The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of different ways they can go in the NFL draft. There will be some discussion on what needs are most important but the Vikings can address most of them through both free agency and the NFL draft.
Each week throughout the leadup to the NFL draft, I will be doing different seven round mock drafts for the Vikings as a way to explore different scenarios. You never know who might fall to you and how that could cause a ripple effect and being ready for those situations is paramount come draft weekend.
In the first rendition, LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers somehow falls to 11th overall and that could change the way the Vikings address their roster and draft picks.
11. LSU WR Malik Nabers
When you are the Vikings at the 11th overall pick, it’s a very interesting spot to be. The top three quarterbacks are likely gone and they may not like any of the defensive lineman or edge rushers on the board. What would happen if they ended up liking one of the top wide receivers on the board?
Nabers isn’t likely to be available due to his talent level. However, he was in this scenario and it’s not crazy to think the Vikings would pass on a talent like Nabers. He is a complete receiver that thrives with the ball in his hands and maximizes separation with really good tracking and contested-catch skills. Do they need another high-end wide receiver? Not particularly, but the NFL draft is about assembling the best talent with free agency there to fill needs.
42. Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy
The Vikings need a quarterback of the future and with the top three gone at the beginning of the first round, getting a player to develop in round two or with a trade up is something they should be looking to do. McCarthy is the perfect player for the Vikings to take in that position.
McCarthy is a talented player but would likely need a redshirt year for the Vikings. He is a talented player but doesn’t have a ton of experience in situations that you need experience in the NFL. With that time on the bench to get acclimated to the game, he should be able to take advantage of defenses down the line.
108. Florida State DT Braden Fiske
The Vikings need help at defensive tackle and Fiske can come in and do that. Fiske is quick off the ball and has power in his hands to pair with a great motor. However, he falls this far because he is a tad undersized and doesn’t have great length. Fiske would be a solid rotational option for the Vikings, especially in the fourth round.
130. Clemson DT Tyler Davis
The Vikings are in need of defensive tackles and Davis fits in as more of a nose tackle. Is slightly undersized for the position but does a good job eating up space and has the power to attack in pass rush. He has concerns with explosivness and leverage but projects to be a good rotational player.
148. Rutgers CB Max Melton
The cornerback position is one that the Vikings still need to fortify and getting one in the draft to continue that is something that the Vikings will likely do. Melton’s older brother Bo is a member of the Green Bay Packers and he sports a similar level of athleticism and competitiveness. Brian Flores will love how aggressive he is in defending the run and attacking the ball carrier but he is firmly a developmental player, which is totally fine for the spot.
160. Kentucky RB Ray Davis
The Vikings running game needs help in a big way and looking at getting one on day three is a good option. After spending time at Temple and Vanderbilt, Davis found a home at Kentucky in 2023 and took advantage of the opportunity to play in a really good offense. Davis ran for 1,129 yards and 14 touchdowns and burst onto the scene with a 280 yard, three touchdown performance against the Florida Gators. With a smaller stature, Davis uses it to break tackles and could end up being a steal in the middle rounds.
165. Colorado TE Dallin Holker
Tight end isn’t the biggest need for the Vikings but the way things look on the board, taking a shot with Holker is a great play. He is already a pass catching weapon for the Rams and needs some work as a blocker. With the depth the Vikings have at the position, giving him the time and space to develop behind T.J. Hockenson and Josh Oliver.
179. Kansas EDGE Austin Booker
Booker is going to be an interesting evaluation. After transferring from Minnesota, Booker flashed in a big way with the Jayhawks this past year with his explosiveness and length but he’s logged less than 600 career snaps in college. A great performance in Mobile can take things to another level but he’s likely to be going on day three do the lack of experience.
230. Florida C Kingsley Eguakun
The interior of the offensive line is one that the Vikings will need to address, as all of their backups aren’t under contract for the 2024 season. Eguakun is versatile with the ability to play both guard spots as well as center and would be a nice option to have as a reserve on the offensive line.