Latest Mock Draft Has Familiar Name for Vikings — but Not a QB

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports.

Pull up any Minnesota Vikings mock draft, and the theory for the purple team seems like a binary choice between one of two positions: quarterback or EDGE rusher.

This Vikings Mock Draft from Has Familiar Name — but No QB was no exception this week, scoffing at the idea of a new quarterback for Minnesota but linking the Vikings to Florida State EDGE rusher Jared Verse.

Vikings Mock Draft
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Verse is a prominent mock draft darling for Minnesota, mainly because he solves a long-term roster need. Minnesota hasn’t drafted an EDGE defender in Rounds 1 or 2 since 2005 — yes, it’s been that long — so the time is evidently now, per’s Charles Davis.

Davis briefly explained Verse to Vikings, “The Vikings boost the pass rush in hopes of overtaking Detroit and Green Bay in the division.”

Top Fit
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports.

Right after the Verse pick, Davis connected Oregon quarterback Bo Nix to the Denver Broncos, and before the Vikings’ pick, quarterbacks Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy flew off the board prior to Minnesota’s 11th selection. This mock draft, among others, only intensifies the idea that the Vikings may have to trade up the board on draft night if they want a quarterback, especially if incumbent passer Kirk Cousins departs via free agency next week.

Josh Frey, editor of PurplePTSD, a sister-site to VikingsTerritoryrecently described Verse, “You won’t find too many pass rushers that surpass Verse in terms of athletic ability. He has it all. He is explosive off the line of scrimmage, can maneuver his way around blockers with ease, and his acceleration is impressive while in pursuit of ball carriers. Verse also has an incredible motor that allows him to wear down offensive lines over the course of a game. An example of this came against the Florida Gators where Verse recorded a pair of sacks and a forced fumble in the final minutes to help seal a win.”

Impasse with Kirk
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.’s Nick Shook mentioned Verse’s combine performance last week, “Verse is my favorite player in this class not named Marvin Harrison Jr. He finished fourth in his position group with a 4.58 40-yard dash and tied for first in Next Gen Stats score (84), executing nearly every on-field drill with the precision of a seasoned combine veteran. His performance was controlled, sharp and explosive, matching the Florida State tape that has made him one of the best prospects of the 2024 draft. There’s no reason to feel anything but good about his chances of success at the next level.”

The Vikings entered the offseason with two EDGE rushers under contract: Patrick Jones II and Andre Carter II. Neither is believed to be a startable option, at least not early in the 2024 offseason. Between Danielle Hunter (also a free agent), the Verse theory, and a free-agent addition, Minnesota must find at least two starting outside linebackers between now and April 27th.

Flores Flourish
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

If the Vikings pass on Verse but still draft an EDGE in Rounds 1 or 2, these men should draw their attention:

  • Laiatu Latu (UCLA)
  • Dallas Turner (Alabama)
  • Chop Robinson (Penn State)
  • Chris Braswell (Alabama)

The NFL draft is less than 50 days away.

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