Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Presented by

Monday Morning Mailbag: Vikings Options in Draft Wide-Ranging

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday we'll post several comments and/or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag. Although we can't post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

Click here to submit a comment or question to the Mailbag. Remember to include your name and town in the email. If Twitter is your jam, you can send a question to me that way as well.

The Vikings voluntary offseason workout program starts today, opening a multi-month span in which teams will progress through meetings and workouts to more meetings and on-field practices.

There's an uptick in energy in the building when players return and others start their Vikings tenures, and it usually times out just days before the NFL Draft, which is scheduled this year for April 25-27.

Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's pre-draft press conference last Thursday centered on Minnesota's situation at quarterback. Lindsey Young and I put together some takeaways from that session.

Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell is scheduled to speak at noon (CT) today, so be sure to catch the stream of that session here on or the team's social media platforms.

As a reminder, tickets for the Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party (April 25 at U.S. Bank Stadium) became available earlier this month. Vikings Season Ticket Members receive two complimentary tickets. General admission tickets are available to all non-Season Ticket Members for $15, and there are a couple of premium experiences available for purchase. Visit for more details.

2024 draft party website ad

2024 Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party

The Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party is Back at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 25! Get your tickets to meet Vikings players and Legends while taking in complete coverage of the First Round of the NFL Draft.

I have been a Vikings fan since the first Super Bowl and am still optimistic they'll win one before I die. This is a particularly exciting offseason, and I am very pleased with the moves Kwesi and O'Connell have made. Freeing up cap space and improving the first round are huge for the future. Naturally, it all comes down to who they draft at QB. First and foremost, I think they should try and get whoever O'Connell wants. He was brought here to improve the QB position. Bottom line, it was not working with Kirk. If he wants one of the Big 4 (listing alphabetically by last name: Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, Caleb Williams), Kwesi should try to get him, but I'm not sure that we will find a dance partner as all of the top 5 teams have first-round needs, most also at QB. I think either Bo Nix or Michael Penix, Jr., at 11 would be great picks. They are two of the most experienced QBs in the draft with extraordinary arms and decision-making abilities. Some may think we could wait until 23 to get one of them, but, if Kevin wants one of them, don't blow it. While a DT would be great, that is not the position that will take you to the promised land, and we could still land a great defensive player at 23. I think with great coaching, [Sam] Darnold will be a good placeholder for all or much of next season, maybe even a pleasant surprise, but '25 is the year all the moves are pointing toward. SKOL Vikings!

— John in Indianapolis

I was talking last week with a co-worker who has joined the Vikings in the past year and is excited for her first draft with the team. I explained how unique this offseason and lead up to this draft have been.

I'm not saying Minnesota absolutely will draft a quarterback in the first round, but if that happens, it will be the first time since I've been with the club because I didn't start in 2014 until September, coincidentally debuting with Teddy Bridgewater's first start against the Falcons.

And, if Minnesota does go with a signal caller at 11, it will match Daunte Culpepper in 1999 for the highest pick the Vikings have ever used for a QB. That also means a trade-up would provide a historical first time of taking a QB in the Top 10.

While there can be plenty of differences of opinion as to what Minnesota should do to best improve the roster for now and the mid-range future, as well as which player would be the best at a particular position, fans can take some solace from O'Connell's experience as a former NFL QB, his time as a position coach, offensive coordinator and head coach. He has a background that can really benefit quarterbacks as they develop, even if they've been in the NFL for a few seasons already like Darnold.

Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell have fostered plenty of collaboration, and I'm sure the head coach's opinions are appreciated heading into this draft.

I'm completely fascinated by the depth of the quarterback class in this year's draft. Adofo-Mensah noted last week that the Vikings have had a two-year process of evaluating this group.

Thus, this class was worth the time that Minnesota invested before knowing whether or not it would be moving on from Kirk Cousins.

It's a lesson in futility, but I do it anyway for fun. I am a draftnik, and every year, I do my own mock draft. Once in a while, I have hit on a couple picks. It's a shame we do not have a second- or third-round pick this year, but we did make a trade with Houston to get another first round pick. Hopefully the Vikings will be able to get their quarterback of the future. I would be surprised if Kwesi didn't make a few more trades to move around. But barring other trades, here is my 2024 mock draft.

