Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Presented by

Lunchbreak: ESPN Breaks Down 'Key Questions' & Projects Quarterbacks Draft Range

We've made it to 2024 NFL Draft Week.

As teams are preparing for the three-day event, media members are continuing to make predictions and discuss potential scenarios.

ESPN Analytics' Seth Walder recently broke down “key questions about the draft using the Draft Day Predictor," a tool used to "forecast pick probabilities" for this year's prospects.

Walder first asked which quarterback is most likely to come off the board at No. 2, operating under the widely accepted assumption that Chicago will use the No. 1 pick to snag USC's Caleb Williams. Walder wrote:

Jayden Daniels, though there's still a fair bit of uncertainty. The model gives the LSU quarterback a [49-percent] chance to be the selection at No. 2, with North Carolina's Drake Maye at 21 [percent] and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy at 15 [percent], respectively. The remaining possibilities consist of Williams and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. – probabilities that are almost certainly inflated. Any model like this requires uncertainty, though there is little actual doubt that Williams will go No. 1 and the Commanders will take a QB at No. 2.

The model believes Daniels has the edge – and he is probably an odds-on favorite if we mentally redistribute the Williams and Harrison probabilities – but it's no slam dunk.

Walder's second question asked how far back the Cardinals (slated to pick at No. 4) or Chargers (slated to pick at No. 5) could trade back and still land one of the top three receivers in Harrison, LSU's Malik Nabers or Washington's Rome Odunze. This topic is particularly interesting considering some experts expect the Vikings to attempt a trade up from their 11th overall spot.

If a wideout is the target, the Cardinals or Chargers will have to assess how much risk they will tolerate. If they decide to trade with one of the quarterback-hungry teams in the 11-13 range – the Vikings, Broncos and Raiders – they'd likely have to move back up to take one of the top receivers. If they're willing to drop a tier, LSU's Brian Thomas, Jr., is extremely likely to be available at Nos. 11, 12 or 13.

Another topic that could be intriguing to Vikings fans is, "What is McCarthy's most likely draft range and landing spot?"

Walder noted that of the top four quarterbacks, McCarthy "has the widest range."

He could be selected as early as No. 2 overall (though less likely than Daniels or Maye) and has at least a [4-percent] chance to be selected at every spot after that up until pick No. 9. The reason, of course, is trades. Yes, there are QB-needy teams at Nos. 2, 3 and 6 (maybe even No. 7?), and those are his most likely landing spots – but everyone else is a potential trade-down team.

McCarthy's most likely landing spot is No. 6, where he has a [31-percent] chance to be selected. While there's plenty of speculation about trades at Nos. 4 and 5, McCarthy could fall right into the Giants lap if one doesn't happen.

There's a [92-percent] chance that McCarthy is gone within the top 10. That leaves an [8-percent] chance at a potential Vikings coup at No. 11, in which Minnesota would land McCarthy without having to trade up and likely having to part with its other first-round pick (No. 23).

Click here to read Walder's full article and seven additional questions.

CBS Sports calls Maye 'ideal' pick for Minnesota

In advance of the draft, Garrett Podell opined each team’s “most ideal” selection in the first round.

"Ideal" of course does not imply most likely. But if the board shook out perfectly for every team, what would that look like?

Podell said the ideal situation for Minnesota would be landing Maye. He acknowledged the North Carolina quarterback "won't last until the 11th pick" and said the Vikings should trade up into the top three for a chance.

Podell noted that new Vikings quarterbacks coach Josh McCown coached Maye at Myers Park High School in Charlotte.

In looking around the NFC North, Podell stuck with Caleb Williams to Chicago and said Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean would be an ideal match for the Packers. He wrote:

Cooper DeJean was a 2023 unanimous All-American after allowing zero touchdowns on 374 coverage snaps last season. He also has the positional versatility to line up all over the secondary.

DeJean would be a strong addition to new [Defensive Coordinator] Jeff Hafley's aggressive defense that promises to use more man coverage and blitz concepts than predecessor Joe Barry. Lining up opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander or new Packers safety Xavier McKinney could add even more juice to the Green Bay secondary.

As for Detroit? Podell would like to see the Lions land Texans defensive lineman Byron Murphy II – who is projected to go significantly higher than Detroit's current pick at No. 29.

He totaled the most quarterback pressures (45) and the highest quarterback pressure rate (17 percent, among those with least 250 pass rushes) among defensive tackles in college football in 2023.

Murphy's presence inside could open opportunities for Aidan Hutchinson to convert more of his quarterback pressures into sacks in 2024.