Vikings Fans Have One Clear Draft Preference

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The 2024 NFL Draft is 78 days away, and the Minnesota Vikings will choose 11th on that Thursday evening, barring a trade up or down the board.

Minnesota hasn’t chosen that high since 2015, when it selected cornerback Trae Waynes from Michigan State, who turned out to be a decent football player but not worth the 11th pick.

Vikings Fans Have One Clear Draft Preference

And as of early February, most Vikings fans have settled on the franchise needing one of two things in the draft — a quarterback of the future or an impact defensive player.

One Clear Draft
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Quarterback Kirk Cousins will turn 36 this summer, is scheduled to hit free agency in five weeks, and is recovering from a torn Achilles. The time is probably appropriate to identify and draft “the next guy” at quarterback after Cousins, whether the Vikings re-sign him or he exits the organization. On the other hand, Minnesota’s defense ended 2023 on a poor note, collapsing down the stretch, inconveniently linked to the moment Nick Mullens took over as the starting quarterback against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Vikings couldn’t go wrong by staying put at the 11th pick and using the draft capital on defense.

Well, left up to Vikings fans, the preference is clear: quarterback.

Draft Rumor
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We polled Vikings faithful on X, and this was the result:

Nearly 60% sprung for a new signal-caller. About 700 folks responded, and the poll was unscientific.

The offseason is just kicking off, but the Vikings are embarrassingly slim for one of the NFL’s most important positions — EDGE rusher. The Vikings can cut the problem in half by extending Danielle Hunter, a free agent, in the next five weeks, and the temperature will lower. If they do not prolong Hunter’s stay, however, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah might have to draft one of these EDGEs in April:

  • Laiatu Latu (UCLA)
  • Dallas Turner (Alabama)
  • Jared Verse (Florid State)
  • Chop Robinson (Penn State)
  • Chris Braswell (Alabama)
One Man Keeps Popping
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Minnesota could also spend the 11th pick on a defensive tackle like Jer’Zhan Newton (Illinois) or Byron Murphy II (Illinois). Meanwhile, cornerbacks like Nate Wiggins (Clemson) and Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo) should go off the board in Round 1.

At quarterback — the choice by fans — these players will likely be drafted in the first 2-3 rounds:

  • Caleb Williams (USC)
  • Drake Maye (North Carolina)
  • Jayden Daniels (LSU)
  • Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
  • J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)
  • Bo Nix (Oregon)
  • Michael Pratt (Tulane)
Network Has Explosive
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The Vikings have also been linked to splashy trades on draft night via mock drafts involving teams like the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New England Patriots. Many believe Williams, Maye, and Daniels will be the draft’s first three picks.

Minnesota has never drafted a quarterback with a Top 10 pick.

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