3 Things for Vikings Fans to Monitor from NFL Combine

does the combine
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The 2024 NFL Combine kicked off on Tuesday, one of the most influential events in the draft lead-up process.

3 Things for Vikings Fans to Monitor from NFL Combine

The Minnesota Vikings have nine picks in April’s draft, headlined by the 11th overall selection, and most fans believe the club will select a quarterback or defensive lineman early.

Willing to Make Splashy
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And with the Combine underway, these are three items to monitor from a Vikings fan’s perspective. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important).

3. Kwesi on the Microphone

Draft Analyst
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Reporters will inevitably ask Vikings boss Kwesi Adofo-Mensah about his roster-building plans this week at the Combine — from Kirk Cousins’ status, Danielle Hunter’s contract, to Justin Jefferson’s extension.

Typically, Adofo-Mensah answered questions more straightforwardly than most executives, meaning he could provide more clues about Minnesota’s massive offseason dominoes.

Last year at the Combine, he revealed, in detail, his competitive rebuilding strategy and that he doesn’t look at the NFL world in a way that “you either have to be all-in for a Super Bowl or tank the season.” Never terribly bashful in front of a microphone, Adofo-Mensah might reveal more hints this week in Indianapolis.

2. The Running Backs

from NFL Combine
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The Vikings have ranked a bottom-six rushing club in back-to-back seasons with Kevin O’Connell in charge. That needs to change. O’Connell’s offense will never be unleashed unless his ground game becomes decently proficient.

These are the running backs who could potentially join the Vikings from the draft and have an impact in 2024 and beyond:

  • Jonathon Brooks (Texas)
  • Blake Corum (Michigan)
  • Trey Benson (Florida State)
  • TreVeyon Henderson (Ohio State)
  • MarShawn Lloyd (USC)
  • Bucky Irving (Oregon)
  • Braelon Allen (Wisconsin)

1. QBs — and Jayden Daniels’ Measurables in Particular

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This is where the most panoramic rookie movement can occur in the lead-up to the NFL Draft. Put simply, players put their measurables on the record, and general managers + fans drool.

For example, LSU’s Jayden Daniels could blow the field out of the water with speed, and his draft stock may shoot up the board to No. 2. That would, in theory, shove Drake Maye down to No. 3 or so, and the Vikings would-be quarterback draft plans would be affected. In various mock drafts, Minnesota is pegged to trade up the board and create a mighty splash for a quarterback.

Most assume — or hope — Minnesota will draft a quarterback in 58 days, so keep an eye on the 1st-Round prospects in Indianapolis.

These are the 1st- and 2nd-Round quarterbacks to keep an eye for the Vikings’ sake:

  • Caleb Williams (USC)
  • Drake Maye (North Carolina)
  • Jayden Daniels (LSU)
  • J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)
  • Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
  • Bo Nix (Oregon)

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.