Round 1, trade with the Patriots or Arizona. The Vikings trade No. 11, No. 23 and something else to move up.

Round 1 QB J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) or Drake Maye (North Carolina)

Round 4 DT Jaden Crumedy (Mississippi State)

Round 4 CB Cam Hart (Notre Dame)

Round 5 RB Kendall Milton (Georgia)

Round 5 G Gottlieb Ayedze (Maryland)

Round 6 CB Caelen Carson (Wake Forrest)

Round 7 DE Javontae Jean-Baptiste (Notre Dame)

Round 7 WR Luke McCaffrey (Rice)


— David Bond in Rochester, Minnesota

Love the enthusiasm for compiling your own mock draft. We've tried to get a broad range of perspectives in our Mock Draft Trackers, but the most recent (Version 6.0) featured plenty of groupthink toward trading up to select either J.J. McCarthy or Drake Maye.

It's understandable why many have increased their forecasting of such a situation in the past month since Minnesota acquired the No. 23 pick from Houston.

Beyond that, David's mock includes positions that many would see as areas where the Vikings could benefit from addressing at some point during the draft.

With nine selections entering the draft, Adofo-Mensah will have more flexibility to navigate the board in either direction if he has a desire to do so.

I see the kicking position is up in the air with Greg Joseph gone and only John Parker Romo on the roster. Been watching the UFL and Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates might be worthy. He's 3-for-3 so far this year. He's hit from 64, 62 and 53 yards straight down the middle with room to spare. Not bad. Vikings should keep an eye on him and not let him get away if he continues to impress.

— Chip from Spring Park, Minnesota

I've heard about Bates' success so far in the UFL, particularly on those long-range connections.

Parker Romo did well for the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL's 2023 season, making 17 of 19 field goals.

Romo was 6-for-6 from 20-29 yards, 2-for-3 from 30-39, 7-for-7 from 40-49 and 2-for-3 from 50-plus with a long of 57 in the XFL, which merged with the USFL as the UFL for the 2024 season.

The new NFL kickoff rule, implemented on a one-year trial basis for 2024, was inspired by the XFL, so Parker-Romo's experience with that could be a big help to the Vikings, as well.

Minnesota could opt to add another kicker between now and camp to have a competition.

Just remember [Christian] Ponder & [Lewis] Cine and don't try to be so smart that we mortgage the future as we did with the [Herschel] Walker trade!!

Just really concerned going into the upcoming Draft.

— John Stephens in St. Albert, Minnesota

I think I've previously explained cautious optimism, but I do know Adofo-Mensah has spoken this year about how it can be a trap for a team to think it is just one player away.

The Vikings will go into the draft with a full cost-benefit analysis of trading or staying and well-developed opinions on each prospect and path toward improving the team. Some moves don't work out from year to year, but that's not exclusive to the Vikings, whether it was in 1989 with Walker, 2011 with Ponder or 2022 with Cine, whose impact got derailed by the broken leg injury but might change going forward.

The timing of drafting a QB in the first round in 2011 was not advantageous because of the lockout that took away offseason work. It also happened to be Leslie Frazier's first full season as a head coach.

I mention that to point out any QB drafted by any team this year should have a better development track than the 2011 class from the get-go, and if one lands here, it will be a spot with a beneficial setup already in place, because of O'Connell's experience at QB and the fact he's going into his third season.

Lifetime fan with a beyond lifetime family fans, as Dad and Mom passed without a Super Bowl victory.

Love the Monday Morning Mailbag. I look forward to it every week.

Listen, please. Do not mortgage this year for a highly touted quarterback. Sam Darnold was a number 3. What do you think you'll get with a No. 4? Let O'Connell coach him up, strengthen the team around him, and go win a flippin' Super Bowl.

All I got for now. SKOL

— Tim Burkard, residing in Texas, but bleed Purple.

Thanks for carrying on the family legacy and for your continued MMM readership.

I'm sorry that your father and mother did not get to see their team win it all. Your message brought back memories from the Cubs in 2016. I grew up watching them on WGN after school, spending so much valued time with my grandfather during some good and some bad seasons. He had passed by the time the Cubs won it all, but I reflected on those times with him and hope it will feel that special to you and others when "Someday" becomes "The Day."

