Vikings Mock Draft: A Trade into the Top 5 for QB, Rebuilding the Defensive Trenches

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The 2024 Senior Bowl is officially behind us, meaning that 2024 NFL Draft season is officially upon us.

Currently, the Vikings are slated to have nine selections in the upcoming draft, and they have a number of different needs across this roster. Here is a Vikings mock draft laying out one path towards filling some of those needs. This mock draft was conducted using the simulator on Pro Football Network.

R1, P5: QB Jayden Daniels

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Trade Details

Minnesota receives:

  • No. 5

Los Angeles Chargers receive:

  • No. 11
  • No. 108
  • No. 189
  • 2025 first round
  • 2025 third round

There certainly is a chance that quarterbacks fly off the board in the first three picks of the 2024 NFL Draft. All three of Chicago, Washington, and New England very reasonably could look to add young QB talent this year.

However, in this mock draft, the Commanders opted to go for Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr., thus indicating that they either took a bridge QB in free agency or are continuing to move forward with Sam Howell.

As a result, the Vikings are able to pull off a trade with the Los Angeles Chargers after the Arizona Cardinals used the fourth overall selection on TE Brock Bowers. With the fifth overall, pick the Vikings snatch Jayden Daniels before another team can try to pull off a similar move.

R2, P42: Missouri DL Darius Robinson

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If the Vikings go QB in the first round, they absolutely need to consider taking some sort of defensive line talent in the second (assuming they manage to hold onto the No. 42 overall pick). If there is one thing that Brian Flores loves with his defenders, it’s versatility.

Darius Robinson out of Missouri offers exactly that. The 6’5″, 296-pound defensive lineman can line up as a 3-technique defensive tackle, or he can kick out to the edge on passing downs due to his freakish athleticism.

R4, P129: LSU DT Maason Smith

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The LSU pipeline runs deep in Minnesota, and for the second draft in a row, the Vikings snatch two Tigers in the same class. Joining Daniels is Maason Smith to continue to fill in the defensive line needs.

Smith stands at 6’6″ and weighs 315 pounds. His brute force in the middle of LSU’s defensive line wreaked havoc on opposing offenses all season. PFF credited him with 23 QB pressures during the 2023 season, and he is a sure tackler in run defense. The defensive tackle joins former collegiate teammate Jaquelin Roy in Minnesota.

R5, P155: Kentucky RB Ray Davis

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Wherever Ray Davis has gone, production has quickly followed. The running back has spent time in three separate FBS programs throughout his collegiate career (Temple, Vanderbilt, Kentucky) and put up 1000-yard seasons in each of them.

The first thing anyone will notice about Davis is his build. He has tree trunks for legs, and at 5’8″, 224 pounds, the running back is compact, powerful, and a burden for anyone trying to tackle him. With the Vikings potentially needing to add a bit more power to their RB room, Davis is a nice fit in the fifth round.

R5, P164: Washington State CB Chau Smith-Wade

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The Vikings could use some extra playmakers in their CB room, and they get exactly that in Chau Smith-Wade. Throughout his collegiate career, Smith-Wade proved to be a very competitive player capable of making plays at the point of the catch.

These skills were on full display at the Senior Bowl this past week. During the game, not only did he haul in a diving interception, but he got up and nearly ran it all the way back to the end zone.

R6, P178: Notre Dame LB Marist Liufau

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Marist Liufau struggled with injuries during the early years of his collegiate career, but he has been a starter and completely injury free for two seasons now in Notre Dame’s defense. Liufau’s motor is something that should be desired by any NFL team.

Despite some lackluster size at the LB position, his effort on every play more than makes him worth a selection in the third day. With Jordan Hicks heading to free agency, the Vikings could use some extra depth at linebacker if they are unable to re-sign the veteran, and the Vikings have a proven track record with this type of player considering how Ivan Pace performed in 2023.

R7, P227: South Dakota State G Mason McCormick

Vikings Mock Draft
Iowa defensive lineman Yahya Black (94) blocks against South Dakota State offensive lineman Mason McCormick (60) during a NCAA football game, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. 220903 Sdsu Iowa Fb 030 Jpg

While the Senior Bowl was taking place in Mobile, Alabama, the East-West Shrine Bowl also occurred down in Frisco, Texas. One of the biggest risers from that event was South Dakota State guard Mason McCormick, who showed an innate ability to hang with defenders from FBS schools. The Vikings need more depth on their offensive line, and they snatch McCormick up in the seventh round.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Focus and Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.