You Can Circle 3 Positions for Vikings 1st Draft Choice

Judgment Day
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The 2024 NFL Draft is 65 days away, and the Minnesota Vikings have their highest pick in nine years at the No. 11 spot.

Minnesota held the same pick in 2015 and used it to draft cornerback Trae Waynes in 2015.

You Can Circle 3 Positions for Vikings 1st Draft Choice

Now, with the Vikings hoping to end their self-described “competitive rebuild” phase of roster construction, the club needs to nail the 11th pick in 2024 to set itself up for the future. The draft can bend in a few directions, whether general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stays put at No. 11, trades up the board, or barters backward to stockpile assets.

Ranking the Vikings' Needs Prior to Free Agency
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

But no matter what, you can probably circle these three positions as likely roster spots for the first pick. Trade or no trade, one of these positions will be addressed when Minnesota chooses first on Thursday, April 25th. They’re ranked in ascending order of likelihood (No. 1 = most likely).

3. Cornerback

You Can Circle 3
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All Vikings fans loved the team’s cornerbacks during 2023’s five-game winning streak, but Brian Flores’ defense regressed in December and January. Accordingly, some have identified cornerback as a Vikings’ roster need — a spot fans have circled for about seven straight offseasons.

These are the Vikings’ CBs under contract for 2024:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Andrew Booth
  • Akayleb Evans
  • NaJee Thompson
  • Joejuan Williams
  • Jaylin Williams

It’s up to you to decide if that’s a sturdy enough foundation to trust in 2024.

Otherwise, via trade down or sticking-and-picking at No. 11, Minnesota could draft Nate Wiggins (Clemson), Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo), Kool-Aid McKinstry (Alabama), Terrion Arnold (Alabama), or Cooper DeJean (Iowa).

2. Defensive Line
(OLB or DT)

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These are the Vikings’ defensive linemen on the books for next year:

  • OLB: Patrick Jones II
  • OLB: Andre Carter II
  • DT: Dean Lowry
  • DT: Harrison Phillips
  • DT: Jaquelin Roy

That’s not enough. If quarterback Kirk Cousins is re-signed for longer than one year, Minnesota will likely invest in a defensive lineman or EDGE rusher with its first pick. That could be Jer’Zhan Newton (Illinois) or Byron Murphy II (Texas) at DT. For EDGE, more options are available: Jared Verse (Florida State), Dallas Turner (Alabama), Laiatu Latu (UCLA), or Chop Robinson (Penn State).

1. Quarterback

for Vikings Rookie
December 31, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (9) throws a pass during the pregame before the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall are the Vikings’ quarterbacks under contract next season. Cousins will be a free agent in three weeks if no extension is reached.

This personnel and impending Cousins exodus absolutely scream draft a quarterback. The Vikings haven’t drafted one in Round 1 in 10 years. And they’ve never used a Top 10 pick on a quarterback, something to monitor if Adofo-Mensah gets funky and trades up the draftboard.

The options? Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon).

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