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Monday Morning Mailbag: Recapping Vikings Additions of McCarthy, Turner & More in NFL Draft

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The 2024 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror.

There was quite a bit of buzz toward the Vikings efforts, which included exercising patience early in Round 1 and then getting aggressive in a response to the way the board fell. We'll publish a roundup of draft report cards later today.

Minnesota drafted quarterback J.J. McCarthy at No. 10 (after nudging up one spot) and outside linebacker Dallas Turner at No. 17 (after winning a bidding battle and moving up six spots).

At two premier positions, the Vikings landed two players who have excelled at the highest levels of college football in championship-standard programs. And both had a high interest level in becoming Vikings. Check out the video of calls to the picks to hear their excitement.

It looked like the Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party was a blast on Thursday before and after those selections were announced. I heard positives from attendees and colleagues.

The Vikings did not have a pick in Rounds 2 or 3 but returned to action Saturday with the following selections:

No. 108 (fourth round): Khyree Jackson, a cornerback out of Oregon who had previously teamed with Turner at Alabama and also was a deli employee of the month

No. 177 (sixth round): Walter Rouse, a tackle who transferred to Oklahoma after earning his biomedical engineering degree at Stanford

No. 203 (sixth round): Will Reichard, who teamed with Turner and Jackson on the way to breaking the NCAA scoring record

No. 230 (seventh round): Michael Jurgens, a versatile interior offensive lineman from Wake Forest

No. 232 (seventh round): Levi Drake Rodriguez, an interior defensive lineman who splashed at Texas A&M-Commerce after playing football and baseball at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas (read more on Jurgens and Rodriguez)

View college action photos of every Vikings pick from the 2024 NFL Draft.

As someone who has a deep passion and appreciation for the storytelling opportunities of this job, I love learning the backstories of Day 3 picks, but I'm also sometimes admittedly flustered because of the high volume of picks and limited time to try to turn that content.

This was the ninth NFL Draft that I've gotten to work with Lindsey Young on the Vikings editorial content team, and I really want to credit the job that she continues to do. It was neat to see several colleagues work an NFL Draft for the first time, as well.

Our team would like to thank everyone out there who checked out any content item over the weekend, whether it was a video, photo, article, social post, graphic, etc. We'll keep making more content.

Congratulations to all 257 players selected by a team, as well as the undrafted free agents who signed. Joining an NFL team is just the beginning of their stories, the page in the book before one even reaches the table of contents. Good look to all as they write their NFL stories.

Last but certainly not least, kudos to General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the Vikings personnel department, Head Coach Kevin O'Connell, assistant coaches, support staff and ownership on the completion of another draft.

Hours upon hours go into evaluating players and trying to develop the best draft strategy each year. Scouts look under every stone, and their families make plenty of trade-offs for all the time their jobs have them on the road.

I think we did a great job in the draft. We got high-character players. Many of them are great students also. The scouts did a great job scouring every nook and cranny. Jurgens and Rodriguez will be pleasant surprises. Jackson has a great story that is just getting started. He has the physical traits to be very good. Let's see what the coaches can do. McCarthy and Turner will contribute soon. I cannot wait to see how they use Turner and Jackson in our defense.

— Gerald Goblirsch

We'll lead off today with how the draft concluded, with Minnesota correctly identifying Jurgens and Rodriguez as players who would be available at picks 230 and 232.

Jurgens and Rodriguez were both invited for Top 30 visits earlier this month, and both continued to make good impressions on the organization.

Saturday's activity began with Jackson. Please check out Lindsey's feature on him if you haven't already (link is above).

He's north of 6-foot-3 but has better agility than some players that tall. I remember more than a few of his reps at the Reese's Senior Bowl practices.

The Vikings went through an extensive process in evaluating all six quarterbacks who were drafted in the first round. I'm expecting the coaches to be as meticulous in developing McCarthy as they were in sizing up this year's field. They'll also commit to being honest with his developmental curve and can be after signing veteran Sam Darnold in free agency.

Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores is already drawing up some ideas for Turner. Folks ought to be looking forward to that, especially with all the other additions that side of the ball has made this offseason.

