Vikings first-round recap: Two trades fill big needs

This was Ben Goessling's live report of the first round of the NFL draft from Vikings headquarters at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. Check back here for updates on the Vikings' moves.

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J.J McCarthy is the highest drafted quarterback in Vikings history. And the Vikings took a pass rusher in the first round for the first time since 2005.

The Vikings traded up one spot in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night, to select McCarthy with the 10th overall pick they acquired from the Jets. McCarthy, who won a national championship in his final year at Michigan, was drafted one spot higher than the Vikings selected Daunte Culpepper in 1999.

The Vikings were the only team to trade up in the first 10 picks; they did it again later in the first round, moving up from No. 23 to No. 17 for Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner, who became the first pass rusher they'd drafted in the first round since Erasmus James in 2005. To get Turner, the Vikings sent the 167th overall pick, as well as third- and fourth-rounders in 2025, to Jacksonville.

The Vikings currently have no picks Friday in the second and third rounds, which begins at 6 p.m. Central time. They have five picks on Saturday.

Here's how the night played out:

10:40 p.m.: Rare double for Vikings

This is just the fourth time in the Super Bowl era the Vikings have taken at least two players in the top 20 of an NFL draft. Others were 2005 (Troy Williamson, Erasmus James), 1994 (Dewayne Washington, Todd Steussie), and 1967 (Clint Jones, Gene Washington, Alan Page).

9:55 p.m.: J.J. McCarthy 'wanted to be a Minnesota Viking'

Selected at No. 10, J.J. McCarthy is the highest drafted quarterback in Vikings history.

"I know J.J. McCarthy really wanted to be a Minnesota Viking," head coach Kevin O'Connell said. "Hopefully, as excited as our fans are, they can know that J.J. McCarthy really wanted to be a Minnesota Viking, and he cannot wait to get here and get to work."

Five things to know about J.J. McCarthy

9:30 p.m.: Vikings 'through the moon' with picks

The Vikings made two trades to move up in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday, securing both a new quarterback and an edge rusher for a rebuilt defense. The Vikings went up one spot, to No. 10 from No. 11, to draft Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, then moved from No. 23 to No. 17 to grab Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner.

"Obviously, there was a lot of things outside of our control. So we wanted to make sure that we were ready for every scenario," Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said. "We're through the moon with what happened. We were able to add a cornerstone piece of the franchise at a quarterback who's got a lot of potential, a lot of ability, who's won at a high level in a lot of different places. An edge rusher, who impacts the game, who's really just scratching the surface, we think, of his ability set: one of the top defensive players on our board. I can't believe we got them both in the same draft."

Adofo-Mensah said he talked to McCarthy via Zoom on the day that the Michigan team got their championship rings.

"He wears all his rings [from high school and college] one day a year and he only had thumbs free," Adofo-Mensah said of McCarthy.

"But as we were talking, he said, 'Is there a reason you wouldn't draft me?' And I said, 'Honestly, from a talent standpoint, no. You're just a bit of an unknown because you played in an offense that's pretty run-heavy and different things like that. So there's some guesswork, but from what we've seen, we think you can do anything.'"

9:07 p.m.: Vikings trade up again, draft edge Dallas Turner at No. 17

This time, the Vikings moved up to the No. 17 overall pick for Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner, who was frequently projected as a top-10 pick. Turner has been compared to former Vikings edge rusher Danielle Hunter.

Turner (6-foot-3, 247 pounds) led all edge rushers at the scouting combine with a 4.46-second 40-yard dash. The freakishly athletic pass rusher had 14.5 tackles for losses and 10 sacks last season for the Crimson Tide.

The Vikings traded with the Jacksonville Jaguars, moving up six spots from No. 23 overall. They packaged their remaining fifth-round pick (No. 167 overall), and a 2025 third-round pick and 2025 fourth-round pick, with the No. 23 pick.

The Vikings have five remaining picks in the draft, but they're not scheduled to be on the clock again until Saturday's final rounds. They are up next again with pick No. 108 in the fourth round, as well as two sixth-round picks (No. 177, No. 203) and two seventh-round picks (No. 230 and No. 232). — ANDREW KRAMMER

Five things to know about Dallas Turner

8:19 p.m.: Vikings draft Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

J.J. McCarthy is the highest drafted quarterback in Vikings history.

The team picked the Michigan QB 10th overall on Thursday night, after trading up one spot with the Jets to ensure they'd keep another team from jumping in front of them. McCarthy was drafted one spot ahead of Daunte Culpepper, who went 11th overall in 1999.

He is the fifth QB taken in the draft, and will likely sit behind Sam Darnold at the beginning of the season while the Vikings give him time to learn their offense. But he'll be the player Kevin O'Connell tries to develop into the Vikings' next franchise QB.

The Vikings held a private workout with McCarthy after his pro day in March, and McCarthy met with O'Connell and quarterback coach Josh McCown at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

When I asked McCarthy then about his meeting with the Vikings, here's what he said: "Coach O'Connell led the whole thing. Everything they talked about wanting out of a QB aligns with what I want. Just being able to get on the board with them, go through their plays, it was special."

Get your J.J.-to-JJ memes ready.

Read La Velle E. Neal III's report from the Vikings draft party.

