The 4 Likely Vikings Draft Picks with 4 Weeks to Go

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The draft is around the corner, and like always, it is the major offseason event in the NFL. Organizations find true franchise-changing talent, and Super Bowl teams can only be built this way; although the Rams tried to do it differently, their stars, especially core players Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp, were still assembled in the draft.

The 4 Likely Vikings Draft Picks with 4 Weeks to Go

For the Minnesota Vikings, the 2024 draft will be crucial, with two first-round picks and the potential, perhaps even likely, arrival of a new quarterback. When I constructed a similar list in February, ten weeks out, I included ten players, but now, six weeks later, four are enough. While nothing during draft season is ever guaranteed, it would be surprising if none of those four candidates actually landed in Minnesota.

4. QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

LSU’s Heisman Trophy winner came out of nowhere in the 2023 season and set college football on fire. His combination of absurd athleticism and an outstanding arm that allowed him to target star wideout Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. helped him to produce 50 scrimmage touchdowns in his final collegiate season.

The 4 Likely Vikings Draft Picks with 4 Weeks to Go
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Jayden Daniels could provide a different element to Kevin O’Connell’s offense, as the team hasn’t had a genuine dual threat in a long time. Joshua Dobbs’ lack of throwing skills might not earn him that label. While many focus on his running talent, he could still feed receivers Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison outside and deep, which is his specialty. The 23-year-old is mechanically sound and has a good feel for the game.

The passer is favored to be the second player off the board when the Washington Commanders select, but a trade with O’Connell’s former franchise can’t be ruled out. It’s also possible that Washington will draft one of the other excellent QB prospects.

3. DT Byron Murphy, Texas

While everyone wants their team to draft a quarterback, if the Vikings can’t find a trade partner and somehow miss out, well, they need a plan B, and that’s Texas’ defensive tackle Byron Murphy.

in Particular Rookie
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Murphy isn’t as flashy as a quarterback but would fill an enormous hole. Minnesota hasn’t had an interior lineman who could get after the passer like Murphy in a long time. Last season, he produced five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss and was equally impressive versus the run and the pass.

The 21-year-old is a versatile defender who can line up all over the defensive line, making him a perfect chess piece in Brian Flores’ unit that lacks some talent up front. He’s the only player on the list that doesn’t require a trade. The Vikings could still select a quarterback later in the first round, with the 23rd overall choice.

2. QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

Back to a signal-caller, Drake Maye was the hot name a year ago but hadn’t been eligible to leave North Carolina for the NFL yet. His 2023 campaign flopped to some extent as he couldn’t repeat his success from the 2022 season, which wasn’t entirely his fault. The teammates and coaches deserve a lot of blame for that.

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Regardless, Maye offers a profile that fits O’Connell’s offense well. He possesses a prototypical size, a strong arm, and solid running skills. In the last two seasons combined, Maye scored 62 passing and 16 rushing TDs. After cleaning up some mechanical flaws, which is quite possible with two former NFL QBs on the coaching staff (O’Connell and QB coach Josh McCown), the sky is the limit for the talented passer who checks all the boxes.

At this point, his draft position is a mystery. He could be picked second overall or fall but is unlikely to slip out of the top five picks.

1. QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

A player who has risen draft boards since the season ended, J.J. McCarthy has entered top-three conversations. Michigan’s skipper guided his team to the national title but had absurd help from his supporting cast, which is why not everyone is sold on him.

Vikings Draft Prospect
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McCarthy didn’t produce gaudy numbers like the other two QBs on the list, but he is still an intriguing prospect. He understands the game well; decision-making and poise are his mental calling cards. On the athletic side, McCarthy is a good athlete who can be a threat in the running game if defenses don’t account for him, and his arm is underrated.

The 21-year-old is the betting favorite to land in Minnesota, and he suits everything O’Connell wants to do offensively. While there has been some buzz about him rising above Maye and Daniels, he is still a likely option to be attainable with the fourth or fifth overall pick.

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