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Two Vikings make CBS Sports’ ‘best fits’ from 2024 NFL Draft

It’s been several weeks since the 2024 NFL draft, but that hasn’t stopped a slew of draft analysts from sharing their thoughts on how teams performed in the event. For the most part, the Minnesota Vikings have received positive acclaim for their picks, and that’s the case again with the latest from CBS Sports.

In analyst Chris Trapasso’s “best fits” column, not one but two Vikings made his top 10 list. In fact, both players — Khyree Jackson and J.J. McCarthy — made his top five overall. Jackson came in at number five for Trapasso, with him stating that Jackson gives him Xavien Howard vibes:

Jackson gave me Xavien Howard vibes on film. Long, athletic, ultra-physical, at times tremendously suffocating at the line and at the catch point, and other times lost in coverage.

But you know who got the most out of Howard in the NFL? Vikings current defensive coordinator Brian Flores. In 2020, under Flores’ tutelage, Howard led the NFL with 10 interceptions. Now, Flores wasn’t necessarily integral in the development of Howard, who was a 2016 draft pick. But he certainly understood how to maximize his special yet imperfect skill set.

And now Flores gets another intimidating boundary cornerback with otherworldly length and an up-and-down style the Vikings are likely hoping can be smoothed out to more consistent play. The former Alabama defender had three picks and seven pass breakups at Oregon in 2023. It’ll be fascinating to monitor how Flores works with another Howard-like specimen in the his secondary.

The new Vikings quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, came in as the second-best fit from the 2024 NFL draft, according to Trapasso, with only third-round linebacker Peyton Wilson and the Steelers as a better fit, according to the analyst. Here’s what Trapasso had to say about McCarthy’s fit with Minnesota:

McCarthy is a rare cat at the quarterback spot in that he’s young — only 21 years old — with plenty of experience — 38 starts — at Michigan.

While he won’t be one of the top-5 athletes at his position in the NFL, he proved to be plenty capable of either creating with his legs when the original play is coverage or, simply, throwing with timing, accuracy and velocity while on the run.

And that functional mobility is key in an offense from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree. Kevin O’Connell will likely feel far more comfortable with the play-action bootleg at the core of his scheme. McCarthy typically understands where to go with the football and can glide through his reads, two other elements key to most aerial attacks but especially critical in O’Connell’s very meticulously timed offense.

The setup for McCarthy is magnificent, too. Doesn’t necessarily have to be forced onto the field in Week 1 given the presence of Sam Darnold. But Darnold isn’t so good that he’ll keep McCarthy holding the clipboard for long. And… Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, a rock-solid offensive line.

McCarthy landed in the best environment of any first-round quarterback.

While some fans and analysts alike may be concerned about what the Vikings had to give up to get their high-profile picks, it seems the overall consensus from the NFL draft community is that the Vikings came away with at least a few great pieces for the future.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire