Vikings introduce J.J. McCarthy, Dallas Turner

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wheeled and dealed in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night, and came away with what he hopes is a future franchise quarterback and a top edge rusher.

The Minnesota Vikings moved up to the No. 10 pick, and with it, drafted Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. Later, they moved up from No. 23 to No. 17 and took Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner. It’s Kevin O’Connell’s firm belief that in a normal draft not littered with offensive talent, Turner otherwise wouldn’t have been available in that spot.

The Vikings introduced both McCarthy and Turner at TCO Performance Center on Friday. It was a long day of waiting for McCarthy, who was one of several quarterbacks who he says wanted to come to Minnesota. He got his moment.

"It was definitely better than what I expected. I woke up that morning and felt like my stomach was in my throat. It’s once in a lifetime, when that phone call came it was something different," McCarthy said. "Now it’s just let’s get to work."

McCarthy threw for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions to lead Michigan to the national title. He beat Alabama and Turner in the College Football Playoff semifinals on New Year’s Day.

"Game wrecker. We knew No. 15 was somebody we were going to have to worry about," McCarthy said.

They’re now teammates.

"I’m going to be honest, J.J. definitely hurt my feelings January 1. After the game I kind of unfollowed him on Instagram, I was a little salty," Turner said. "We’re teammates now. That’s my ride or die now."

McCarthy said several teammates have already reached out to him, including Justin Jefferson. The "J.J. to J.J." puns are already flying.

"Surreal. He already let me know I go by Jets, so we don’t get any confusion there," McCarthy said. "He told me confidence is key in this league."

Turner comes to the Vikings after 14.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks for the Crimson Tide last year. He joins a defense that added Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Dinkel and Blake Cashman in free agency. What’s Turner looking forward to in playing for Brian Flores?

"The sacks that are produced by him and how he frees his pass rushers up to make a lot of plays," Turner said.

His football career changed in ninth grade. Growing up in youth football, he was an offensive skill position player. His high school coach, Patrick Surtain, asked him to switch to defensive end for one play. It was a sack.

"That one rep changed my whole football career. Ever since then, my hand was in the dirt," Turner said."