7 Draft Crushes for the 2024 Vikings

Texas Longhorns defensive lineman T'Vondre Sweat (93), center, huddles with teammates during the game against Kansas State at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 in Austin. © Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than 12 weeks away, and the Minnesota Vikings will choose 11th if no trades occur. The “legal tampering” period of free agency begins on March 11th, also known as five weeks away.

7 Draft Crushes for the 2024 Vikings

VikingsTerritory writers were asked to provide one “draft crush” with the Senior Bowl taking place this week and the NFL Combine around the bend.

Ten VikingsTerritory writers weighed in with their seven current draft crushes.

1. Jayden Daniels
(QB | LSU)

Vikings Are Basically Done
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

Draft crusher: Kyle Joudry

Oddly enough, I must go with Jayden Daniels. Sitting for a year or two would likely be best for him — like the vast majority of young QBs — but the upside just seems so great. So, while I’ll most commonly be found advocating for overhauling the front seven, I’ll roll with the QB, who has a realistic shot at becoming a Viking.

2. T’Vondre Sweat
(DT | Texas)

7 Draft Crushes
Texas Longhorns defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat (93) celebrates a defensive stop during the Big 12 Championship game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Arlington.

Draft Crusher: Adam New

Minnesota should draft a quarterback. Who that QB is will depend on how Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can move around the draftboard. I’m not enamored with one particular QB. Instead, my draft crush comes in the form of a behemoth. I hope the Vikings draft in Round 2.

6’4 and 346 lbs are the measurements for Texas DT T’Vondre Sweat. The Vikings’ defense hasn’t been dominant enough up front in recent seasons, but Sweat will immediately change that. The sheer power and a quick first step make him the ideal centerpiece around which to build the rest of the defense.

3. Quinyon Mitchell
(CB | Toledo)

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Draft Crusher: Josh Frey

Quinyon Mitchell is one of the most complete cornerbacks in this draft class. He has great size, speed, and competitive spirit. The Toledo product has been one of the most prolific producers at the position in all of college football for the past two years, and he could be the missing piece in Minnesota’s secondary.

4. Laiatu Latu

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports.

Draft Crusher: Janik Eckardt

Perhaps the best pass rusher in the draft class, Latu offers outstanding college production with 13 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in his final season at UCLA. He has the size, the athleticism, and the pass-rush skills to dominate early in his professional career. If his medicals come back clean (he missed two seasons at Washington in 2020 and 2021 because of a neck injury), he could be a difference-maker next to Danielle Hunter or become his immediate successor.

t5. Dallas Turner
(EDGE | Alabama)

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports.

Draft Crusher: Nate Powalie

The Vikings need someone to partner with Danielle Hunter (assuming he stays with the team going into 2024), and Turner will fit the bill immediately. His frame and run-stopping abilities need some development, but he has great lateral agility and change-of-direction skills.

t5. Dallas Turner
(EDGE | Alabama)

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Crusher: Dustin Baker

Full disclosure: The Vikings should trade up on draft night into the Top 10 and select the blue-chip quarterback prospect they love the most. That’s the official endorsement.

But if they do not, leaving the quarterback solution for later, Turner is the guy. These are the reasons:

  1. He’s young; he turned 21 on Friday.
  2. He’s fast. Really fast.
  3. He stops the run and is not a one-trick pass-rushing pony.
  4. Alabama picks rarely flop.

t6. Jer’Zhan Newton
(DT | Illinois)

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports.

Draft Crusher: Wes Johnson

Newton is the top DT in the draft and excels in being slippery at the point of attack and freeing himself for the sack. He is at his best with a nose tackle who can swallow up blockers but is adept enough to get the job done on his own as well. Pair him with T’Vondre Sweat a round or two later, and you will have a lights-out pair for the next decade.

NFL games are won and lost in the trenches. Look no further than the recent craze around the Tush Push QB sneak. Win there, and victories tend to follow; the Vikings have ignored the defensive trenches for far too long.

t6. Jer’Zhan Newton
(DT | Illinois)

More Defense for Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Crusher: Cole Smith

Newton had 13 total sacks the past two seasons and would instantly upgrade a position where the Vikings are thin. Perhaps a consistent four-man rush would mask whatever talent deficiencies the team perceives it has in the secondary.

t7. Bo Nix
(QB | Oregon)

PFF Has The Same
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix celebrates after running for a touchdown as the Oregon Ducks host Colorado in the Pac-12 opener Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. © Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Draft Crusher: Ali Siddiqui

He will be 24 later in the month, but his rocket arm and mobility make him very intriguing. Regardless of whether or not Kirk Cousins is back in 2024, the Vikings need to find their QB of the future, and Nix may very possibly be the guy.

t7. Bo Nix
(QB | Oregon)

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Draft Crusher: Ted Schwerzler

It’s predictable coming from the Ducks fan, but Nix elevated himself to new heights again in year two with Oregon. He has more experience than any player coming into the draft at the quarterback position, and he should provide a multi-talented leader at the next level. Nix won’t cost the draft capital that the early three quarterbacks do, and he might also be available in the second round.

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 OverTheCap.com.