The Vikings’ 3 Primary Draft Needs | 2024

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Free agency is effectively over, and the 2024 NFL Draft is 12 days away.

The Vikings’ 3 Primary Draft Needs | 2024

The Minnesota Vikings welcomed 14 new free agents, re-signed several internal players, watched as 16 players have departed to new teams so far, and even delivered a mega trade one month ago in preparation for the draft, which will feel like a mighty offseason exclamation point. All Vikings fans’ sights have turned to the draft and understandably so. The organization needs a quarterback of the future after Kirk Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons in March.

Minnesota 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.

So, with the NFL draft less than two weeks away, these are the franchise’s top roster needs, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most urgent need).

3. Interior Offensive Line

Vikings Free Agency
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The need for interior offensive linemen is basically fans’ code for, “Please re-sign Dalton Risner.” For now, Blake Brandel is on tap for left guard duty, and many don’t trust him for the assignment. Stay tuned to find out if the Vikings’ front office and coaching staff agree.

Moreover, Minnesota currently has seven interior offensive linemen under contract, and when the roster balloons to 90 players after the draft, that number will be closer to 10. This is a signal that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will use the draft and undrafted free agency to fortify this position(s) on the roster.

Overall, it’s basically a question of whether this trio is sufficient:

LG | Blake Brandel
C | Garrett Bradbury
RG | Ed Ingram

2. Defensive Tackle

Draft Needs
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The Vikings were reportedly interested in Christian Wilkins, but his asking price in free agency was too large, and Wilkins became a Las Vegas Raider. The franchise also didn’t sign Arik Armstead or Grover Stewart, for example, who were available on the open market. In fact, about 5-7 high-profile defensive tackles were there for the taking last month.

Minnesota may use whatever draft capital is left over on a defensive tackle after the would-be trade up the board for — spoiler alert — a quarterback. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said two weeks ago about his team’s DT priority during free agency, “We made a run at some certain guys in free agency. In the end, we were okay with what we were able to add on the edges, and then you really supplement that defensive room with a lot of different skill sets.”

O’Connell also mentioned, “I think there’s going to be some really impactful options potentially there throughout the depth of the draft.”

Ergo, it’s either the current group, a rookie, or Calais Campbell from free agency.

1. Quarterback

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This spot is all anyone ever talks about — and rightfully so. On March 15th, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah conducted a pre-draft trade, sending two 2nd-Round picks to Houston for the Texans’ 2024 1st-Rounder (Pick No. 23) and a late-round pick swap. The aforementioned Cousins left in free agency to the Atlanta Falcons two days prior.

Most believe Adofo-Mensah is poised to move up the draftboard again via trade with the Washington Commanders (Pick No. 2), the New England Patriots (Pick No. 3), the Arizona Cardinals (Pick No. 4), or the Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No. 5).

Then, Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2.

Betting odds suggest McCarthy (+110) and Maye (+350) are the favorites to land in Minnesota. So, unless Adofo-Mensah ignores QB1 and rolls with Sam Darnold + Nick Mullens, this position will be addressed in 12 days — probably with a momentous trade.

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).

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