Vikings Draft 2024: Pre-free agency 7-round mock draft

Former Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy
Former Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The new league year is about to begin and the Minnesota Vikings are preparing for a busy free agency period. What might their draft look like heading into free agency?

The rumors are starting to swirl that the Minnesota Vikings are going to be aggressive in searching for a young quarterback in the draft. With a bunch of talented quarterbacks at the top of the draft, the Vikings will certainly have an opportunity to start fresh.

It is increasingly likely that four quarterbacks will be selected in the first 10 selections, which means the Vikings would have to trade up in order to grab a player they want to replace Kirk Cousins. The Atlanta Falcons (eighth overall), Denver Broncos (12th overall), and Las Vegas Raiders (13th overall) could also be in the mix to trade up for a quarterback.

Things will get tricky for the Vikings as they are already short a third-round selection thanks to the deal that brought T.J. Hockenson to Minnesota. If they do decide to trade up, there is a chance they might not pick again until the fourth round of this draft.

Ultimately, the Vikings will probably make the move up in the draft but will not have to sacrifice their entire future in doing so. Rather than giving up an arm and a leg to move into the top three, they should be able to move into the fifth overall pick and keep some other assets in the process.

As they head into free agency, here is how Minnesota might attack the 2024 NFL Draft.

First-Round Pick (5th overall)

J.J. McCarthy - QB (Michigan)

It is starting to appear that J.J. McCarthy's floor is the Vikings at the 11th overall pick. With several bidders in play, Minnesota will have to move up in the draft to secure their next signal caller.

Whether or not McCarthy would be the starting quarterback in 2024 would be a question that is answered later on as he does have some developing to do, but he does have plenty of upside and a strong arm that can at least provide some excitement.

In this scenario, the Vikings sent picks 11 and 42, along with a second-round selection in 2025, to the Chargers for picks 5 and 69. The Chargers can still land one of the top cornerbacks or pass catchers in the class while adding extra value for the future.

If this is the route the Vikings take, I would expect them to at least bring in a veteran quarterback who can mentor McCarthy and compete for the starting job for the 2024 season. Regardless, there is steam that Minnesota's front office is infatuated with McCarthy, and there is a lot to like.

He has a cannon for an arm and can do enough with his legs to keep plays alive. As he develops as an NFL passer, having that ability to extend plays and create for himself will help take some of the pressure off his shoulders. He would also be joining an elite group of playmakers that can only help his game.

I would strongly prefer one of the top three quarterbacks in this class, but with a trade into that range seeming much more difficult lately, McCarthy is trending toward being the guy. Could they build something special around the quarterback with the smallest workload of the bunch?