Vikings Draft Will Feel Different for 2 Reasons

What Was Once a Draft Joke for Vikings Is Now a Roster Need
Roger Goodell

The Minnesota Vikings step to the plate in 78 days to select a rookie with the 11th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Vikings Draft Will Feel Different for 2 Reasons

The club could also trade up the board on draft night for a quarterback, although the price would be gargantuan, or trade back as Minnesota has fancied in the past.

But no matter what, the Vikings draft will feel different for two reasons, and both are quite fun.

The Need for a QB

The Vikings haven’t drafted a quarterback in Rounds 1 or 2 since 2014. That man was Teddy Bridgewater, and he retired about a week and a half ago. Long story short: it’s time for Minnesota to swing for the fences at the game’s most crucial position.

Different for 2
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, many will maintain that the club still has Kirk Cousins at its disposal, but general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must decide in the next five weeks to re-sign the veteran passer — he’s scheduled to hit free agency — or let him walk. As of February 7th, Cousins remaining in Minnesota could go either way.

Yet, even if Adofo-Mensah opts for a year or two more of Cousins, now is still arguably the time to invest draft capital in a rookie passer. The Vikings don’t usually pick “this high” at No. 11, the last time in 2015 when it selected cornerback Trae Waynes. Meanwhile, this draft class is thick with quarterbacks. Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Round 1.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota could still use the 11th pick on an impact defensive player, but because Adofo-Mensah didn’t use high-round draft capital on a quarterback in 2022 or 2023, the time is probably now to splash.

More Draft Capital than 2023

Last year, the Vikings spent their 2nd-Round pick in a deal, among other assets gained from Detroit, for tight end T.J. Hockenson. That is conveniently forgotten by many Vikings fans — that Hockenson was a part of the 2023 draft class in a roundabout way.

Hockenson Gets
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

This year, the picks return. Minnesota has nine picks — not the traditional seven — really only missing a 3rd-Rounder because of the aforementioned Hockenson deal. The Vikings have an extra 4th-Rounder accordingly.

In 2023, the Vikings entered the draft with the 28th-most draft capital, also known as fifth-least. This year, that’s closer to the middle, with Minnesota checking at 14th, according to NFL Mock Draft Database.

Offseason Is Different
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine the Week of February 27th. The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Overall, it would be quite strange for the Vikings leadership duo of Adofo-Mensah + head coach Kevin O’Connell to hit Year No. 3 of their employment and not spring for a quarterback in their self-professed rebuild stage. And if that happens, the Vikings just so happen to have an ordinary amount of draft capital that previous trades have not diminished.

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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