5 prospects the Vikings should avoid in the 2024 NFL Draft

Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy
Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy / Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Prospect the Vikings should avoid No. 3

Edgerrin Cooper - LB (Texas A&M)

Edgerrin Cooper has surged up the board and could very well be the first linebacker selected in the draft.

There is no doubt that he can be an NFL linebacker and a Day 1 starter somewhere in the league.

However, the Vikings found a gem in Ivan Pace Jr. last year, and he will be the starting middle linebacker heading into his second season with the team.

Pace, who was an undrafted free agent, has proven that linebackers are nearly as valuable as running backs.

If Minnesota wants to add one later or even sign a veteran in free agency, that would be a much better method of filling the roster than using one of their first three selections on a linebacker.

The same goes for Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Payton Wilson, and Junior Colson.

The Vikings have to address two of their top needs - EDGE, IDL, QB, or IOL - with their first two selections.

Given the state of the roster and how the board is expected to fall, drafting a linebacker would be malpractice.

If Minnesota does want to add a linebacker this offseason, I would easily prefer the free-agency route.

Willie Gay, Josey Jewell, and Jacob Phillips could all be targets in free agency and would pair nicely next to Pace in the middle of the defense.