Absolutely love the picks!!! J.J. and Dallas should help immensely. My thoughts are for Paul Allen when he announces the first big pass from J.J. to J.J. Have you thought about how you will say that in your famous voice?? Or do the phrases just pour out naturally?? We love listening to the highlights with your narration.

— Derek in North Dakota


Can't wait to hear P.A. saying:

J.J. to J.J. touchchchch-down!

J.J. to T.J. touchchchch-down!

J.J. to A.J. touchchchch-down!

J.J. hands off to A.J. touchdown!

— Rick in Roseville, California

Combining these two notes since they both referenced "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen.

I've been able to see some of the prep work that P.A. puts into his craft and each show. Knowing the effort that went into the calls that he makes roll off the tongue gives me an added layer of appreciation for his talent.

Just a heads up, Allen is scheduled to record this morning's 9 to Noon show from Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. Vikings Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Ryan Grigson is scheduled to join at 10 a.m. (CT), and McCarthy is scheduled to join at 11 a.m. (CT). Timing for Turner was being determined at the completion of this Mailbag.

Be sure to check out KFAN 100.3-FM in the Twin Cities or through the iHeartRadio app.

Any special UDFA situations like last year where they gave a significant bonus?


— Craig Rotz in Boston, Massachusetts

The end of the draft is always a frenzy with teams signing undrafted free agents. Minnesota announced it agreed to terms with 17 players after the draft.

I'm not privy to the contract negotiations, but some details usually get reported as time progresses.

We'll provide more football and background info on those players this week ahead of that group joining the draft class at next week's rookie minicamp.

I was pretty happy after Day 1. McCarthy & Turner could be longtime studs (hopefully). Jackson was a nice pick on Day 3. But Rouse is questionable. I hope he can play guard. And the kicker has potential.

We cannot go into the season standing pat on our defensive tackles. We are very weak at defensive tackle, and three that come to mind that we could have gotten late draft were Gabe Hall, Khristian Boyd and Mekhi Wingo. Obviously now we will need to see who gets released during camp unless there's a free agent still out there.

— "Big Bad Bud"

I didn't sync the timing of Bud's email with where we were in the draft, but it came through at some point Saturday after the selections of Rouse and Reichard in the sixth round and before the seventh.

Rouse started for four years at Stanford before hitting another stride as a graduated senior at Oklahoma. He's played left tackle for right- and left-handed QBs in college. He is likely to be tasked with working at multiple spots so the Vikings can gauge his versatility.

A sixth-round pick, especially on the offensive line, is usually viewed as a developmental player with a much different curve than the tackles who flew off the board in the first round. His arms are 35 inches long, which is an asset on the perimeter of an offensive line.

Reichard delivered time and again for the Crimson Tide on his way to the NCAA scoring record. He built friendships with Turner and Jackson during their overlaps at Alabama.

Wingo was drafted by Detroit with the 189th pick, and Boyd was selected at 199 by New Orleans. Hall was not drafted but is joining Philadelphia as a free agent.

I don't evaluate players professionally. The Athletic's Dane Brugler ranked 173 defensive tackles for his draft guide, going in depth on 30 of them. He slotted Wingo ninth, Hall 11th Boyd 19th and Rodriguez 26th.

The Vikings also agreed to terms with Taki Taimani from Oregon and Tyler Manoa out of Arizona. Brugler ranked Taimani 28th and Manoa 72nd.

Rodriquez transitioned from defensive end at SAGU to defensive tackle at Texas A&M-Commerce, the same alma mater as former Vikings draft picks Autry Beamon (1975), Wade Wilson (1981) and Antonio Wilson (2000).

He's been under the radar, but one comment that stood out in Brugler's write-up was, "As a 3-technique, Rodriguez's game is built on quickness and a relentless, violent temperament."

Congratulations to the Vikings, Coach O'Connell, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and all the staff and coaches. I am very pleased with the picks of quarterback J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner. I was a little nervous of the draft picks capital that was given, but it was worth it. I understand the plan with the cap space opening next year.

