Vikings Draft 2024: Post-Texans trade 7-round mock draft

Former North Carolina QB Drake Maye
Former North Carolina QB Drake Maye / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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Fourth-Round Pick No. 1 (108th Overall)

McKinnley Jackson - DT (Texas A&M)

After the Vikings' first few moves in free agency this year, two huge needs have risen to the surface.

The first is quarterback.

Minnesota lost Kirk Cousins and downgraded in a major way with Sam Darnold. They squashed that need by trading up to get Drake Maye, as seen above, and now they need to fix their next biggest hole, which is the defensive line.

Harrison Phillips was the only quality starter on this unit for the Vikings a season ago. He is a very good player but not elite by any means.

Jonathan Bullard was re-signed, and he's a nice backup, and then Minnesota went out and added Jerry Tillery in free agency. Tillery has been a bit of a disappointment, though, ever since he was a first-round pick of the Los Angeles Chargers a few years back.

Rounding out the Vikings' defensive line depth is second-year man Jaquelin Roy. He had a lackluster rookie season, but he still has enough talent and upside for the team to hope he can have an emergence in year two.

That's it, though. Minnesota was in the sweepstakes to sign free-agent defensive lineman Christian Wilkins last week, but the Las Vegas Raiders paid through the roof to get his services.

Instead of investing in a player like Arik Armstead, the Vikings chose to knock out their need at edge rusher in free agency this year with the signings of Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel. The defensive line suffered because of this, and now it looks to have about the same amount of talent that it did in 2023 when it was an issue.

That being said, Minnesota needs to invest in it as often as possible on Day 3 of this year's NFL Draft. If they are lucky enough to see McKinley Jackson on the board, they need to pounce all over him.

Jackson is 6-foot-2 and 325 pounds of pure beef. Despite being so big, Jackson is pretty quick off the snap and possesses violent hands. He is a guy who can generate interior pressure on his own, as his 15.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks in college can attest to that.

Jackson is also a versatile piece that could play inside at nose, or move out to the end if need be. He's stout against the run and can be a three-down player for Brian Flores's defense in Minnesota.

It'll be interesting to see if he falls this far, but if the Vikings can get a franchise quarterback early and then land a player like Jackson in the fourth round, that would be a huge win.