Vikings Draft Can Bend in These 6 Directions

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to pick 11th on April 25th, the first night of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Vikings Draft Can Bend in These 6 Directions

The spot is the highest Minnesota has chosen since 2015, when the club welcomed cornerback Trae Waynes to the franchise in Mike Zimmer’s second year as head coach.

And with the event 10 weeks away, the Vikings have about six possible options — strategies, anyway.

These are the directions the Vikings’ draft can bend ranked in ascending order of likelihood (No. 1 = most likely)

6. No QBs Whatsoever

Draft Can Bend
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

There’s always a chance — albeit small — that the Vikings are just completely enamored with Kirk Cousins for the long haul and consider last year’s rookie, Jaren Hall, “their guy” to develop. If that’s the case, Minnesota doesn’t need a quarterback and correspondingly won’t draft one this April.

Again, it’s a longshot, but it must be listed for full disclosure.

5. Trade Down — Defense Bonanza

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Here, the Vikings would trade down from the 11th overall pick, stockpiling a 1st-Rounder from picks 12-32, and receiving an additional 2nd-Rounder or so. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah turns around and uses those two picks on defensive players while exploring a quarterback in Round 4, perhaps Michael Pratt (Tulane), Spencer Rattler (South Carolina), or Jordan Travis (Florida State).

4. Stick and Pick at No. 11 — Defense

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports.

With the 11th pick in this scenario, the Vikings could select an EDGE rusher like Dallas Turner from Alabama and still prioritize a quarterback in Round 2. Some believe Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) or Bo Nix (Oregon) could tumble out of Round 1.

Assuming Minnesota fell in love with Penix Jr. or Nix, the franchise would blend both worlds: an impact defender and a quarterback of the future.

3. Trade Down for QB

Name for
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

See Option No. 5 — but squeeze a quarterback into one of the spots later in Round 1. Similar to the last method, the Vikings pounce on Penix Jr. or Nix, or maybe even J.J. McCarthy of Michigan, if he experiences a weird draft night plunge,

This is the path Rick Spielman probably would taken if he were still in charge.

2. Trade Up for QB

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The boldest and most exciting option, the Vikings trade up to the No. 3 spot with the New England Patriots and select “the other” quarterback not chosen in the first two picks among Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels. Most draft heads, as of February 14th, assume Caleb Williams (USC) will fly off the board at No. 1.

But if the man Minnesota covets drops to No. 3, the Patriots as a trade partner make sense. Maye or Daniels to Minnesota for a king’s ransom.

1. Stick and Pick at No. 11 — QB

the QB to Avoid
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Luca Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

This one tops the list because it a) Is the most affordable per draft capital and b) Satisfies the Vikings’ need for a quarterback of the future after Kirk Cousins.

Ideally, J.J. McCarthy — whose draft stock has risen like volcanic smoke this week — would be available to the Vikings at No. 11. That remains to be seen, however, as the draft community has recently decided he’s a fringe Top 1oer.

While the Vikings are capable of trading the ranch for a quarterback like Maye or Daniels, it’s a lot simpler to stick-and-pick with McCarthy. The selection would cost no extra draft capital.


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.

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