Minnesota Vikings mock draft: Outlining best and worst-case scenarios for Kevin O'Connell in 2024 NFL Draft

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Minnesota Vikings mock draft: Best and worst-case scenarios for Kevin O'Connell in 2024 NFL Draft

Kevin O'Connell no longer has Kirk Cousins, so the Minnesota Vikings' top need is clear. The team moved to get Sam Darnold this offseason, but his addition cannot be enough. It will take an impressive 2024 NFL draft for the team not to skip a beat during the transition away from Cousins. However, just because a team needs something to go well is far from a guarantee that it will.

Here's a look at how the upcoming draft can go well and also how it can be a disaster.

Exploring mock draft scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings

2024 Vikings mock draft: Best-case scenario

Vikings projected top draft picks via Sportskeeda's Mock Draft Simulator
Vikings projected top draft picks via Sportskeeda's Mock Draft Simulator

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The Minnesota Vikings have a quality draft according to Sportskeeda's 7-round Mock Draft Simulator, getting both J.J. McCarthy and Sam Hartman as options to succeed Kirk Cousins. Hartman was one of the darlings of the 2024 Senior Bowl, and McCarthy is coming off a national championship victory.

In this scenario, the Minnesota Vikings made McCarthy a top-25 draft choice as he miraculously slides out of the top gauntlet of quarterback-needy teams and slips. By sliding a little bit, McCarthy gets a motivational fire ignited but also doesn't get passed on by most franchises in the first round, proving that teams grade him at a high level.

Here's a look at how the draft class shakes out:

  • Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
  • J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
  • Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M
  • Michael Hall Jr., DT, Ohio State
  • Sam Hartman, QB, Notre Dame
  • Keith Randolph, DT, Illinois
  • Ethan Driskell, OT, Marshall
  • Marcus Harris, DT, Auburn
  • Dylan Laube, RB, New Hampshire

2024 Vikings mock draft: Worst-case scenario

Minnesota's worst-case scenario via Sportskeeda's Mock Draft Simulator
Minnesota's worst-case scenario via Sportskeeda's Mock Draft Simulator

At face value, getting J.J. McCarthy in the second round seems like a steal. However, it also means that nearly all 32 teams skipped him. Quarterbacks rarely succeed when they slip out of the first round. Sure, there are examples in NFL history of a player doing that, but taking non-first-round quarterbacks is the lower percentage option.

Still, based on the results, not even Minnesota would settle at just McCarthy in the second round. Late in the draft, the team elects to take little-known quarterback prospect Austin Reed as an additional lottery ticket.

Here's the list of the players that the team is projected to select:

  • Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
  • J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
  • T'Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas
  • Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
  • Eyabi Okie-Anoma, EDGE, Charlotte
  • Dylan McMahon, OG, NC State
  • Khalid Duke, EDGE, Kansas State
  • Austin Reed, QB, Western Kentucky
  • Patrick McMorris, S, California

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Edited by Piyush Bisht