Vikings Could Earn More Draft Picks Next Week

A Minnesota Vikings fan signals for a first down during a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won the game, 24-10. © Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Feeling melancholy about some Minnesota Vikings players exiting the franchise next week during free agency?

Vikings Draft Pick Total Could Soar Next Week

Understandable, if so — but it’s not all bad. The Vikings are sitting in a sweet spot to load up on draft capital, depending on which players depart, according to Over The Cap.

Vikings Draft Pick
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

For starters, these are the Vikings’ 25 free agents on tap to hit the open market if not re-signed by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah:

  • OT Hakeem Adeniji
  • RB Cam Akers
  • LB Anthony Barr
  • IOL Blake Brandel
  • DL Jonathan Bullard
  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • OLB Marcus Davenport
  • QB Joshua Dobbs
  • LB Troy Dye
  • OLB Danielle Hunter
  • LB Jordan Hicks
  • TE Johnny Mundt
  • K Greg Joseph
  • DT James Lynch
  • OT Oli Udoh
  • G Chris Reed
  • WR K.J. Osborn
  • WR Brandon Powell
  • OT David Quessenberry
  • IOL Dalton Risner
  • IOL Austin Schlottmann
  • DL T.J. Smith
  • DT Khyiris Tonga
  • LB Nick Vigil
  • OLB D.J. Wonnum

If you’re anxietal about the sheer number of possible departures, take solace in knowing that half or more will return; it’s the nature of the beast.

What Would Happen
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But on those who leave, Minnesota will be in wonderful shape for compensatory picks. OTC called the Vikings’ chances of fetching extra compensatory picks very high this week and explained, “Kirk Cousins will lead the way with a 3rd round CFA contract if he leaves Minnesota. Right behind him will be Danielle Hunter coming off another double digit sack season. Dalton Risner, KJ Osborn, DJ Wonnum, and Marcus Davenport are other Vikings from 2023 that could see good contracts elsewhere if not retained.”

Like the rest of the Vikings’ offseason, the big-ticket items to monitor above are Cousins and Hunter. Their exits would fortify the 2025 draft cabinet quite beautifully.

Impasse with Kirk
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

OTC added, “Suffice to say, the Vikings will be poised very well to make their 2025 draft slate abundant if they so choose.”

Kyle Joudry of PurplePTSD, a sister site to VikingsTerritory, opined on the would-be extra draft capital this week, “If the NFL’s enigmatic comp pick calculations proceed in the expected manner, Minnesota will be able to toss another pick or two into Kwesi’s war chest. Adofo-Mensah could then, in turn, leverage those as more firepower to pull off a trade. Or maybe the GM holds onto them, using them in the most obvious manner by scooping another youngster out of the 2025 NFL Draft.”:

NFL: NFL Draft
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

For this year’s draft capital, here’s the breakdown:

Round 1 (No. 11 overall)
Round 2 (No. 42 overall)
Round 4 (from DET)
Round 4
Round 5 (from KC)
Round 5 (from CLE)
Round 6 (from CAR through JAX)
Round 6 (from LV through NE)
Round 7 (conditional from ATL through ARZ)

Projecting the 2025 compensatories will become clearer next week. “Legal tampering” kicks off free agency on Monday and is one of the NFL’s most dizzying days of the year.

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