5 QBs the Vikings could realistically select in the 2024 NFL Draft

Former Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.
Former Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

After what seemed like ages, the 2024 NFL Draft is happening within a week. For the first time in a long time, the Minnesota Vikings go into the draft with a glaring need at the quarterback position, a fact that has been playing throughout the media for the whole pre-draft process.

All fans can do is speculate on what Minnesota will end up doing in the draft, but the popular theory is that the Vikings will trade up to take their quarterback of the future.

Whether Minnesota will stay put at picks No. 11 and No. 23 in the first round is yet to be seen, as it will likely be a draft-night trade that the Vikings execute. Minnesota has the draft capital to make a move up and an aggressive general manager in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who has shown no fear in making deals, so it appears that outside of consensus QB1 Caleb Williams, no options are off the table for Minnesota.

With that being said, who are some realistic QB prospects that the Vikings could take in the 2024 NFL Draft?

5 QBs the Minnesota Vikings could realistically select in the 2024 NFL Draft

Drake Maye (North Carolina)

Drake Maye is a QB prospect that Minnesota would need to trade up for in the draft to select, but he has been heavily connected to the Vikings throughout the entire pre-draft process. If it weren't for Caleb Williams, Drake Maye would probably be the first QB selected in this year's draft, as his prototypical NFL frame and high-grading athletic traits make him a tantalizing prospect for a QB needy team.

Maye has his flaws just like every other prospect, and he is in a tight race for the QB2 in this draft with reigning Heisman winner Jayden Daniels, but these "issues" still don't have Maye falling out of the top-four in nearly every mock draft available.

What would likely need to happen for Minnesota to get a chance at taking Maye is if he falls to pick No. 3 held by the New England Patriots. The Patriots recently revealed that they are open to trading pick No. 3, giving Minnesota and other QB-needy teams the green light to call their phone.

With the Vikings' recent hiring of Josh McCown as their new QB coach, many fans believe this was a move to prepare for Maye, as McCown was Maye's high school coach. McCown was also teammates with new Minnesota QB Sam Darnold when the two were members of the New York Jets, so he could be here more for Darnold than anything else, but we can't be for certain.

Jayden Daniels (LSU)

Jayden Daniels is the QB2B to Drake Maye's QB2A (or vice versa). Both quarterbacks are highly regarded, and there is no real separation between them on the clear-cut QB2 of this draft. From what has been reported, however, it does appear as though Maye is Minnesota's favored QB over Daniels, though it has also been stated that the Vikings do like Daniels.

Daniels is a former Heisman trophy winner who took some time in college to really get things going, but as the nation saw last season, he really got it going. Daniels is an incredible dual-threat QB, as he rushed for over 1,100 yards last season to go along with his 3,800 passing yards.

However, one of the biggest issues with Daniels is his incredibly small frame. He has good height at 6-foot-4, but he weighs in just a bit over 180 pounds, which is very light. Scouts have concerns about if his body will hold up in the NFL due to his knack for leaving the pocket and taking hits while holding such a small frame.

Daniels will need to gain weight to be a truly successful quarterback, as his frame seems unsustainable for a pro quarterback. He has the tools to be a great NFL player, and there is no doubt that Kevin O'Connell can unlock his potential when he makes the league. Maybe Daniels' LSU connection will draw Minnesota to draft him and pair him up with another former LSU great in Justin Jefferson.

J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy has been the quarterback who has arguably been mocked by Minnesota the most times of any quarterback in this draft. McCarthy is also arguably the most polarizing prospect in this draft, making him a very unique player in the eyes of Vikings fans everywhere.

McCarthy doesn't have the size that Drake Maye has, but he isn't as slight as Jayden Daniels, falling fairly in the middle of the two at 6-foot-2 and nearly 220 pounds. As many Vikings fans know, due to the intense media coverage McCarthy has received, the former Michigan QB has a multitude of flaws that could scare away potential teams in the draft.

But with those flaws, McCarthy has intriguing tools that are why he's rated so high in this draft, and as McCarthy has shown to be an easily coachable player, it makes the potential for good outweigh the potential for the bad.

McCarthy doesn't have the intangibles that the top guys have, but he has tools and a winning pedigree that make him an exciting prospect in this draft with major boom or bust potential - he just needs the right situation.

Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)

With the top QBs like Maye, Daniels, and McCarthy, they are players that Minnesota will more than likely need to trade up in the draft to acquire. With Washington QB Michael Penix Jr., Minnesota could probably sit tight at pick No. 11 to take him and potentially even snag him at pick No. 23, realistically.

The end of Penix's college career was exactly what the QB needed to bolster his draft stock. Penix threw for 4,900 yards and 36 touchdowns, showing to scouts everywhere that he can be a prolific passer with the best of them.

The issue with Penix is that he will be a 24-year-old rookie, multiple years older than Maye and McCarthy and a year older than Jayden Daniels. Penix has a massive injury history that adds to the red flags for him as an older QB with legs that have taken an intense beating is certainly cause for concern.

With Penix's issues, there comes his potential as well, as he may have the best arm talent in this draft, though it needs some refining. Penix isn't great when the pocket is under pressure, but he shows an innate ability to get the ball out before the play breaks down.

Even with Penix's major lower body injuries, he is still an impressive athlete, just an unwilling mover, which could be worked on. Penix definitely doesn't have the highest ceiling, but his floor is pretty high compared to other prospects, making him a good but not awe-inspiring prospect.

Bo Nix (Oregon)

From one 24-year-old rookie QB to another, Bo Nix out of Oregon is another prospect who could potentially end up as a member of the Vikings. Nix hasn't received as much hype to land with Minnesota as the aforementioned QBs have, but he isn't out of the picture.

Nix is actually older than Michael Penix Jr. by a few months even though Penix was in college for six years to Nix's five. Nix put up video game numbers in his final season at Oregon, producing a gaudy stat line of 4,508 passing yards and 45 passing touchdowns.

Even with those incredible numbers, Nix is still looking to be a player that is going towards the end of round one or early round two. The issue with Nix is that his tools are solid, though uninspiring. Nix is a player with a solid floor, but his ceiling is not much higher than that floor, as you know what you're going to get when you draft him. There isn't a doubt that Minnesota can unlock the best from Nix, but he won't be a big swing like Maye, Daniels, or McCarthy are.

Nix is a game-manager-type QB who does his job extremely well. Nix won't blow anyone away, but he's a very safe selection that should have some success in the NFL. It looks like Minnesota is looking to take one of the top guys in this draft with bigger boom-or-bust potential, but in the off chance that the Vikings look to play things safe, Nix may be their guy.

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