Vikings to Hold Draft Meeting with Popular Non-QB

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Minnesota Vikings fans are fully convinced the franchise will draft a quarterback in 17 days, but the club is also doing its diligence by meeting with defensive players.

Vikings to Hold Draft Meeting with Popular Non-QB

The purple team needs a defensive tackle sometime soon, and per a Top 30 visit this week, the team’s leaders recognize the roster deficiency.

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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Monday, “Texas DT Byron Murphy II, one of the top prospects at his position in the Draft, is visiting the Vikings on a Top 30 visit today, source said. Minnesota picks at No. 11.”

Murphy II is considered the top defensive tackle in this year’s draft, though Illinois’ Johnny Newton may personally disagree. The Vikings hold two picks in Round 1 this year, Nos. 11 and 23, after pulling off a trade on March 15th, grabbing an additional 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans while offloading two 2nd-Rounders in the deal, plus a late-round pick swap. 

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Of course, most of the Vikings fanbase believes those picks will be packaged and shipped to a team like 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) for a quarterback of the future.

If the general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah swerves, however, and conducts no trade, Murphy II could be in play at No. 11 while possibly leaving the quarterback selection to later in the event. That could involve Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Bo Nix (Oregon), or Spencer Rattler (South Carolina), for example.

Minnesota struck out at defensive tackle during free agency, evidently bidding on Christian Wilkins but ultimately losing to the Las Vegas Raiders. In return, it signed Jerry Tillery and Jonah Williams. Think of it this way: should the Vikings surprise everyone and not draft a quarterback first on April 25th, the alternative will probably be the best defensive tackle in the draft.

Many believe that’s Murphy II.

Vikings Draft
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In January, SportsKeeda’s Tony Pauline wrote about Murphy and Minnesota, “The Minnesota Vikings, who desperately need a defensive tackle, are said to have a lot of interest in Murphy. The insanely athletic defender, who is expected to test off the charts at the combine, would be a terrific fit for the Vikings defensive scheme.”

And before Minnesota fired off the trade with Houston, Murphy II was a popular mock draft selection for the Vikings among those not convinced the team would trade up for a quarterback.

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The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez describes Murphy II: “Murphy does a good job of immediately getting into a gap. Because he plays with low pad height, he makes it difficult for offensive linemen to get proper hand placement on him to stop his penetration. Murphy has plus-level functional strength and can knock offensive linemen’s hands down with hand counters.”

Murphy II is 6’1″ and about 310 pounds. He’ll turn 22 right around Week 1 (September 8th) of the 2024 regular season.

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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