5 early contenders to be the Vikings first-round pick in 2024

Jayden Daniels
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Vikings first-round pick contender No. 4

Jer'Zhan Newton, DL - Illinois

This isn't a very strong draft for defensive linemen. That is disappointing since the Minnesota Vikings could use some help in the trenches. There also is not a big Pat Williams-type defensive lineman projected to be a first-round pick, but that doesn't mean there aren't other options.

Jer'Zhan Newton is six-foot-two and 280 pounds but was disruptive for Illinois. He had 52 combined tackles in 2023 to go with 8.5 tackles for a loss with 7.5 sacks, proving he has a good nose for football.

Having an impact player in the trenches would be huge for the Vikings considering free agent signing Dean Lowry hasn't worked out for Minnesota. There is help needed in the unit and a guy like Newton might be a great option.

Like cornerback, defensive line might not be the top priority for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2024 NFL Draft, but investing in young talent on defense is typically smart especially if you can significantly improve at a key position.

Other DL options:
- Leonard Taylor III, Miami (Fla.)