7 Bloodline prospects the Vikings could select in the 2024 NFL Draft

Former USC WR Brenden Rice
Former USC WR Brenden Rice / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

WrestleMania 40 takes place this weekend, and in this event, we will see Cody Rhodes take on (former Viking) Roman Reigns and The Bloodline. In honor of this historic two-day extravaganza in the world of sports entertainment, we're going look at some of the "bloodline" players in this year's NFL Draft and see who could end up with the Minnesota Vikings.

There are a handful of players who are either sons, brothers, or some other sort of blood relative to former or current NFL stars. It seems like this year, there are more than normal, and some are at positions the Vikings need and will likely address at some point in the draft.

The biggest bloodline player in this year's draft is wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. We won't talk about him as there's no chance he'll end up with Minnesota.

That being said, Harrison is one of the best receiver prospects to come out in the last decade, and he has a chance to be a top-three pick if the New England Patriots shock the world and select him or a team swings a mega deal to move up and get him.

The majority of bloodline players we will be looking at should be on the board when the Vikings go back on the clock in the early portions of round four. It's unknown at this point if "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes will finish his story at WrestleMania this weekend, but these bloodline prospects could be starting theirs in the color purple at the end of the month.

7 Bloodline prospects the Minnesota Vikings could select in the 2024 NFL Draft

Brenden Rice - WR (USC)

If you are going to take a wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft, why not take the son of arguably the best in the entire history of the game? That's what the Vikings may have the opportunity to do if Brenden Rice is on the board when they go on the clock with the 108th pick in the fourth round of the draft.

Rice has good size at 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds, and he surprised many with his speed at the Combine when he ran his 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. Rice wasn't ultra-productive in his career at USC, never achieving a 1,000-yard receiving season. He did, however, finish with 12 touchdowns his senior season, so finding the end zone is a trait he does possess.

Rice is a big, physical target who's fast enough to stretch the field. He has strong hands that he uses to snatch the ball out of the air and is an intelligent route runner. Rice isn't as electric in and out of his breaks as some other receivers in this class, but should be a high-end backup from the start.

That's what the Vikings are looking for: a reliable target behind Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. Rice can play that role as he learns the NFL game, and with his dad whispering in his ear, the sky is the limit for this kid.

Jeremiah Trotter Jr. - LB (Clemson)

An inside linebacker isn't the biggest need for Minnesota. They have Ivan Pace Jr. coming back for year two after a monster rookie season, and they brought in Blake Cashman in free agency. However, the depth behind those two is suspect at best. Free agent signing Kamu Grugier-Hill is likely to stick around as a backup and key special teams contributor, but the same can't be said for Brian Asamoah.

The Vikings could look to bring in competition for Asamoah and the son of a linebacking great could be sitting on the board for them on day three. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. is, obviously, the son of Jeremiah Trotter, who was a star NFL linebacker, primarily for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Junior isn't quite as big as his dad, but he was very productive at Clemson with 192 tackles, 29.5 tackles for a loss, and 13 sacks during his college career. He's quick to react to the football and does a good job diagnosing plays. While his overall football IQ is high, he sometimes forgets who he's supposed to be covering in passing situations, and he occasionally bites on a play fake.

That being said, there's plenty to like about Trotter and he's someone who should come off the board in that late Day 2 to mid-Day 3 range of the draft.

Luke McCaffrey - WR (Rice)

There are just certain last names teams should draft when they get the chance. Watt is one of those, and McCaffrey is another. Luke McCaffrey is the son of Denver Broncos receiving legend Ed McCaffrey and the brother of the best back in the league, Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers.

Luke isn't the high-end prospect his brother was and that may have to do with him playing at Rice, but he's got a ton of talent just like his genes would suggest. McCaffrey is a smooth route runner with sticky hands. He can also make extremely difficult catches in the corner of the end zone much like former Vikings great Adam Thielen.