— Gill Sorg in New Mexico


**I love the first-round moves to get J.J. and Turner.

But on the trade up for Turner, we gave up a third (2025), fourth (2025), and fifth (2024) to move up six spots, while Detroit gave up only a third (2024) — and got a seventh (2025) back! — to move up five spots.

Why did we pay such a premium while Detroit got much more favorable terms?

— Jeff Sabini in Costa Mesa, California**

The trade for McCarthy involved receiving the 10th pick used on him and the 203rd for Reichard coming to Minnesota in exchange for sending the 11th, 129th and 157th picks to the Jets.

The vault from 23 to 17 cost Minnesota the 23rd and 167th picks this year, as well as a third- and fourth-round pick in 2025.

That shrinks the number of selections for Minnesota next year, but that can be increased a few ways, or offset by signing veterans in free agency or landing undrafted free agents. If the number doesn't change, then Minnesota might not have as much flexibility to navigate the board within the draft.

As for Jeff's question about the difference in costs, those can be determined by a few factors.

Although the number of spots is nearly similar (six to five), moving from the 20s to the teens is almost always going to be more expensive than going from the late- to mid-20s.

The Vikings were likely in competition with a few other teams in order to have access to the third defensive player selected. Many viewed Turner as worthy of a Top-10 selection, but the offensive surge to open the draft made some really good defensive players land below where they would in most years.

It's possible that the Lions were the only one willing to two-step with the Cowboys, but Detroit was able to efficiently add a cornerback in Terrion Arnold who also was highly touted.

Got to say Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell did a great job on Day 1 of the draft this year! REALLY. Kudos to them and the rest of the staff for their process and our newest additions.

They were willing to move and bend a bit but didn't give away the future. I believe they added some great pieces of need on both sides. Wowza.

Hopefully they can find some diamonds in the rough in the later rounds: DT, CB and a big, quick WR to bolster the rest of the roster.


— JD in Alaska

JD's email obviously came in between Thursday and Saturday, but I wanted to include it because A) I love the word "Wowza"; and B) his list of needs DT, CB and big quick WR had some overlap with what the Vikings did to conclude the draft.

The Vikings agreed to terms with Ty James (Mercer) and Jeshaun Jones (Maryland), who were ranked 55th and 56th among receivers by Brugler. James is 6-foot and 199 pounds, and Jones is listed at 6-1 and 186.

James' teammate at Mercer, Devron Harper (5-9 and 170 according to the school's website) also agreed to terms with the Vikings.

JD probably had someone larger in mind.

N'Keal Harry (6-4, 225), a former first-round pick, is the biggest receiver on the Vikings roster. Minnesota also added Trent Sherfield, Sr. (6-1 and 206) during free agency.

Why do the Minnesota Vikings have to wait a year for draft picks because Atlanta was tampering with Kirk Cousins? You don't see the NFL waiting a year to penalize players? We could have received higher picks this year versus next year!!

— James Barber

The idea of the NFL concluding its investigation into the signing of Cousins by the Falcons was teased at the start of last week, but media reports changed to say it would not be concluded before the 2024 NFL Draft.

I don't know what the investigation process looks like, but I covered crime and courts for a newspaper in South Carolina for about two years. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison between a league's enforcement of policies and the laws of a state and/or nation, but I do know that investigations can take time.

It's unclear what the league will determine and if any findings will benefit Minnesota or result in other happenings, but I prefer to focus on the 2024 Vikings, the new additions and the expected release of the schedule in early May.

What is the cutoff date where signing unrestricted free agents doesn't affect the compensatory formula? Curious as to picking up extra compensation for Dalton Risner if we don't re-sign him.

— Rick in Blaine

The cutoff is 3 p.m. (CT) on the Monday after an NFL Draft.

For those a little less familiar with compensatory picks, the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement uses a formula (covered in depth here by that accounts for teams' gains and losses in free agency and then assigns picks in the third-through-seventh rounds of the following year's draft.

Teams with the greatest net losses in free agency receive higher compensatory picks. The calculation is not a quantity-only adjustment. It has to do with average yearly financial compensation, honors and game participation.

The Vikings are projected right now to receive a third-round pick for Cousins' departure to Atlanta, but that is the only one forecasted to Minnesota by