Vikings replace Danielle Hunter with second first-round pick in 2024 NFL Draft

Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Dallas Turner
Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Dallas Turner / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Shortly after they made a trade to move up in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft and select former Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, the Minnesota Vikings made another big splash when they made a deal to move up in the opening round again to land former Alabama pass rusher Dallas Turner.

In order to select Turner, the Vikings agreed to a trade that saw them send picks No. 23 and No. 167 along with third and fourth-round picks in 2025 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the No. 17 pick.

Turner is not only the second defensive player Minnesota has selected in the first round since Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over as the team's general manager, but he is the first edge rusher drafted in the opening round by the franchise since 2005, when the Vikings used a first-round pick on Erasmus James.

Minnesota Vikings select Dallas Turner in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

In Turner, Minnesota is getting arguably the top pass-rushing prospect who was available in this year's draft pool. He's got freakish athleticism (9.49 RAS score) and he's very good at making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.

In 14 games at Alabama last season, Turner accumulated 53 tackles (14.5 for a loss), 10 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Combine this with his 4.49 speed, and he's going to be a great addition to the aggressive defense that Brian Flores likes to run in Minnesota.

The best thing about Turner might be that he doesn't have to play immediately for the Vikings next season. Earlier this year, Minnesota signed pass rushers Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel in free agency, so the rookie can begin his NFL career as a situational pass rusher if Flores feels that is necessary. At the same time, it wouldn't be shocking if Turner emerged out of training camp as a Week 1 starter.

Some Vikings fans were probably disappointed when the team decided not to re-sign longtime pass rusher Danielle Hunter. But Hunter was looking for a big payday and Minnesota clearly had other intentions with what they wanted to do with their assets this offseason.

So after two picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Vikings have potentially landed a new franchise quarterback and a new franchise pass rusher. Minnesota fans should feel pretty happy with what their favorite team was able to do on night one of this year's draft.

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