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4 Vikings Takeaways from 2024 NFL Draft

EAGAN, Minn. — The 2024 NFL Draft is in the books, and it included seven total selections by the Vikings.

Minnesota entered the annual selection process with nine picks, which provided an opportunity to make a big splash on opening night by drafting quarterback J.J. McCarthy at No. 10 and trading up for outside linebacker Dallas Turner at 17.

After not having a selection on Friday, Minnesota utilized five selections on Saturday to address targeted needs.

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

Minnesota picked the following players:

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)

Here are four takeaways from the draft.

  1. Finding a way to double dip

It was quite a journey to see how the Mock Draft Trackers evolved this year from Version 1.0, which was published on Jan. 16 through Version 7.0, which posted April 23.

Version 1.0 included 12 takes with two projections of Dallas Turner to Minnesota at No. 11.

Version 2.0 also had two projections for Turner to become a Viking, as well as the first mention of J.J. McCarthy.

Version 3.0, which was released during the NFL Scouting Combine, had six mentions of Turner and three of McCarthy among the 17 forecasts.

After Kirk Cousins' departure at the start of free agency, projections took a hard turn toward quarterbacks. Version 4.0 had seven mentions of McCarthy and two suggestions of Turner among the 19 participants.

Minnesota's trade to add the 23rd pick occurred on March 15, so Version 5.0, published March 28, also featured some different options. There were 11 suggestions of McCarthy and only one of Turner (he was selected at 11 in a mock that had the Vikings taking Bo Nix at 23) among 18 different projections.

Version 6.0 included 29 projections, with 15 finding a way for McCarthy to become a Viking, either at No. 11 or through a trade-up scenario.

Version 7.0, which was published last Tuesday, featured 37 projections, including one by Draft Wire's Jeff Risdon, that almost hit the nail square on the head. Risdon mocked McCarthy at 11 and Turner at 23.

  1. Patience rewarded

The Vikings didn't get punked by all the pre-draft hoopla.

Among those 37 projections, 24 correctly forecasted McCarthy to Minnesota, but 13 viewed a massive trade that would have dealt the Vikings other first-round pick (some had much more leaving Minnesota).

But Minnesota remained calm as it stepped through various smokescreens other teams who had higher picks tried to execute to get a king's ransom or try to modify the order of players selected.

The Vikings did protect their opportunity to make sure they drafted McCarthy by nudging up one spot in a deal with the Jets that included the 203rd pick and dealt Nos. 11, 129 and 157 to New York.

  1. Flexibility turns into a facial expression for the ages

One of the first words General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Head Coach Kevin O'Connell said after acquiring the No. 23 pick was "flexibility."

Minnesota wanted to have more resources to move up the board if necessary but also liked the idea of being able to respond if the board fell a certain way.

When a record-setting 14 consecutive offensive players were selected to open the draft, the biggest side effect was the quality of defensive players who became available.

Adofo-Mensah moved quickly to strike a deal with Jacksonville, sending Nos. 23 and 167, along with a third- and fourth-round pick in 2025, to the Jaguars to pick Turner. Many believed he would be a top-10 pick. They project him as the top outside linebacker/edge defender in this year's draft.

Video recorded inside the Thomson Reuters Draft Room showcased O'Connell's surprise that the Vikings were going to land Turner as Adofo-Mensah confirmed the deal. His shock quickly became a fun meme for the weekend.

  1. Valuable visits

The Vikings did not schedule a private workout with Reichard because they didn't want other teams to belief he was on their radar, but Minnesota effectively utilized Top 30 visits to bring Jurgens and Rodriguez on official visits earlier this month.

Turner had made a Top 30 visit as well, but it's an impressive projection for utilizing opportunities to do deep dives on a couple of players who might still be on the board in Round 7 to make the most of those selections.