What If the Vikings Wost-Case Scenario Happens?

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The 2024 version of the NFL draft will be a crucial time in the franchise’s history, as everyone knows the Vikings want to draft a quarterback and acquire Kirk Cousins’ successor. That’s why general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded for the 23rd overall draft selection, doubling the number of first-round picks in his arsenal.

What If the Vikings Wost-Case Scenario Happens?

What If the Vikings Wost-Case Scenario Happens?
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Everyone expects him to package those two picks and ship them to New England, Arizona, or Los Angeles to secure a quarterback between picks three and five. Two names are frequently connected to the franchise in the purple rumor mill: J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) and Drake Maye (North Carolina).

Either passer is a good fit for Kevin O’Connell’s offense, and the Vikings have the capital to move up in the draft. But what if it fails? The previously mentioned teams could just prefer to draft a player instead of trading back to lose him. New England could simply draft Maye third overall to fill their QB void, the Cardinals select generational receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., and Jim Harbaugh wants to kick off his next NFL stint with a bang, drafting the top weapon on the board.

That puts the Giants in the right spot to pick McCarthy, ending Minnesota’s dream of luring one of the top four quarterbacks to U.S. Bank Stadium.

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The Vikings then have two options: They could trade down and try to acquire a first-round pick in 2025 to be in a similar situation, allowing them to trade up for a signal-caller, just 12 months delayed.

Or, the second option, they draft the players they want. The 11th overall pick could be one of the top defensive players on the board, like edge-rushers Laiatu Latu, Jared Verse, or Dallas Turner, or cornerbacks Terrion Arnold and Quinyon Mitchell. After signing Shaquill Griffin and pass-rushers Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard but missing out on a stud defensive tackle, that pick should be Texas lineman Byron Murphy.

in Particular Rookie
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He would be the perfect addition to the struggling defensive line as a player with skills in run defense and getting after the quarterback. Murphy’s usual comparisons are Falcons defender Grady Jarrett and Jeffrey Simmons from the Titans, two borderline Pro Bowlers who are the top threats on their respective defensive fronts.

The second draft choice, at pick 23, could be another talented defender, but the Vikings might also target a passer. Michael Penix, out of Washington, has an outstanding arm, but the medical concerns with a history of season-ending injuries tanked his draft status. In addition, his lack of mobility and inability to create plays out of structure are problems in his evaluation.

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Nevertheless, his phenomenal 2023 campaign, in which he led the Huskies to the national title game and posted prolific numbers, turned some heads. He will turn 24 less than two weeks after the draft, making him one of the older prospects in the class. Penix has the talent to become a solid QB in the NFL if he can stay on the field.

In the unlikely scenario of missing out on the top four QBs in the draft, the Vikings would still land an elite defensive prospect on a position of need and, if available, a potential QB of the future who could sit for a year and then unleash his electric left arm.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt