The 4 Most Mock-Drafted Players to the Vikings | 2024

Rookie QB
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Luca Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to pick 11th and 23rd on April 25th in the 2024 NFL Draft, and the identity of their pick(s) is a gigantic mystery.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is expected to trade up the board for a quarterback of the future, and fans await that grand climax.

The 4 Most Mock-Drafted Players to the Vikings | 2024

But based on what the NFL draft community believes, these are the four most mock-drafted players to the Vikings as of March 31st, ranked in ascending order (No. 4 = least mocked).

4. Jared Verse (EDGE, Florida State)

Kiper Has New Draft
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

For national mock draft savants who still don’t believe the Vikings will trade up for a quarterback, Verse serves as a fallback option. The working theory for that crowd is that Minnesota would stick-and-pick at No. 11 with Verse and then perhaps choose Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) or Bo Nix (Oregon) at No. 23.

Josh Frey, the editor of PurplePTSD, a sister site to VikingsTerritorydescribed Verse this offseason: “You won’t find too many pass rushers that surpass Verse in terms of athletic ability. He has it all. He is explosive off the line of scrimmage, can maneuver his way around blockers with ease, and his acceleration is impressive while in pursuit of ball carriers. Verse also has an incredible motor that allows him to wear down offensive lines over the course of a game. An example of this came against the Florida Gators where Verse recorded a pair of sacks and a forced fumble in the final minutes to help seal a win.”

3. Byron Murphy II (DT, Texas)

in Particular Rookie
Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota really struck out at defensive tackle during free agency, evidently pursuing Christian Wilkins but losing out to the Las Vegas Raiders. In return, it signed Jerry Tillery and Jonah Williams.

There’s a slight chance that Adofo-Mensah sticks-and-picks, selecting a defensive tackle — like Murphy II — at No. 11 and Penix Jr. (listed above) at No. 23. If the Vikings don’t land a sweet rookie DT or trade for one before the start of the regular season, that spot will be at the top of everyone’s wish lists next offseason.

Think of it this way: should the Vikings surprise everyone and not draft a quarterback first on April 25th, the alternative will probably be the best defensive tackle in the draft. Many believe that’s Murphy II.

2. Drake Maye (QB, North Carolina)

Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports.

Something happened in the mock draft community on Thursday and Friday, as Maye appeared to become the frontrunner in the Vikings’ draft orbit. We shall see if that remains for the next 3.5 weeks or if the next guy on the list resurges.

Maye has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL, would fit wonderfully in Kevin O’Connell’s offense, and has ties to Vikings quarterback Josh McCown.

His name on Minnesota’s depth chart felt like a pipe dream two months ago, but Maye is now the second-most mock-drafted player in the purple orbit.

1. J.J. McCarthy (QB, Michigan)

Vikings mock draft
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Indiana during the second half of U-M’s 52-7 win over Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Ann Arbor. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Draft pundits believe McCarthy is on his way to Minnesota. So do sportsbooks. This man was a 2nd-Round pick back in December, but his college team winning the national championship changed everything.

McCarthy just turned 21 in January, so he has youth on his side. It’s unclear if he’d play in 2024 or if that’s Sam Darnold’s job, but the 6-foot-3, 219-pounder will look good in purple if Minnesota scoops him out of next month’s draft.

Because he probably won’t cost three 1st-Rounders, he’s the favorite to end up in Minnesota as of late March.


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.

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