Adam New’s Vikings Draft Predictions

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

With the 2024 NFL Draft firmly on the horizon, I want to look at how the draft will shake out for the Minnesota Vikings — from trade to quarterbacks to bolstering the defense. Here are my Vikings draft predictions.

Vikings Draft Predictions

As the major players in the trade for a quarterback sweepstakes, the Vikings have been at the center of the rumor and speculation surrounding this draft, particularly since the trade with the Houston Texans to gain a second first-round pick. Quarterback will be at the forefront of the Vikings’ thinking going into this draft, but there are plenty of other positions that need addressing, too.

The Big Trade

The Vikings will try and trade up for that “quarterback of the future.” We can be sure of that; what we can’t be certain of is if they will succeed. It takes two to tango, and the Vikings must find a willing partner. After the trade with the Texans went down, some thought the next trade was inevitable and would come in short order. I’ve always believed it would be a case of seeing how the top of the draft shakes out on draft night, but I predict the Vikings will make their trade.

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I can’t envision New England trading down from three, so the question is whether Minnesota can strike a deal with Arizona at four or the Los Angeles Chargers at five. The Chargers appear ready to move, whereas I’m not sure about the Cardinals. The Vikings will move to one of those spots, and the safe bet is to number five.

Defensive Line Is Priority Number 2

After quarterback, the interior of the defensive line is the next position I expect the Vikings to want to address. It was a weakness of the team last season, and little has been done to address it. Hopes of a big signing in free agency never materialized, and instead, the Vikings brought in Jerry Tillery and Jonah Williams. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah once again tries his hand at a reclamation project in failed first-round pick Tillery. Unless Brian Flores can unlock what previous coaches in Los Angeles and Las Vegas couldn’t, the supporting cast around Harrison Phillips looks underwhelming.

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Should the Vikings not trade up to land one of the top four QBs, using a first-round pick on Byron Murphy or Jer’Zahn Newton is a strong possibility. If it is QB in round one and the next pick coming in the fourth round, I previously looked at five players the Vikings could select in that range at the defensive line position. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vikings went iDL at pick 108 and then addresses the position again before the draft ended. DeWayne Carter and Khristian Boyd are the two names to keep an eye on.

iOL Neglect Continues

Minnesota has used some high draft picks on its interior offensive line. Back in 2019, Garrett Bradbury was the Vikings’ first-round pick. Taking a center that high requires them to be elite, something Bradbury has not been. Ed Ingram was a second-round pick two years ago, and though he showed improvement last season, he has also yet to live up to that draft placement. 

Vikings Draft
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Last season, the Vikings waited until the season had begun before signing Dalton Risner, who still awaits as a free agent for this season. Minnesota instead looks set to move forward with Blake Brandel at right guard, a player selected in the sixth round of the 2020 draft as a tackle and has five starts in a four-year career. With other priorities, I don’t foresee the iOL being addressed until late in the draft — if at all. The 2025 draft/free agency is where it is more likely to be addressed when decisions on Bradbury and Ingram will need to be made.

Other Positions

With the remaining picks in the draft, I expect the Vikings to target a WR early on Day 3. A play with the potential to carve out a role early in his career — Luke McCaffrey is my draft crush in this area. If the Vikings don’t use both first-round picks to acquire a QB, then a first-round CB is an option. Minnesota’s CB group has a lot of guys but lacks real top-end talent. Byron Murphy is good, but adding a talented corner across from him would be a considerable boost.

TJ Hockenson looks set to miss the start of the season, so adding a play-making TE has more urgency than it otherwise would. RB is an interesting one, with the signing of Aaron Jones giving the Vikings a genuine RB1 for this season. How highly the Vikings rate Ty Chandler will determine if and when they draft an RB — I don’t think they will. Depth players at Edge, LB, and OT will likely round out the draft.