Round 1, Pick 7: JJ McCarthy QB, Michigan
-I know JJ McCarthy isn’t the most popular QB in the country and the 7th pick seems a bit early now, but Caleb Williams and Drake Maye will both be off the board and the Vikings pretty much have to take their QB of the future in the first round and out of Michael Penix Jr., Quinn Ewers, Bo Nix, and McCarthy, I like McCarthy the most. McCarthy, only 20 years old, is a great athlete at 6’3, 203 lbs; who offers tremendous upside as a runner. McCarthy has big arm talent and has the physical upside to make all the big-time NFL throws. McCarthy will need some polishing but has all the tools necessary to be a Franchise QB in the NFL.
Round 1, Pick 26 (via JAC): Chop Robinson EDGE, Penn State
-In this mock draft I have the Vikings trading Danielle Hunter to the Jaguars for their late 1st round pick. With this Pick, the Vikings select Hunter’s replacement Demeioun (Chop) Robinson. Robinson, is a toolsy player but not necessarily a project as he has excellent closing burst and has a very explosive motor with nice bend and length. Getting a young explosive pass-rusher is definitely on the Vikings must-gets for this upcoming draft.
Round 2, Pick 40: Kris Jenkins IDL, Michigan
-In this mock draft I have the Vikings take back-to-back Big 10 defenders, so far in the 2023 season the Vikings’ defensive line has been atrocious at rushing the passer. Kris Jenkins offers a very high floor as a pass rusher and run defender with some possible next-level upside to definitely improve the non-existent pass rush from the interior the Vikings have. Jenkins is very polished and crisp as both a pass rusher and run defender using his hands well along with a very high motor.
Round 3, Pick 83 (via LAR): Bucky Irving RB, Oregon
-Another trade, as I predict the Vikings will trade the longest-tenured Viking, Harrison Smith. I see the Rams as a potential fit and a 3rd round pick seems appropriate. With this pick, I have the Vikings selecting Bucky Irving from Oregon. It’s no secret the Vikings have had an issue with the running back position all season, Irving is smaller for the position but offers exceptional burst and quickness and is a hard runner. Irving also offers tremendous upside as a receiving back, something Mattison has struggled with all season, a rookie QB could really benefit from a reliable receiving option from out of the backfield.
The Vikings have only played 6 games so far in the season, but fans are already looking towards next April for the 2024 NFL Draft after a very disappointing 2-4 start with both wins being unconvincing. I know it’s only October and some of these guys might not even declare and could have very different draft stock come April, but nonetheless, it’s fun to talk about the draft and for fans of bad teams it’s what they look forward to during a tough season.