McCaffrey has only played receiver for a couple of seasons so he has plenty of room to grow at the position. Being drafted by Minnesota would be a perfect scenario. He wouldn't have to be forced into action, with Brandon Powell starting in the slot. He can hone his skills working with Jefferson and company, seeing spot duty on Sundays. Maybe by midseason, or if an injury forces it, he could start seeing an increased role until he takes over the slot from Powell.

Frank Gore Jr. - RB (Southern Mississippi)

Running back is a position the Vikings could address, as Aaron Jones will likely only be with the team for one season, and Ty Chandler is far from proven. Behind those two are a kick returner and a seventh-round pick who looks like he may not make a UFL roster. Minnesota could use another body in the backfield and the son of an NFL legend would be a wise investment of a late Day 3 pick.

Gore doesn't have the size or power of his old man, but he's quicker, shiftier, and a little faster. He does possess toughness, but his vision and patience as a runner are his best attributes. Gore didn't have the best offensive line in front of him at Southern Miss, but he still ran for over 4,000 yards in his college career and scored an impressive 26 touchdowns. He can make yards happen when they shouldn't be there, and that says a lot about the type of competitor he is.

Gore can also be an asset as a pass catcher, as he hauled in 75 balls in his career for 692 yards. He may never be a featured back in the league or a Pro Bowler like his father Frank Gore Sr., but he'd be a nice depth piece and could work well as part of a rotation.

Kris Jenkins - DT (Michigan)

Kris Jenkins would fill a huge need for the Vikings, as they are in desperate need of landing a high-level talent on their defensive line. Jenkins is a high-motor player who never stops attacking and he's also the son of former four-time Pro Bowler from the Carolina Panthers, Kris Jenkins.

Jenkins only had 4.5 sacks at Michigan, but he was constantly creating pressure on his own, and he has a wide variety of pass-rushing moves. Jenkins also has very active hands that he uses to get around bigger blockers. He's a hair undersized, so he'd likely line up at end, but he would bring the energy and playmaking ability that Minnesota has lacked on the defensive line for the last few seasons.

Jenkins likely won't fall to the Vikings at pick No. 108 in the fourth round, as there are plenty of teams who could snipe him in the second round or would jump all over him in the third round. That being said, it is the NFL Draft, and anything can happen. If he did make it to Minnesota, hopefully, his legacy in purple and gold would be as solid as his father's in black and carolina blue.

Drake Nugent - C (Michigan)

Drake Nugent is a battle-tested center from Michigan. He's also the son of former Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns quarterback Terry Nugent. Drake will hope his NFL career lasts longer than his father's, and there's a strong chance it will.

Nugent doesn't have elite size standing just 6-foot-1 and weighing in at 298 pounds. He makes up for that lack of mass with his strength, footwork, and power in the lower body. He's also very experienced, starting 39 games during his tenures at Michigan and Stanford. He was part of a Michigan offense last season that relied heavily on their running game to bring home a national title.

The Vikings need a center. Garrett Bradbury could be in his final season with the team and Dan Feeny isn't a high-end backup. Nugent could be picked sometime on Day 3 of the draft and be a backup in year one as he learns the offense and then competes for the starting center job in 2025.

Jonah Elliss - EDGE (Utah)

Jonah Elliss is an undersized but explosive, edge rusher from Utah. He's only 6-foot-2 and 248 pounds. That lack of size could push him down the board to Minnesota, who could add the dynamic edge rusher to their arsenal.

Elliss is lightning-quick off the ball and usually gets around his blocker before his opponent is even out of his stance. He was very productive in his tenure at Utah, racking up 16 sacks, 23 tackles for a loss, and 78 total tackles. Elliss is likely going to end up as a one-trick pony in the league. He'll probably be a situational pass rusher, as he simply isn't big enough to hold up in the run game. That's fine; there's a place in the league for that type of player, and maybe that landing spot is in Minnesota.

As for bloodlines, Elliss is oozing with them. His father was Luther Elliss who played 10 years in the league with the majority of those being with the Detroit Lions. Jonah also has three brothers who play in the NFL. Kaden is a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Christian was an undrafted free agent with the Vikings but is currently with the New England Patriots, and there is also Noah, who's a defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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