Vikings Dream Draft Played Out

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The Minnesota Vikings acquired a second first-round pick from the Houston Texans, and the thought process was that they would trade up to grab the quarterback of their choosing. While that happened, it didn’t come with a substantial cost, and selecting two players in the top round remained a reality. A dream draft scenario played out for Minnesota.

Vikings Dream Draft Played Out

For weeks and months, draft pundits questioned whether Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could trade up so that the Vikings could replace Kirk Cousins at the quarterback position. With eyes set on Drake Maye, it became a game of how much capital would be required to get into the top three. Ultimately, the Vikings opted against that route and got their guy anyway.

Mock Draft
Nov 25, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Ohio State lost 30-24. © Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK.

J.J. McCarthy was among the hottest names during this prospect cycle, and his stock seemed to continue rising in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft. The Michigan quarterback didn’t show a ton from a passing perspective while handing the ball off to Blake Corum, but he was still a rookie that plenty of teams desired.

Although the Vikings didn’t wait for him to fall completely to the 11th pick, they needed to move up just a single spot to secure his services. In doing so, they kept their 2025 first-round selection and didn’t mortgage the future on a quarterback they hope to cement theirs. McCarthy comes in with an opportunity to sit behind Sam Darnold out of the gate, and he can provide a long-term solution while on a cost-controlled contract.

Draft Meeting
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Beyond just avoiding a need to give up a 2025 first-round pick, the Vikings also held onto their second selection in the first round this year. Owning the 23rd overall pick, they were able to parlay that into the 17th selection and grab edge rusher Dallas Turner. Projected by many to be the first defensive player off the board, Minnesota grabbed him well below where he was initially thought to be taken.

How Brian Flores utilizes Turner remains to be seen. The Vikings signed a pair of edge rushers to replace Danielle Hunter this offseason, but they have holes remaining on the defensive line. Adding a talent like Turner means they have a plethora of options to bring down opposing passers, and Flores can ask his defense to pin their ears back and get the opposition.

The Biggest Mistakes
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Turner has shown a significant ability to produce within the SEC, and the Alabama product brings a pedigree that Vikings fans can be excited about. No matter where or how he is utilized during his first season, there should be excitement regarding his impact on the defensive side of the ball.

Looking at how the first round played out and the pair of prospects the Vikings wound up with, it’s hard not to think that this draft class is already shaping up to be a home run for the hometown team.

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.