5 bold Minnesota Vikings predictions for the 2024 NFL Draft

Former North Carolina QB Drake Maye
Former North Carolina QB Drake Maye / G Fiume/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft will serve as a turning point in the history of the Minnesota Vikings. Like any draft, the Vikings will look to fill some of their weaknesses for the upcoming season. But this year’s draft has an added twist as they look to find their quarterback of the future.

With weeks of speculation and a strong quarterback class, the Vikings will be in the hunt for a signal caller. But they’ll also have to fend off other quarterback-needy teams while also building a competitive roster for 2024.

All of this has made this draft one of the most anticipated in team history, but here are some things that could play out when the Vikings are on the clock this weekend.

Bold Minnesota Vikings predictions for the 2024 NFL Draft

1. The Vikings will trade up for a quarterback in the NFL Draft

It’s not a secret that the Vikings will be aggressive to get a quarterback in the NFL Draft, but the bigger question is when they’ll be able to pull the trigger.

The New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, and Los Angeles Chargers are all potential trade partners with the third, fourth, and fifth overall picks in the draft, but the Vikings may not have enough ammo to convince those teams to pass on a top prospect such as Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt or wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

But even if the Vikings can’t get into the top five, there’s a chance they could make a trade later in the first round to move up from the 23rd overall pick to select Oregon’s Bo Nix or Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.

Either way, the Vikings are unlikely to sit on their hands on draft night and will pay the price to get their desired option.

2. The Vikings will not make a pick on the second day of the draft

If the Vikings move up to get a quarterback, it could mean a quiet Friday evening at TCO Performance Center. Minnesota currently doesn’t have a Day 2 pick after trading its second-rounder (No. 42 overall) to the Houston Texans in exchange for the 23rd overall pick but the potential of trading up would also be off the board due to the capital needed to make a blockbuster deal.

The Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling recently estimated that it would take three first-round picks and “something else” to get into the top five picks of the draft and that could mean using some of the seven Day 3 picks the Vikings currently own in this year’s draft to get a deal done.

If the Vikings have to go deep into their bag to come away with a quarterback, it could leave them without ammunition to trade into the second or third round, leaving the rest of the league to create the headlines on the second night of the draft.

3. The Vikings will draft a specialist

While many have focused on the quarterback position, other areas need attention. One of these areas is special teams, where the Vikings didn’t retain Greg Joseph, and punter Ryan Wright is coming off a disappointing season.

The Vikings signed John Parker Romo during the free agent period, but O’Connell hinted that Minnesota could bring in competition during training camp. The Vikings could also look at upgrading the punter position after Wright’s touchback percentage jumped from 1.9 percent to 11.9 percent and his inside-the-20 rate dropped from 43.8 percent to 28.8 percent.

Drafting specialists normally doesn’t work out but Minnesota could be aggressive to solve the issue later in the draft. Either way, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Vikings came away with a specialist on Day 3.

4. The Vikings draft will center around the offense

The Vikings threw plenty of money at their defense during free agency, but the draft might be the offense’s turn to stock up on talent.

Minnesota is in good shape with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, and Aaron Jones at the skill positions and Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill along the offensive line. But the Vikings could look to shore up some of their weaknesses even after addressing the quarterback position.

The Vikings could use some depth on the interior offensive line, and they could use a replacement for K.J. Osborn. Minnesota could also take a late flier on a running back and possibly some insurance in case Hockenson’s recovery from a multi-ligament knee injury takes longer than expected.

Whatever the Vikings’ plan, expect plenty of offensive players to be called when Minnesota is on the clock.

5. Drake Maye will be the Vikings’ quarterback of the future

We’ve talked a lot about the Vikings trading up in the draft, but we haven’t settled on who that player could be. 

With days until the draft, all signs seem to be pointing toward Drake Maye. Vikings quarterback coach Josh McCown coached Maye dating back to his high school days but there are other signs such as Kevin O’Connell’s need for an accurate quarterback and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reporting that the Vikings like Maye more than the Patriots do.

In essence, the decision could come down to Maye or McCarthy and which quarterback is available after the first three picks. But if the Vikings have their choice, Maye will be the quarterback they will target.

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