading back isn’t always about one player, though, and the decision to do so becomes multi-faceted when dealing with a handful of needs. Going into the upcoming draft, the Vikings could decide they are set on a quarterback, but at their current position, they may find an ability to get a first-round talent a bit deeper than they are currently scheduled.

There is zero possibility that either Caleb Williams or Drake Maye will be available for Minnesota at the 11th pick, and there is a high likelihood that Jayden Daniels will be gone well before that range, too. Outside of those three, however, the next tier of quarterback could fluctuate anywhere throughout the rest of the first round and even into the early second round.

Michael Penix was seen as the cream of that next crop, but his performance against the Michigan Wolverines defense during the National Championship game left plenty to be desired. The talented Washington Huskies quarterback is still a darling for many, but there are warts, and he has a history of injury issues.

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Staying in the Pac-12, Bo Nix leaves Oregon as one of the most accomplished collegiate football players ever stepping on the gridiron. He resurrected his career with the Ducks and hasn’t looked like a shred of the player that left Auburn. Nix is the elder statesman by prospect standards, and there is some fear that the poor form could still be in there, but if his time in Eugene tracks, he could be a steal.

Opposite of Penix in the title game was Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. He has flashed tools that have evaluators dreaming of his abilities at the next level, and then he has shown results that beg the question of whether it can all come together. Possibly the most unpredictable of the trio, there still may be too much good here for several teams to pass up.

That group should all be available at the 11th overall pick, but they could also be available with the 20th or 30th overall pick. If the Vikings position their evaluation in a place where any of the three suffice, sliding back in the draft could have benefit to them. This team has more than a few holes, and finding ways to fill them with cost-controlled youth makes a ton of sense.

January 10th, 2024. Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center concluding the 2023 NFL regular season. Minnesota finished 7-10 in 2023 and missed the postseason.

Unless the Vikings are trading up for the quarterback of their choosing or want to take the best player available, then they may find themselves in an awkward middle ground. That presents a scenario where additional capital becomes valuable, and for a team without a third-round pick, maybe they want to add back in an opportunity there.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.