Vikings add former J.J. McCarthy teammate in latest ESPN 2025 mock draft

Michigan DT Mason Graham
Michigan DT Mason Graham / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

We are still a long way away from the Minnesota Vikings making their first pick in the 2025 NFL Draft, but people are already attempting to predict which current college players might end up in purple and gold next year.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Matt Miller shared his latest early 2025 NFL mock draft, and with the No. 7 pick in the opening round, he has the Vikings using their selection on current Michigan defensive tackle Mason Graham.

Graham is coming off of a 2023 season in which he and Minnesota rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy helped lead Michigan to the school's first national championship since 1997. In 13 appearances with the school last season, the young defensive lineman accumulated a total of 36 tackles (7.5 for a loss), 29 pressures, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one pass deflection.

Minnesota Vikings QB J.J. McCarthy reunites with former Michigan teammate in early 2025 NFL mock draft

Interior defensive line help is something the Vikings currently need, and unless something drastically changes, they will still likely need to improve the talent level of the position group by the start of the 2025 NFL Draft.

If Graham actually does end up with Minnesota next year, Miller explained why he could potentially be a great addition to the team's defensive line.

"Graham is a legitimate contender for the [2025 draft] class's top overall prospect. His stats won't blow you away, thanks to Michigan's defensive line rotation and assignments -- he had three sacks in '23 -- but Graham's explosion and power jump off the tape."

Harrison Phillips has been a solid piece of the Vikings' interior defensive line for the last two seasons, but his contract expires in 2025.

Jonathan Bullard and Jerry Tillery will also be free agents after the upcoming season, so the interior defensive line could quickly become a desperate need for Minnesota if no other players from the position group step up their performance this year.

Again, the 2025 NFL Draft is still more than six months away. But the Vikings using their top pick in 2025 to help improve their defensive line is an outcome that already seems highly likely.

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