Darnold's experience in the NFL so far definitely isn't what anyone selected No. 3 overall in a draft would have chosen, but it's led him to this point to compete for a starting job in a system that shows many signs of being QB friendly.

I was telling my friend the day the Vikings acquired the 23rd overall pick the Vikings should take the best defensive player at 11 and then trade back into the first to take Bo Nix. After hearing that the Texans initiated the trade to get a second rounder to trade for [Stefon] Diggs, I am hoping this is the case and not to package the picks. The system O'Connell runs is made much better when he has an accurate QB. Nix just set an NCAA record for completion percentage at 77.4 percent while throwing for 45 TDs against 3 INTs. He also has played a record 61 games in college, so he has the experience to possibly compete with Darnold right away or at least boost the QB room. I honestly believe that he is the perfect fit for our offense and would love it if the draft fell that way. SKOL!

— Brian B.

Even though I wasn't on staff yet for the 2014 draft, I quickly saw some benefits fall on the Vikings with the selection of Anthony Barr at No. 9 and trading back into the first round on draft night for Bridgewater.

Staying put at both spots (11 and 23) is one approach; packaging both to move up is another; moving up or down from either spot independently offers additional courses of action.

That completion percentage by Nix is lofty, but it doesn't always reveal a comprehensive assessment of accuracy (Did QBs suffer drops by receivers or benefit from out-of-body catches? Were they accurate on all throws that O'Connell wants executed, etc.). I'm not trying to undercut that impressive number — just trying to mention a few of the considerations evaluators apply as they process levels of information. Nix's 61 starts was impacted slightly by the bonus year of eligibility (issued to NCAA players because of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020), but that's definitely valuable experience with two Power 5 schools (Auburn and Oregon).

The Vikings will try to predict how the Top 10 might shake out to determine if they need to make another move.

I'm sitting here waiting for better and warmer days to start planting. With so much available time for me, I decided to look at stats and film clips of prospective QBs coming into the draft. Basically, I looked at the top 4 QBs. I'll go out on a limb and say my pick for a new Vikings QB will be Drake Maye. Outside of arm strength, I see he has good downfield perception from right to left, the ability to scramble or hold tight in the pocket and would be an excellent passer for [Justin Jefferson] stretching the field or drilling a TE on a crossing route. He shows abilities that are the likes of Aaron Rogers, Patrick Mahomes and [Ben] Roethlisberger. I would be ecstatic should we draft him. Even more so if we don't trade our draft picks to go up and select him. So much is on the table for the Vikings in the draft, it's kind of scary.

SKOL and Best Wishes,

— Jerry in Ohio

This weekend was gorgeous in Minnesota, and hopefully that's stretching your way soon enough if not there yet. It's awesome to have so much footage on prospects available to watch and assess — in addition to having so many QBs mentioned as potential first-round picks.

Vikings Radio Network analyst Pete Bercich and Vikings Entertainment Network's Gabe Henderson will have Film Room critiques of several prospects coming your way on and in the app soon, and we'll also have our QB positional preview hitting next Monday.

We drafted DeWayne McBride, a running back who averaged 7 yards per carry, I believe. We saw him in preseason where admittedly he didn't set the world on fire. I was wondering if you could update his progress and how the Vikings see him in the future!

Thank you,

— Randy Schlingmann

Randy is correct that McBride averaged 7.3 yards per carry during his college career at UAB.

This included a whopping 1,713 yards on 233 carries as a junior in 2022.

With returning players coming back to start the offseason program, we'll keep an eye on McBride's potential steps forward in his second NFL season.

View photos of the Vikings 2024 coaching staff.

For starters, just wanted to mention that I bleed PURPLE. Also, I haven't wavered an inch in the past 30 years on my home-state Minnesota Vikings, through the unlucky years when it seemed that every bounce went the other way, to the era of constant ups and downs. With all that said, I'll get to my question/out of the box take on who we should consider drafting…

My thought if the draft goes QB 1, 2, and 3 and we are unable to get one for ourselves, trading into the fourth spot, and then drafting Marvin Harrison, Jr. Then right after the draft doing everything it takes to get a deal done with [Jefferson] to lock him in for the next four-to-five years. Giving us J.J., [Jordan Addison], and [Harrison] for the next three years minimally. Which then, I do believe we would have the best receiver corps in the NFL, giving Sam Darnold the greatest chance to succeed and prove to the rest of the NFL that they should have kept or gotten him. With things playing out this way, in a couple of years if we find ourselves in desperate need again, we could trade one of those receivers for draft capital or perhaps for another player, giving us flexibility again, to make moves if needed.

