Vikings Have 2 Primary Needs after Free Agency

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The 2024 NFL Draft is 22 days away, and the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to pick nine times.

Vikings Have 2 Primary Needs after Free Agency

These are the picks:

  • Round 1 (No. 11 overall)
  • Round 1 (No. 23 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)
The Biggest Mistakes
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Meanwhile, the club has two primary roster needs — with a debatable side dish of two others. These are those.

Quarterback

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The Current Group:
Sam Darnold
Nick Mullens
Jaren Hall

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. Kirk 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 the favorites to land in Minnesota are McCarthy (+100), Penix Jr. (+250), and Maye (+350). So, unless Adofo-Mensah ignores QB1 and rolls with Darnold, this position will be addressed in about three weeks.

Defensive Tackle

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The Current Group:
Harrison Phillips
Jerry Tillery
Jonathan Bullard
Jonah Williams
Jaquelin Roy

The Vikings were allegedly interested in Christian Wilkins, but his asking price in free agency was too steep, and Wilkins joined the Las Vegas Raiders. The club also didn’t sign Arik Armstead or Grover Stewart, for example, who were available on the open market.

Minnesota may use whatever draft capital is left over on a defensive tackle after the would-be trade up the board. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said last week 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 said, “I think there’s going to be some really impactful options potentially there throughout the depth of the draft.”

Get ready for a DT from the draft.

The Debatables

Vikings Free Agency
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Some Vikings fans insist that the interior offensive line and cornerback remain glaring roster needs.

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.

At cornerback, this is the group as of April 3rd:

  • CB1: Byron Murphy
  • CB2: Akayleb Evans
  • CB3: Mekhi Blackmon
  • CB4: Shaquill Griffin
  • CB5: Andrew Booth
  • CB6: NaJee Thompson
  • CB7: Jaylin Williams
  • CB8: Joejuan Williams
  • CB9: A.J. Green III

Ergo, iOL and CB roster needs are in the eye of the beholder.


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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