Janik Eckardt’s Only Vikings Mock Draft

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The 2024 version of the NFL is approaching, and, as always, the quarterbacks are the hot topic around the league. Four quarterbacks are viewed as the price of the draft class, with Caleb Williams as the presumed first overall pick, followed by Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy. The Minnesota Vikings try to trade into the top five for a passer but require another team to be interested in trading down.

Janik Eckardt’s Only Vikings Mock Draft

After trading away the second-round draft choice, the Vikings are empty-handed on day two of the draft, as the third-rounder was shipped to Detroit in exchange for T.J. Hockenson.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been working the phones for months to land one of the top passers, and he does indeed find a way, although costly, to bring his guy to Minnesota.

Here’s what the Vikings should do on Thursday night.

Trade: The Vikings send picks 11, 23, the first-rounder in 2025, and pick 129 (from Detroit) to New England to acquire the third overall draft slot and a fifth-rounder in 2025.

Pick 3: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

It is an outrageous price to acquire one of the most talented players in the draft, but he has the talent to be well worth even that kind of draft capital.

vikings mock draft
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North Carolina’s Drake Maye possesses the prototypical size for a quarterback. Combined with a strong arm and playmaking ability, he is the perfect player for Kevin O’Connell’s offense and the ideal teammate for star wideout Justin Jefferson.

While Maye might need some time to develop, he will get that time in Minnesota to flourish in a perfect environment for a young QB.

Pick 108: OG Mason McCormick, South Dakota State

South Dakota State’s Mark Gronowski runs with the ball alongside Mason McCormick during the FCS semifinals against Delaware on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings. Sdsu Semifinals 020

Following Dalton Risner’s departure, the Vikings have a hole at left guard, currently filled with converted tackle and four-year backup Blake Brandel. He needs competition, and Mason McCormick is the perfect guy for the job.

He combines excellent size and solid athleticism to play in Minnesota’s zone-blocking scheme and has the potential to become a starter sooner rather than later. His pros are experience, toughness, and excellent pass protection.

Pick 157: LB Nelson Ceaser, Houston

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Linebacker Ceaser brings the versatility defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ defensive system requires. Although he is listed as an edge-rusher, he has already played some snaps on the defensive line and has some experience as an off-ball linebacker.

While he lacks the athleticism to be a full-time linebacker, he possesses the power to make an impact at the point of attack. He can provide depth to the pass-rushing group while developing behind starters Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard.

Pick 167: RB Isaac Guerendo, Louisville

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After signing Aaron Jones, the Vikings don’t have a pressing need in the backfield, but they must prepare for the future, and adding talent at the position with high injury risk can’t be a bad idea. Jones will turn 30 in December, signed a one-year deal, and has been a frequent name on the injury report.

At 6’0″ and 221 lbs, Isaac Guerendo possesses a prototypical running back frame. His combined performance, including a 40-yard dash of 4.33 seconds and a 41.5-inch vertical jump, opened some eyes. He would be a wonderful addition to the overhauled running back room because of his physical tools, pass-catching skills, and ability to explode in zone schemes. Jones, Ty Chandler, and Guerendo could finally provide some important juice to the struggling running attack.

Pick 177: DT McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

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The Vikings couldn’t find help for the interior defensive line, but they at least added some depth. McKinnley Jackson possesses an explosive get-off but wasn’t properly used as a nose tackle because he lacks the size to play that role.

Flores excels in finding roles for players that fit their skill sets, and he will find the right spot in the rotation for the rookie.

Pick 230: K Cam Little, Arkansas

Arkansas Razorbacks place kicker Cam Little (29) kicks a field goal at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, on Saturday, November 4, 2023, in the first half against Arkansas. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Greg Joseph is no longer with the Vikings. After three seasons, the purple team has pivoted to ex-XFL kicker John Parker Romo. However, head coach O’Connell teased a training camp competition, and this is where Cam Little enters the conversation.

His career-long is from 56 yards, showing that he has the requisite leg strength to make it in the NFL. Little hit 64% of his attempts from over 50. He will be a reliable kicker when he can increase his consistency from the mid-range.

Pick 232: DT Fabien Lovett, Florida State

Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Fabien Lovett (0) celebrates a stop. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Duke Blue Devils 38-20 on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

Another defensive tackle; the Vikings need bodies they can find to come out of training camp with a respectable rotation. Teams can either try to find athletic freaks this late in the draft or select players who are excellent in one area but struggle in another.

Lovett is the latter. He is a great run-stopper who doesn’t possess any pass-rushing ability. The Vikings already have some guys of that mold, but they hope Lovett can provide some value.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt