2024 NFL Draft: Vikings land franchise-altering QB in way-too-early mock draft

Texas QB Quinn Ewers
Texas QB Quinn Ewers / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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Fourth-Round Pick No. 1 (118th overall - via Detroit)

Keith Randolph Jr. - DL (Illinois)

There are question marks littered all over the defensive side of the ball for the Vikings, and the hope is that Brian Flores' presence alone can help improve the league's 31st-ranked defense. The interior defensive line, in particular, seems very underwhelming on paper, as the expected starters are Dean Lowry, Khyiris Tonga, and Harrison Phillips.

Looking at the state of the current interior defensive line for the team should worry Vikings fans. Now, there is a possibility that a player is signed before training camp (Ndamukong Suh?), and heading into 2024, they may have already signed a key free-agent defensive lineman. Nevertheless, Keith Randolph Jr. would be an exciting addition to this defense.

Randolph has explosive power and really good flexibility for a man of his size. The Fighting Illini defensive tackle finished 2022 with 4.5 sacks and 51 total tackles and was named to the All Big Ten Third-Team. Unfortunately for Randolph, he plays next to Jer'Zhan Newton, who many believe will be a first-round pick come April 2024, so he gets put on the back burner most of the time.

Under the tutelage of Flores, Minnesota could potentially land a multi-year starter in the fourth round of next year's NFL Draft. At the very least, Randolph would be another fun prospect for Flores to work with.