Vikings Draft 2024: Post-Super Bowl 7-round mock draft

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye
North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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Fourth-Round Pick No. 2 (117th Overall)

Payton Wilson - LB (North Carolina State)

Projected Trade: Vikings trade picks No. 129 and No. 178 to Indianapolis for pick No. 117

With so many picks still at their disposal, it would be nice if the Vikings could package a few and go get players that can contribute right away. Luckily, Payton Wilson was still on the board, and Minnesota was able to move up to grab him at pick 117.

Ivan Pace was exceptional as a rookie, but he needs a long-term running mate in the middle of the defense. Payton Wilson is a decorated college player who had a good week at the Senior Bowl, a week that he needed because his testing numbers will not be crazy.

Wilson is coming off a season with 138 total tackles, 6.0 sacks, and 17.5 tackles for loss. He also recorded three interceptions for the Wolf Pack in 2023.

Ivan Pace is a smaller linebacker who excels as a blitzer and tackler in space. Adding Wilson and his size to the middle of the defense seems like the perfect pairing. Wilson could be an immediate starter who can play for six to seven years and be a reliable player at the second level, but he will be available on Day 3 because of his lack of athleticism at the combine.

This linebacker class features a ton of pure athletes who will fly off the board on Day 2. The NFL has been trending toward speedy linebackers who can play sideline to sideline and hold their own in coverage, but there is still a need for early-down run defenders.