The Vikings Solved 5 Mysteries in Draft

Has Vikings 2nd-Round Pick Turned into a Catastrophe?
Vikings Fan

The Minnesota Vikings picked seven players in the 2024 NFL Draft, followed by the swift acquisitions of 17 undrafted free agents.

The Vikings Solved 5 Mysteries in Draft

These players arrived in the draft:

  • 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)

Plus the 17 UDFAs:

  • Matt Cindric (OL)
  • K.J. Cloyd (LB)
  • Jeremy Flax (OL)
  • Dallas Gant (LB)
  • Devron Harper (WR)
  • Ty James (WR)
  • Jeshaun Jones (WR)
  • Trey Knox (TE)
  • Tyler Manoa (DL)
  • Donovan Manuel (LB)
  • Dwight McGlothern (CB)
  • Gabriel Murphy (OLB)
  • Doug Nester (OL)
  • Owen Porter (OLB)
  • Bo Richter (OLB)
  • Spencer Rolland (OL)
  • Taki Taimani (DL)

Along the way, five big Vikings draft mysteries were solved, and these are those listed in no particular order.

1. Would the Vikings, Alas, Draft a QB of the Future?

Minnesota Vikings 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

Answer: Yes.

Without trading additional 1st-Round draft capital from future years, Minnesota found J.J. McCarthy, the National Championship-winning passer from Michigan. He was cheaper than forecasted.

Kirk Cousins left the organization seven weeks before the draft, and it was time to select his replacement. Folks wondered who it would be — McCarthy or Drake Maye — for weeks if not months, A new era is underway.

2. An Impact DT Added from the Draft?

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Answer: Nope.

A feverish run on premiere rookie defensive tackles transpired on Friday evening, Round 2 of the draft, leaving Minnesota out in the cold after trading its 2nd-Round picks to the Houston Texans, this year’s and next’s.

Minnesota grabbed “Prospect X” rookie Levi Drake Rodriguez from a small school, but he’s really just a lottery ticket. So, for about the 10th year in a row, the Vikings will roll into a season with a mid- or bottom-tier DT next to the nose tackle. By now, this is Vikings football.

3. Will There Be a Kicking Competition?

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: Absolutely.

“It’s a pretty easy evaluation when you put one or two guys competing against each other, possibly more, where you can put them in tougher situations, high-pressure situations, even in front of a training camp crowd or their teammates in the spring with some circumstances on making a kick or missing a kick and you can really start to see how guys respond,” Kevin O’Connell told reporters about a week before the draft.

That foreshadowed a kicking battle afoot, and wouldn’t you know it? Minnesota selected the best kicker in the draft with Will Reichard. He will compete against the XFL’s Parker Romo this summer.

4. A Promising WR3 Candidate Discovered?

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.

Answer: No. Not at all.

Adofo-Mensah had three reasonable chances to draft a rookie wide receiver in Round 4 and twice in Round 6 but said, “No thanks.”

Therefore, he must trust Brandon Powell, Jalen Nailor, or Trent Sherfield for the assignment — or have grand plans to add a free-agent wide receiver in the next four months. This draft was deep with WR3 types, but Minnesota skipped them altogether.

5. Would They Trade the Farm for a QB?

Vikings trade
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: No.

It became ingrained in Vikings fans’ DNA that the franchise would probably send at least three 1st-Round picks somewhere for Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy. Then, that didn’t happen, and Adofo-Mensah ended up trading most of his available preferred assets for EDGE rusher Dallas Turner while keeping his 1st-Rounders.

The future was not leveraged, at least not per 1st-Round capital.

In fact, during the lead-up to the draft, purple and gold fans discussed just how many 1st-Rounders would be acceptable. Then, none from 2025 or 2026 left the building.

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