The 3 Rookies Who Could Start for Vikings in 2024

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings welcomed these seven rookies to the organization at the end of April:

  • R1: J.J. McCarthy (QB, Michigan)
  • R1: Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama)
  • R4: Khyree Jackson (CB, Oregon)
  • R6: Walter Rouse (OT, Oklahoma)
  • R6: Will Reichard (K, Alabama)
  • R7: Michael Jurgens (C, Wake Forest)
  • R7: Levi Drake Rodriguez (DT, Texas A&M University-Commerce)

The 3 Rookies Who Could Start for Vikings in 2024

And while the club has yet to undergo a training camp and preseason, the writing is on the wall that three rookies could win starting jobs by the time Week 1 rolls around.

Minnesota Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media about the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the TCO Performance Center. The Vikings have long-term draft needs at quarterback, cornerback, and interior offensive line.

These are those men listed in alphabetical order.

1. Levi Drake Rodriguez (DT)

Draft Pick
Drake Levi Rodriguez. Undrafted free agent added by Minnesota after the 2024 NFL Draft from Texas A&M-Commerce. Rodriguez will compete for a roster spot this summer.

Must Oust on Depth Chart:
Jerry Tillery | Jonathan Bullard | Jonah Williams | James Lynch | Jaquelin Roy

Minnesota is begging for a defensive tackle to step up, and some believe this late-round, small-school prospect could conduct a sweet summer and see regular season action. The Athletic called Drake Rodriguez “the most overlooked player in the draft.”

If Drake Rodriguez lives up to his optimistic scouting report early on, a path to start on Minnesota’s defensive line is available.

2. Khyree Jackson (CB)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Must Oust on Depth Chart:
Akayleb Evans | Andrew Booth | Mekhi Blackmon | Shaquill Griffin

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted after the draft in April, “Just had a lively video conference with new Vikings CB Khyree Jackson. He said he told the Vikings at the Senior Bowl that ‘I was the best cornerback in the draft, and I told them they were going to get me for cheaper because of some of the politics that go into it.'”

Jackson ranked around No. 100 on the list of best rookies available heading into the draft, so Minnesota didn’t move heaven and earth to grab the Duck. But he was notably the first selection after the Vikings landed quarterback J.J. McCarthy and EDGE rusher Dallas Turner, so folks are excited about his ceiling.

At training camp, Jackson will intermix with this cornerback room:

CB1: Byron Murphy
CB2: Akayleb Evans
CB3: Mekhi Blackmon
CB4: Shaquill Griffin
CB5: Andrew Booth
CB6: Khyree Jackson
CB7: NaJee Thompson
CB8: Jaylin Williams
CB9: A.J. Green III
CB10: Dwight McGlothern

As the Vikings’ tallest cornerback, he could dethrone somebody for CB2.

3. Dallas Turner (OLB)

dallas turner
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports.

Must Oust on Depth Chart:
Andrew Van Ginkel

Some pundits considered Turner as the best defensive player in the draft. Meanwhile, Danielle Hunter left the Vikings in March. Newcomer free agents Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel are on deck to start, but somewhat easily — and it wouldn’t surprise anybody — Turner could surpass Van Ginkel on the depth chart this summer.

Van Ginkel is also recovering from an injury, making the Week 1 case for Turner even brighter.

It’s not a longshot for Turner to start immediately.

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 MIN 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