Today’s the Day, Vikings Fans.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings emphatically embarked on a brand new era 15 days ago, drafting Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick.

Today’s the Day, Vikings Fans.

With any luck, McCarthy will lead the Vikings for the next 8-15 years, assuming his college scouting report translates to the pros, which, of course, are best-laid plans. Previously, Kirk Cousins ran the enterprise for six seasons, but he bolted for the Atlanta Falcons in free agency eight weeks ago and isn’t coming back.

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.

So today, May 10th, is the day for Vikings fans, the start of rookie minicamp. For the first time, folks will see McCarthy in a purple uniform in an event that runs for three days. It’s an annual occurrence, yet this time, a new quarterback will be featured, the first Round 1 quarterback in the Twin Cities since Teddy Bridgewater in 2014. Yes, 10 years ago.

The stakes are high for McCarthy, as Minnesota had never used a draft pick above No. 11 on a signal-caller. Before the 2024 NFL Draft, the Vikings used the 11th pick on Daunte Culpepper (1999) and Christian Ponder (2011) but never a Top 10er on a quarterback. Many optimistically believe that could be the special sauce to explain why an otherwise successful team hasn’t won a Super Bowl in 63 years. Indeed, Minnesota has the fourth-best regular season win percentage of the Super Bowl era and no Lombardi Trophy to show for it.

Vikings Top Draft Target
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Conveniently, McCarthy had Minnesota circled as his preferred spot during the draft’s lead-up. He watched last summer’s Quarterback documentary on Netflix and recently said about the series, “I was sitting there with my fiance, and I said, ‘You know, I’d run through a brick wall for that guy.’ Everything about the way he approaches the game, his work ethic, how he studies the game. Everything about it, I want to be a part of.”

Meanwhile, head coach Kevin O’Connell echoed McCarthy’s sentiment soon after the draft. “As excited as our fans are, they can know that J.J. McCarthy really wanted to be a Minnesota Viking, and he can’t wait to get here and get to work,” O’Connell told reporters about his new quarterback’s desires.

draft grade
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota will also unveil EDGE rusher Dallas Turner from Alabama, who was picked seven spots after McCarthy on April 25th. Like McCarthy on offense, Turner will hope to hold down Minnesota’s defense for the foreseeable future.

Of course, minicamp won’t be totally hot and heavy for implications. It’s more of an aesthetic event where fans get a glimpse of Minnesota’s rookie newcomers. However, for a quarterback-starved franchise, Friday is a big deal.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

Generally speaking, if you were ready to move on from Kirk Cousins and welcome a young and affordable alternative, today is the day for your eyes.

Not for nothing, there’s usually impressive crossover between Vikings fans and those supporting the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Wolves will look to lock down a 3-0 lead over the NBA champion Denver Nuggets a few hours after Day 1 of Vikings minicamp. A momentous Friday in the Twin Cities, to be sure.

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