3 Things We Learned about Vikings from the Draft So Far

Minnesota Vikings 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

The Minnesota Vikings have two nights of the 2024 NFL Draft in the books, conducting two trades that landed quarterback J.J. McCarthy and EDGE rusher Dallas Turner.

3 Things We Learned about Vikings from the Draft So Far

The Vikings have a total of five more picks on Saturday, the final day of the event.

vikings offseason
Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

And while the draft has four more rounds to go, here’s what can be learned so far, ranked in order of importance (No. 1 = most important).

3. Out with the Old (QB, EGDE), in with the New

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The first two months of the Vikings’ offseason involved debating whether Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter should or would return. Folks divided into camps, arguing the merits for both men. Then, Minnesota re-signed neither, and Cousins plays for the Atlanta Falcons while Hunter is a Houston Texan.

Fast forward to Night No. 1 of the draft, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah directly replaced each — one by one. McCarthy took over for Cousins and Turner for Hunter.

Minnesota will now receive affordable value at those premium positions for the next five years, effectuating an out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new mindset.

2. Mid-Round Picks Not Important — Evidently

Minnesota General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media about the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the TCO Performance Center. They have long-term draft needs at quarterback, cornerback, and interior offensive line.

This is how the trades shook down for Minnesota, starting with the deal involving the Houston Texans on March 15th:

The Vikings Got:
J.J. McCarthy
Dallas Turner
6th-Rounder (2024)
7th-Rounder (2024)

The Vikings Gave:
No. 11
2nd-Rounder (2024)
2nd-Rounder (2025)
3rd-Rounder (2025)
4th-Rounder (2024)
4th-Rounder (2025)
5th-Rounder (2024)
5th-Rounder (2024)
6th-Rounder (2024)

Because the purple team wanted “their guys” in McCarthy and Turner, plus retaining future 1st-Rounders, the evidence suggests it didn’t really give a damn about non-1st-Rounders in reaching their goal.

Thankfully, the franchise has ample cap space in 2025 and 2026, and they’ll need it to negate the lost of mid- and late-round capital. Adofo-Mensah also tends to find decent value on the undrafted free-agent wire.

1. Not Willing to Leverage the Future via 1st-Round Capital

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

The New England Patriots reportedly wanted four 1st-Rounders for trade up to No. 3, and that was too rich for Adofo-Mensah. There had to be a limit to the madness, and three 1st-Round picks were evidently the cutoff.

The young executive was willing to spend oodles of non-1st-Rounders, but the priority was to retain the 1st-Round capital.

That was noteworthy because Vikings fans spent about 3-4 months wondering if Adofo-Mensah would trade the farm for Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. The answer was no.

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 MIN obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.