8:15 p.m.: Vikings trade up to No. 10

The Vikings have been contemplating a trade up in the draft for a quarterback since last year. While the move they made Thursday night wasn't as dramatic as what they were believed to be considering, it does mean they'll likely soon have the first top 10 QB in franchise history.

The team acquired the 10th overall pick from the Jets in the draft in exchange for the 129th and 157th pick. The Vikings will also get the 203rd pick back from New York.

The move came after four QBs — Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and Michael Penix — were selected in the first eight picks. It put the Vikings in position to make either J.J. McCarthy or Bo Nix the highest-drafted QB in franchise history.

Sources said the Vikings explored a move up in the 2023 draft for a quarterback, but ultimately stayed to pick USC receiver Jordan Addison 23rd overall. With the 2024 class expected to have plenty of depth at quarterback, the Vikings decided to wait on a move up until this year.

8:05 p.m.: Penix-to-Falcons in the draft's first stunner

Kirk Cousins left the Vikings for the Falcons, on a four-year deal that ostensibly guaranteed him more security than he thought he'd have in Minnesota. He got stunning news on Thursday night.

The Falcons made Washington's Michael Penix Jr. the fourth QB taken in the first eight picks, drafting a passer who'll sit behind Cousins for now but could be his successor. Cousins' deal has two guaranteed years, and a 2026 roster bonus that becomes guaranteed in 2025, so he's effectively tied to Atlanta for three years. But if Penix is ready to play sooner than that, things could get interesting for the Vikings' former QB, who'll now be dealing with the scenario he might have thought he was avoiding in Minnesota.

Just before the pick, Cousins' agent Mike McCartney tweeted, "Bout to be shocked." Indeed.

7:55 p.m.: Giants pass on QB, select receiver at No. 6

Turns out the pre-draft chatter about the Giants taking a quarterback at No. 6 was just that. They took LSU receiver Malik Nabers with their first-round pick, rather than Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy. The Vikings are now just four picks away, with McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix all still available.

The Titans took Alabama lineman JC Latham at No. 7, putting the Falcons on the clock before the Bears, Jets and Vikings. If the Broncos are in the market for a quarterback, they could try to jump ahead of the Vikings. Otherwise, the Vikings could have their pick of several remaining quarterbacks at No. 11. They could also address another position at No. 11, if they feel good enough about their options at No. 23 to do something there or move up from there for a QB.

We'll see very shortly how they play it.

7:47 p.m.: Totino-Grace's Joe Alt drafted by Chargers

Forty years after Kansas City selected Alt 21st overall, the Chiefs Hall of Famer partied with family and friends at 7 Vines Vineyard and Winery in Dellwood Thursday night as the Los Angeles Chargers used the fifth overall pick on John's even more mountainous son, Joe, a former Totino-Grace High School star and two-time All-American from Notre Dame.

Joe was the first offensive lineman and second non-quarterback chosen. He also became just the third Minnesotan drafted in the top 10 in the past 20 years, joining Holy Angels receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr., the third overall pick of the Cardinals in 2004, and Marshall quarterback Trey Lance, the third overall pick of the 49ers in 2021. — MARK CRAIG

Read more about Alt here.

7:32 p.m.: Patriots stay at No. 3, draft Drake Maye

The Patriots selected North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with the third overall pick, taking the player sources had said the Vikings hoped to draft in the first round. Now, we'll see if the Vikings try to make a big move up for one of the other quarterbacks in the draft.

They were believed to be trying to move up to No. 3 to select Maye, though the Patriots' steep asking price made it difficult to pull off. The Vikings could still move up for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, or see if McCarthy, Washington's Michael Penix Jr. or Oregon's Bo Nix falls far enough to be an option for them closer to the No. 11 overall pick, where they wouldn't have to give up as much in a trade up.

7:27 p.m.: Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels go 1, 2

As expected, the Bears selected USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick and the Commanders followed by taking LSU QB Jayden Daniels No. 2.

The Patriots are on the clock. What will they do? Keep it or trade it? Will the Vikings make a big move to this spot?

6:15 p.m.: Vikings QB poll results

On April 8, the Star Tribune asked readers to vote on which quarterback they wanted the Vikings to draft. While you still have about an hour to vote, here is a snapshot of the results:

5:15 p.m.: Vikings' first-round preview

The Vikings have nine picks in the 2024 draft, including two in the first round Thursday night, when they could trade up for a quarterback as they look for a long-term solution at the position. They've been planning for this night practically since head coach Kevin O'Connell and General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah arrived in Minnesota in 2022. They have scouted the 2024 draft class for two years, let Kirk Cousins leave in free agency, acquired the No. 23 pick from Houston to go with their 11th overall choice and put at least a half-dozen quarterbacks through a pre-draft process O'Connell designed.

Thursday could be the consummation of that process, especially if the Vikings trade up even one spot from No. 11 to take the highest-drafted quarterback in franchise history.

The Vikings have drafted a QB in the first round just four times. One could make the argument, as the Star Tribune's Michael Rand did today, that the team is poised to make the most important draft pick in its history.

The Vikings will be looking for upgrades on defense, particularly at defensive line and cornerback. They could also pursue additional help on the offensive line, or depth at their skill positions. But the first order of business is figuring out their future at QB.