I know that we should be trying to get a QB, but I hope that we don't overpay to move up seven spots or decide to trade back. Otherwise, I must give the GM and head coach props for handling the last two years the way they did, and as long as we keep trending upwards, the sky has no limits.


— Stephen S. in Cloquet, Minnesota


Draft idea: I think the Vikings should trade Justin Jefferson to the Arizona Cardinals for their fourth overall pick in the 2024 draft and perhaps their first-round pick in 2025. (J.J. should be worth two No. 1s). Minnesota could then draft Marvin Harrison, Jr., with the 2024 pick and have a superstar wide receiver on a rookie contract. Obviously, the Arizona Cardinals would need to be interested, but what team needs a wide receiver worse than them?

— Unsigned


We have been in a competitive rebuild for the last couple of years. Unfortunately, we were left with a salary cap situation that was untenable, yet we have continued to compete. I see the draft upcoming as our way to continue to be competitive, yet truly set the table for the future. I am a Viking fan of 50 years and desperately want to see this team win a championship!

My thoughts are to trade our No. 11 and No. 23 pick to Arizona and draft Maye or McCarthy. Then, trade Jefferson to the Chargers (makes them a win-now team). In return, we get the No. 5 pick and a 2024 second rounder (maybe more). With the No. 5 pick, we draft Marvin Harrison, Jr. Unfortunately, I think Jefferson sees greener pastures beyond Minnesota. If we were able to sign him, the salary cap commitment will be problematic for years to come. By executing as suggested, we will remain competitive this year, but create a window to win a championship over the next two-to-five years with flexible cap space and a nucleus of young players.

Thanks for your thoughts,

— Marc in North Dakota

I'm grouping these three emails together because they both mention striking some kind of deal with the Cardinals and eventually winding up with Marvin Harrison, Jr., one way or another.

If the cost is going to be steep to move up, there would probably be a very limited number of players (positions) a team would be willing to make that move. Harrison has received strong assessments from evaluators and is one of several touted receivers in yet another strong class at the position.

Skill at receiver definitely helps any quarterback, but that is only one of many elements that a team can do (pass protection, running game, strong defense and special teams, sound offensive scheme, etc.).

Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell have consistently expressed their commitment to having Jefferson here via an extension, and I'm sure the Vikings will try to reward him while keeping some cap space for the rest of the roster.

View home and away photos of the Vikings 2024 regular season opponents.

The Vikings have done a decent job of finding some young replacements for the defense and been wise to fill other needs with one-year, prove-it deals. The truth is the team is still behind for even competing for a division title. The latest power ranking has them at 11 in the NFC and at the bottom of the division. Realistically a 2-4 record in the division next year and games against division favorites San Francisco, Houston, the Jets, Atlanta, and road games with Jacksonville, Seattle, and the Rams, it's going to be a tough road. It's my hope that they don't sell the farm to move up and give away their first next year. It could be a top-5 pick and bring us the potential of many options next year. Let's use the first picks this year on a couple more starters. In addition, is the difference between McCarthy and Penix worth the extra capital you're giving up? We have made a nice move to get the extra one but also have forfeited second round picks this year and next. I want management to be aggressive but also smart with being realistic as to where we really are at. Your thoughts?

— Rick in Blaine, Minnesota

The Vikings opponents in 2024 provide plenty of challenges, and the NFC North projects to be one of the stronger four-packs the NFL has to offer this fall.

If a move into the Top 10 is made, it's likely because the decision makers feel strongly enough about the player that there are several years of impact being projected.

When Buffalo moved up five spots (from 12 to 7 in 2018) to select Josh Allen, the Bills dealt their first, and two seconds to Tampa Bay in exchange for the No. 7 and a seventh-round pick.

The previous year, Kansas City vaulted 17 spots (from 27 to 10) to select Patrick Mahomes by sending their first, a 2017 third- and a 2018 first-round selection to Buffalo.

