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Monday Morning Mailbag: Interior O-Line Construction; Draft Party Tickets Available

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We are rolling right along to the 2024 NFL Draft, which is less than three weeks away.

Vikings Entertainment Network's Tatum Everett visited NFL Network's headquarters in California last week to speak with multiple experts about what the Vikings might do between now and their scheduled time of going on the clock with the No. 11 and No. 23 picks in the first round (April 25).

Some of the interviews have already hit, and a couple others are on the way. We'll have a written summary by colleague Lindsey Young posting today on

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2024 Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party

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Tickets for the Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party (April 25 at U.S. Bank Stadium) became available last week. 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.

Also wanted to let you know that Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is scheduled to hold his pre-draft press conference this Thursday. We'll stream it live on and social platforms and provide coverage. We're also going to start rolling out positional draft previews this week.

Lastly, we're a week out from veteran players reporting for the start of the voluntary offseason workout program on April 15. That will be ramped up in phases toward Organized Team Activity practices in May and June and a mandatory minicamp in June, another sign that spring is on the way.

For a long time, I have always thought that a team should have two active centers on the roster. Both could be rotated in and out during a set of downs, and that could possibly create some confusion for the opposing team. Don`t get me wrong. I know [Garrett] Bradbury is a good center, but a long, hard-fought game takes a toll on even the best of players. It was good to see Dan Feeney get signed even though he is more of a guard than a center. Some good training for him at center could produce that rotation possibility with Bradbury to keep both fresh throughout a game. Your thoughts about this?


— Jerry in Ohio

I think most teams want to have depth — and NFL-tested experience — at center because of the physicality of the position and the rigors that go along with being the nerve center of the offensive line. Centers can play an important part in setting the protection on pass plays and being a tremendous resource for a new veteran or rookie quarterback.

Bradbury is returning for his sixth pro season and third in Head Coach Kevin O'Connell's system. The 2019 first-round pick has started all 71 regular-season games he's played but has missed a combined 12 contests in the past three seasons.

Feeney's signing brings a fun personality to the group, as well as versatility and experience. He's started 65 of the 112 NFL games he's played, although he's only opened eight contests in the past three seasons.

Because of a center's role in the protections and the emphasis placed on offensive line continuity, along with the goal of having five players function together as one unit, the rotation within a game might be an unlikely approach.

I'm sure, however, the Vikings will cross-rep interior offensive linemen to have them work together during the offseason program and training camp so that anyone asked to fill in can try to step in as seamlessly as possible.

The Vikings have had a long list of really good quarterbacks, and most have left this team with career-ending injuries, mostly due to lack of protection. What are the Vikings leaders doing, in the area of a stronger offensive line, to mitigate QB injuries and to give the QB time to do his work?

— Jim R. in Minnetonka, Minnesota

In some situations, quarterbacks who have been brought in as free agents have joined the team at the tail ends of their respective careers, perhaps making them more susceptible to injuries than when they were with other teams.

There's also been non-contact injuries to Teddy Bridgewater (in a practice) and Kirk Cousins (torn Achilles at Lambeau Field in Week 8). Both of those created substantial ripple effects across the NFL. Cousins took several hits along the way but was tough and had not missed a game because of an injury until last year at Green Bay.

Providing sound protection is important, especially when the Vikings are turning to a new starting QB and need that player to have a foundational trust and confidence in the offensive line for the best chance at consistently playing at a high level.

Wins and losses are often restricted to only being assigned to quarterbacks, but teams can do a significant amount to increase the likelihood of winning and perhaps reducing wear and tear on a QB.

When do they assign the new players' jersey numbers?

— Dan Schroeder in Perham, Minnesota

It will be sooner than later, but there's always a little volatility involved, especially with so many newcomers, as well as the draft picks and undrafted rookies who will be added at the end of the month.

We'll keep you posted.

What are we doing for a quarterback?

— Dave H.


Such a big fan by the way, and my question is what is the quarterback situation?

— Michael U.

Well, the Vikings have veteran Nick Mullens and 2023 rookie Jaren Hall returning under contract and added veteran Sam Darnold on a one-year deal during free agency.

The presence of those three players, however, has not deterred many from projecting the Vikings will select a quarterback with a high selection, possibly at No. 11, or No. 23, or by vaulting up the draft board.

It's been fun to see all the scenarios out there in mock drafts — and has been an uncommon situation for the Vikings since Cousins signed here in 2018. The previously mentioned summary from the NFL Network visit that is posting today includes varied opinions for what Minnesota could do.

I know it's still a couple more weeks of waiting with anticipation, but in the meantime, I'm confident that Adofo-Mensah and the personnel department and O'Connell and the coaching staff are hard at work making their final evaluations and preparing for a variety of scenarios. Some of the work has included scheduling private workouts.

Which of the QBs available for this year's draft have the ability to read and react to the defenses quickly? I think Kirk Cousins certainly had that quality, and that was a large part of the reason he found success in the NFL.

— Joe in Alberta, Canada

Mastering the system that O'Connell builds will be an important quality for a quarterback who can give Minnesota the best chance of winning football games.

Reading and reacting can start even before the snap if a quarterback is asked to survey what a defense shows and check to another play, and it can continue with what happens within each play.

In addition to knowing what to do, another highly important attribute will be delivering the ball with consistent accuracy.

I'll politely decline personally evaluating quarterbacks, but we will start our positional previews with that position on Wednesday.

[Justin Jefferson] indicated he would like to know the direction at quarterback before he signs an extension. I wonder if he is throwing with Sam Darnold to try and find out what Darnold can do? If not, I wonder how serious J.J. is about staying with the Vikings.

— Gary L.

The offseason program that is scheduled to begin next week for veterans is voluntary, and there are limits during the early phases to what players can actually do on the field for a while.

There are no formal restrictions of Darnold and Jefferson wanted to get together off-site and toss the pigskin.

O'Connell talked at the Annual League Meeting two weeks ago about keeping in contact with Jefferson this offseason, which has included the need to move on from Cousins.

That plan included quickly signing Darnold, whose traits made him the No. 3 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Vikings also have said this offseason (Adofo-Mensah at the combine, which occurred before the change at QB) that they plan to reach a long-term deal with Jefferson.

As a 2020 pick, Jefferson did not get the traditional rookie offseason program and on-field work with Cousins because of COVID-19, but he proceeded to launch his career with a prolific debut campaign, quickly forming a connection with Cousins.