Bleacher Report Starts Mock Draft Season with a Bang for Vikings

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

Mike Breen would be proud.

Bleacher Report began the Minnesota Vikings’ mock draft season with a bang this week, just days after Minnesota lost to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field and ended their rollercoaster season.

Bleacher Report Starts Mock Draft Season with a Bang for Vikings

Somehow or another, LSU’s Jayden Daniels — yes, the Heisman Trophy recipient — fell to the Vikings at No. 11, and Minnesota evidently pounced.

with a Bang for
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

BR’s staff sent North Carolina’s Drake Maye to the Chicago Bears with the first overall pick, with Caleb Williams of USC to the Washington Commanders at No. 2. The Arizona Cardinals grabbed Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4.

Vikings fans would be elated beyond belief if Daniels fell all the way to the 11th hole. With pre-draft steam not even in the works yet, it feels unlikely that Daniels would tumble that far. We shall see.

Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports.

BR explained Daniels-to-Minnesota, “The Minnesota Vikings are finally positioned to move beyond Kirk Cousins, who enters free agency after suffering a season-ending torn Achilles. Clearly, the likes of Josh Dobbs and Nick Mullens didn’t prove themselves to be the answer behind center.”

The Vikings could extend Cousins in the next two months or allow him to hit free agency for the first time in five years. It’s genuinely a coinflip on January 9th. Totally 50-50.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

“The consensus All-American is a tough pocket manager with a veteran-like sense for running the offense. He could still stand to be a tick faster at times, although he understands how to play within the system and find answers beyond his first read,” BR scouted Daniels.

Daniels provides what Cousins does not — mobility. He doesn’t quite run like Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields, but he does have wheels, and the Vikings haven’t employed a quarterback with that skillset since Daunte Culpepper or Tarvaris Jackson. It might be time to try the mobile quarterback dance.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BR’s collective staff concluded, “Daniels is an exciting option for Kevin O’Connell’s scheme, with Justin Jefferson finally getting to play with a dynamic quarterback.”

That last phrase feels like an unjust shot at Cousins, but such is life. Cousins was on track for 5,000 passing yards, 38 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions before falling injured at Green Bay in Week 8.

The Vikings haven’t drafted a quarterback with 1st-Round capital in 10 years.

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