Vikings Evidently Had One of the Draft’s “Best Value” Picks

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The Minnesota Vikings roster expanded by 24 players since Thursday night, including seven drafted men and 24 via undrafted free agency.

Vikings Evidently Had One of the Draft’s “Best Value” Picks

Quarterback headlined the Vikings, well, everything, but not long after the J.J. McCarthy selection, Minnesota conducted a somewhat unforeseen move, trading with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the draft’s 17th selection — Alabama EDGE rusher Dallas Turner.

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Minnesota wasn’t necessarily expected to pick twice in Round 1, as most of the team’s fans assumed the 11th and 23rd picks would be packaged in a trade for a quarterback, probably from the Top 5 of the draft. But McCarthy slipped to pick No. 10, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did not have to spend any future 1st-Round draft capital, instead relying on mid- and late-round picks to net McCarthy and Turner.

And according to ESPN, Turner was the best value pick of the draft’s 1st Round. Matt Miller explained, “Dallas Turner, EDGE, to the Vikings (No. 17). The Vikings traded up to get Turner, but they still stole the draft’s best edge player. I had him at No. 7 overall on my board. Outside of quarterback, defensive end was the team’s biggest need after losing Danielle Hunter in free agency. Now, Turner (10 sacks in 2023) can team up with free agent acquisition Jonathan Greenard to give the Vikings a legitimate one-two punch off the edge.”

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While Turner could nail down one side of Minnesota’s defensive line for years, he certainly wasn’t free. In fact, Adofo-Mensah spent the equivalent of two 2nd-Rounders, a 3rd-Rounder, 4th-Rounder, and a 5th-Rounder to grab Turner. The trade package apparently didn’t faze ESPN or Miller.

If you’re just getting to know Turner, these are the perks:

  1. He’s young; he turned 21 three weeks ago.
  2. He’s fast. Really fast.
  3. He stops the run and is not a one-trick pass-rushing pony.
  4. Alabama picks rarely flop.
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What’s more, when Minnesota’s draft cycle was just beginning a few months ago, many wondered if Kirk Cousins would remain a Viking for a year or two, and at the time, Turner fit the bill for a smart pick by Minnesota if it stayed at pick No. 11 and chose a defender. Fast forward to April, and Cousins was long gone, while Turner slid all the way to pick No. 17. Many draft heads classified Turner as the best defensive prospect overall in the draft.

In that vein, the Vikings enjoyed the best of both worlds on Thursday night: a possible franchise quarterback in McCarthy and one of the best defensive players from the class.

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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