Adam New’s Vikings Mock Draft 1.0 | 2024

j.j. mccarthy
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We are now within one month of the 2024 NFL draft, which promises to be defining for the current Vikings regime. With this mock draft, I am going to walk in the shoes of Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and put forward what I would do if I were calling the shots.

Adam New’s Vikings Mock Draft 1.0 | 2024

Thanks to the trade with the Houston Texans, Minnesota is scheduled to pick nine times in this draft and twice in the first round. The entire NFL community is focused on the Vikings as we await a possible huge trade-up for a quarterback, so that’s where we start.

Trade: Minnesota sends the 11th and 23rd picks to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for the 5th and 140th picks, plus a 5th in 2025.

If someone like the Giants or Broncos tries to move to 4 with the Cardinals, then the Vikings step in and up the offer. I believe the top 4 will stay where they are, and it’s the Chargers who will budge.

Round 1: Pick 5 – JJ McCarthy (QB) Michigan

Vikings mock draft
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Indiana during the second half of U-M’s 52-7 win over Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Ann Arbor. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Caleb Williams will almost certainly be the first name called on April 25. The order in which the next three quarterbacks come off the board seems to be in a constant state of flux. While I understand the sentiment of pinpointing your guy and going to get him, all three of JJ McCarthy, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye have the capability of being hugely successful in Minnesota. Exercising patience and possibly saving yourself from losing future first-round picks is the smart move here.

I’m taking McCarthy, but the way his draft stock is rising, he might be one of the other two available on draft night. McCarthy has the talent, and having just turned 21, there is still much room to grow. Coming into Minnesota and starting life behind Sam Darnold is the perfect environment for him to blossom.

Alternatives: Drake Maye (QB), Jayden Daniels (QB)

Trade: Minnesota moves up to pick 92 and also receives a 7th in 2025 from Tampa Bay in exchange for picks 108 and 157, plus a 5th in 2025. The Vikings have a long wait between picks, so I move up into the late third round for some Day 2 action.

Round 3: Pick 92 – Mason McCormick (G) South Dakota State

The Vikings appear to have high hopes for Blake Brandel’s transition to the interior and a willingness to give Ed Ingram more time to develop. Dan Feeney has been signed and can cover guard and center duties, but the Vikings IOL looks very light. The trade-up is to secure Mason McCormick, a guard prospect who can compete for a starting role. McCormick requires some development with his technique, however, he carries a big frame with special athletic ability and plays the game “nasty” making sure he finishes plays. It might not happen immediately, but this player can be developed into a top guard.

Alternatives: Sedrick Van Pran (C), Jacob Cowing (WR), DeWayne Carter (IDL)

Round 4: Pick 129 – Luke McCaffrey (WR) Rice

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When finding a WR prospect on Day 3, Luke McCaffrey sticks out. Sometimes, it’s just in the bloodline, and the brother of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey and son of 3-time Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. Luke has big shoes to fill. He can step into a role on the Vikings offense as the main slot receiver in place of KJ Osborn. He needs to develop his route running on the outside, if he does that he will then have the flexibility the Vikings require from their receivers as they are asked to move around the formation.

Alternatives: Josh Newton (CB), McKinley Jackson (IDL), Braelon Allen (RB)

Round 5: Pick 140 – Khristian Boyd (IDL) Northern Iowa

Having missed out on Christian Wilkins in free agency — seemingly at the eleventh hour — the Vikings still look short on the IDL. Landing Khristian Boyd in the fifth round would be a great result. Boyd is scheduled for a pre-draft visit with the Vikings, so we know there is interest, and it’s easy to see why. A three-down defensive tackle who has been making a name for himself in the pre-draft process as a player who can do it all on the defensive front. Landing in Minnesota under the tutelage of Brian Flores, Boyd could quickly become a force to be reckoned with.

Alternatives: Maason Smith (IDL), Grayson Murphy (Edge), Logan Lee (IDL)

Round 5: Pick 167 – Braiden McGregor (Edge) Michigan

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It’s all changed on the edge in Minnesota; the familiar presence of Danielle Hunter has gone, and Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel have come in to lead the charge against opposing QBs.

The Vikings need to add depth to the pass rush, and adding Braiden McGregor at this point does just that. An athletic edge rusher who uses quick hand strikes to get into the backfield, McGregor lacks the functional strength to be an every-down player at this stage. Flores should be able to make good use of him on obvious passing downs, making him worth a fifth-round pack with an eye on developing him further.

Alternatives: Drake Nugent (C), Dillon Johnson (RB)

Round 6: Pick 177 – Jaheim Bell (TE) Florida State

You can never have too many weapons on offense, and the Vikings would get another one in Jaheim Bell. An explosive playmaker who can line up all over the offense — including the backfired — Bell is a player that Kevin O’Connell could have fun working with.

Alternatives: AJ Barner (TE), Trevor Keegan (C)

Round 7: Pick 230 – Darius Muasau (LB) UCLA

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A keen tackler with a phenomenal motor, Darius Muasau would add depth to the linebacker position and contribute to special teams.

Alternatives: Kieth Randolph Jr (IDL), Edefuan Ulofoshio (LB)

Round 7: Pick 232 – Donovan Jennings (OT) USF

Donovan Jennings is an experienced OL prospect with 54 games under his belt in college football. Reportedly working on transitioning to play guard, Jennings would give the Vikings a player with experience and flexibility to add to the mix.

Alternatives: Josiah Ezirim (OT), Kenny Lohan Jr (S)