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Lunchbreak: J.J. McCarthy & Dallas Turner in ESPN's Top 20 Favorite Draft Picks

With the 2024 NFL Draft now behind us, experts have spent time evaluating not just the players but where those players ended up and how they'll impact their new teams.

ESPN's Matt Miller recently posted his top 100 favorite picks but noted the list wasn't based on pure talent. Rather, he took into consideration "value, scheme fit, how the selection addressed a need, what the prospect brings on the field and whether additional assets were gained and lost in draft-day trades to acquire him."

Both the Vikings first-round picks ended up on Miller's list, and both were in the top 20.

Outside linebacker Dallas Turner, whom Minnesota traded up from 23 to 17 to snag, was ranked No. 9 overall. Miller wrote:

I didn't love the value of the trade to go get Turner, which is the only reason this pick isn't even higher on this list. Focusing more on the player and the team fit, he'll have an opportunity to be a big-time impact right out of the gate opposite Jonathan Greenard. Turner had 10 sacks last season and has great speed getting after the passer.

The Vikings also traded up to get Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, though they only had to move one spot (from 11 to 10) to get him.

McCarthy's selection was ranked 19th on Miller's list.

When looking at the value of this pick, yes, the Vikings slightly reached. But when adding the context that they didn't panic and trade up into the top five picks for McCarthy, this grades out much better. McCarthy is pro-ready coming out of Jim Harbaugh's system and enters an offense with a ready-made infrastructure for a young passer. The offense has great skill players, a talented offensive line and a savvy play caller. The scheme fit is ideal.

It's worth looking at who Miller ranked in his top 10, starting with division-rival Chicago's picks at Nos. 1 and 2.

Miller topped his list with receiver Rome Odunze (No. 9 overall), and he was followed by quarterback Caleb Williams, whom the Bears took with the No. 1 overall selection.

Chicago's second pick of the first round was my favorite of the entire draft for a few reasons. Not only was this a great value for Chicago – a difference of six spots in ranking vs. slot inside the top 10 is huge – but it's also smart to help your rookie quarterback with a star rookie wide receiver. It also helps that Caleb Williams (said QB) and Odunze have been working out together since the 2023 college season ended. Odunze led the nation in receiving last season (1,640 yards) and fills out a potentially really good offense.

Miller ranked Cardinals receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr., (No. 4) third and Chiefs receiver Xavier Worthy (No. 28) fourth.

At No. 5 was Washington quarterback Jayden Daniels, whom the Commanders drafted with the second pick. The highest-ranked second-round pick was Steelers new center Zach Frazier, nabbed 51st overall by Pittsburgh. Miller ranked him No. 6.

At No. 7 was receiver Adonai Mitchell, whom the Colts used their 52nd pick for. The Vikings are slated to face Indianapolis at home this season.

The Colts are building an all-star roster at wide receiver with quarterback Anthony Richardson entering his second season. Mitchell is an elite deep threat with 4.34 speed and 11 touchdowns for the Longhorns last season. He's exactly what the team needed to pair with Michael Pittman, Jr., and Josh Downs. His speed, size and ball skills will make him an ideal vertical target to open up the Indianapolis offense.

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

Cornerback Cooper DeJean (Eagles, No. 40) and Turner were Nos. 8 and 9, respectively, and Miller ranked cornerback Terrion Arnold at No. 10.

The Lions drafted Arnold with the 24th overall selection, and Minnesota is scheduled to face him twice a season.

The Lions may have had the best first two rounds of the draft of any team when you look at the value they got. Arnold, my top cornerback in the class, perfectly personifies the type of feisty, tough player that [Head Coach] Dan Campbell and [Defensive Coordinator] Aaron Glenn want. He'll likely be tasked with the team's top CB role, and behind a remade defensive line, he has a chance to post Defensive Rookie of the Year-level numbers.

Click here to read Miller's full top 100.

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

Vikings-Falcons among's 'Top 10 games' for 2024 season

This is no surprise, but the Vikings-Falcons matchup during the 2024 season is being called one of's top projected matchups.

Kevin Patra ranked the top 10 games of the upcoming campaign, and the showdown between Minnesota and Atlanta landed at No. 8 – no doubt because quarterback Kirk Cousins signed with the Falcons this spring after six seasons with the Vikings. Add to that Atlanta's intriguing first-round draft selection of quarterback Michael Penix, Jr., last weekend, and it makes the matchup that much more intriguing.

Patra wrote:

This was a borderline matchup for me. Then the draft passed, and both clubs became much more interesting. Rationalize or hate the Falcons drafting of Michael Penix, Jr., at No. 8 overall, but it undeniably added an undercurrent to ATL's offseason. Will Kirk Cousins be looking over his shoulder when he heads back to Minnesota? Does the former Vikings QB regret not returning to the Gopher State? How does Cousins look in Zac Robinson's offense compared to the Kevin O'Connell version he was shining in pre-injury?

With Cousins gone, the Vikings pushed their chips into the J.J. McCarthy basket. However you feel about the national champion quarterback, there is no question he landed in an ideal spot, with a great play-caller, excellent pass catchers and a solid offensive tackle situation. McCarthy is probably happy the Falcons took Penix, so he doesn't have to face whatever pass rusher they might have drafted instead.

The 2024 NFL schedule has not yet been released, so it remains to be seen what date and time the NFC teams will face each other.

Jonathan Greenard to make 'Initials Game' debut

KFAN's The Power Trip isn't wasting any time in welcoming one of the Vikings new additions.

Per an announcement on Twitter/X, free agent signee Jonathan Greenard will join The Power Trip Friday morning to compete the in the viral game.