Both trade-ups worked well for those teams, but not everyone will be able to yield the results the Chiefs have collected from the Mahomes deal.

In order to try to have the best future success, I truly believe it's important to accurately assess the present and continue to learn from the past.

I think the Vikings should wait to see what QB is available at 11, take him and then then take a defensive player.

— Guadalupe V.

That certainly could be what happens if the board falls a certain way. Or, perhaps some initial patience as the draft opens is quickly followed by a move if other factors come into play.

With multiple teams ahead of and behind the Vikings falling into a category inclined to be interested in drafting a quarterback so early, it could make for some interesting theater on opening night.

The benefit of waiting is hanging on to other picks (and hopefully getting a big difference-maker at No. 23). Many projected offensive players flying off the board early, so that could lead to some really elite defensive players lasting a little longer than in some drafts.

We're expecting to move up in the draft to get our quarterback of the future. How focused is the organization on surrounding him with top-tier linemen either in the draft or by free agency?

Thanks & SKOL,

— Patrick from North Carolina


Would like to know what the Vikings are going to do about the offensive line, mainly the left side.

— Craig McCalister


What is the deal with Dalton Risner? Thought he played really well for us last year and was graded positively by PFF. He was a late signee last year and now this year as well. I would have thought he'd have been a higher priority.

— Nicole T.


Why haven't we re-signed Dalton Risner?

— Robin B.

It's rare for me to group four questions, but I included all of the above to show there are multiple people who are thinking about the offensive line.

The Vikings situation at tackle is strong. Left tackle Christian Darrisaw is heading into his fourth season. The Vikings could exercise their fifth-year option on the 2021 first-round pick, similar to the way they did for Jefferson for this upcoming season, perhaps on the way to a long-term deal.

The Vikings have spoken well of Darrisaw and right tackle Brian O'Neill, as well as veteran backup David Quessenberry, who was re-signed last month.

Risner started 11 games at left guard for Minnesota after joining the Vikings on a one-year deal in September. He brought a feistiness and effort through the whistle, as well as a loquacious locker room personality. I understand why fans have been interested to see what happens with him.

He remains a free agent. Teams are probably going to see how the draft shakes out before making many other moves with free agents, and then there could be another post-draft wave. I'm not privy to any in-depth assessments for any of the offensive linemen by Minnesota's coaches.

The interior has center Garrett Bradbury and right guard Ed Ingram returning under contract and added veteran center/guard Dan Feeney, as well as re-signed Blake Brandel.

Ask [O'Connell] why not use an offensive lineman as a fullback inside the 20-yard line or closer to pound the rock for a TD. As they are sitting on the bench and know how to block. I want more scoring to win games. I remember the Bears used to use "The Refrigerator" [William] Perry to score. I want the Vikes to WIN! Thanks for listening.

— Michael D.

The Fridge scoring from a yard out to put the Bears up 44-3 on the Patriots in the third quarter of Super Bowl XX gave some folks something to talk about in an otherwise dull second half.

The Vikings do already have a good fullback in C.J. Ham, but what if an extra o-lineman was then blocking for the Denfeld High School product?

I'm generally a fan of teams doing what they do best in the red zone and goal-to-go situations because the number of plays in that area of a field can be so limited.

Minnesota can improve its short-yardage run game over last year, but a key step in that might be Aaron Jones, who has scored 45 rushing touchdowns and 18 more through the air.

Michael Penix, Jr., will be drafted at 11 by the Vikings. There's a lot of smoke screens, but he is the best pure passer in this draft, and he fits perfectly in O'Connell offense. Jefferson, Addison and [T.J.] Hockenson will love this selection. So after they draft him, at 23 they will take Brian Thomas or Chop Robinson. Remember you heard it here on 4/6/24.

Thank you for hearing my noise.

— Rodger in Sacramento, California

Note: Rodger's email came in after I had already submitted last week's Mailbag, so I added it at the end of this edition.

We've seen Penix mocked to the Vikings a few times since we began our Mock Draft Trackers back in January. Here are links to each of the first six.

The frequency, however, has dropped quite a bit. Maybe that's smoke screens, maybe other information is affecting that decrease?

Thomas was included in last week's prospect preview of receivers and tight ends. Robinson will be grouped with the edge rushers later this week.