The Oddsmakers’ Pick for Vikings Rookie QB in Draft

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings own the 11th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and are likely to select an impact defensive player or a quarterback.

The Oddsmakers’ Pick for Vikings Rookie QB in Draft

A clearer view of Minnesota’s draft plan will be visible after a free-agent decision is announced on Kirk Cousins. The Vikings will either keep Cousins on a short-term contract or let him hit the open market in March. If the latter is preferred, Minnesota would be virtually guaranteed to use high-round draft capital on Cousins’ replacement.

And according to sportsbooks, the frontrunner, as of February 13th, to end up in Minnesota among quarterbacks is Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

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December 31, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (9) throws a pass during the pregame before the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

DraftKings sets McCarthy-to-Minnesota odds at +300, while FanDuel has attached a +450 moneyline for pairing probability. The Vikings likely won’t have to trade too far up the board for McCarthy and, in fact, may not have to trade any assets at all. The Wolverine could be available to Minnesota organically at pick No. 11.

Otherwise, if Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah prefers a splashier solution, he could trade up on draft night with the New England Patriots, for example, and grab the No. 3 overall pick for a quarterback like Drake Maye (North Carolina) or Jayden Daniels (LSU).

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Caleb Williams (USC) is expected to go off the board first, probably to the Chicago Bears, and prospects like Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) and Bo Nix (Oregon) could be gettable at Minnesota’s 11th spot. So, yes, the Vikings and other QB-needy teams have options.

Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz linked McCarthy to the Vikings last week and mentioned the prospect, “I like J.J. McCarthy a lot. His winning pedigree and elite athleticism should move the needle and help raise his stock as the draft process moves along as well.”

He called McCarthy a Brock Purdy-like “winner” and claimed the Wolverine could eventually slide into the Vikings offense and thrive.

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Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN also tied McCarthy to Minnesota two weeks ago. Per ESPN, the Vikings will “do both” — retain Cousins while drafting Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy in Round 2. Kevin Seifert explained about Cousins’ future foremost, “Cousins’ deal doesn’t void until after the deadline for franchise tags, so this would be an extension. He has repeatedly said he wants to end his career in Minnesota, and as he departed the locker room for the offseason, Cousins left the clear impression that he hoped the Vikings’ offer would reflect a similar wish.”

“The Vikings would be thrilled with this outcome, whether they get McCarthy via a trade up into the first round or by having him fall to them on Day 2. Oregon’s Bo Nix was also available here, and he might have been the choice if Cousins hadn’t been re-signed. But with the veteran under contract for the next couple of years in this scenario, the Vikings have a longer runway to develop McCarthy, who is 21 years old,” Seifert added about the McCarthy angle.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports.

McCarthy, who is 6’3″ and 200 pounds, just turned 21 last month, so this plan by the Vikings could have value — letting the youngster watch and learn for a year or two behind Cousins. It also emulates the Green Bay Packers’ and Kansas City Chiefs’ prototypes that have netted success.

The only real knock on McCarthy is whether he was the special sauce at Michigan or if the program around him deserved the credit.

Bo Nix of Oregon is second in line per sportsbooks’ odds to land with the Vikings.

The NFL Draft is 72 days away.


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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