LATEST Vikings Update: Just In Minnesota Vikings Confirm Three Top Experienced Star Player Just Announced Departure With Vikings

During the 2024 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings were among the busiest teams in the league. They made two trades up in the draft to acquire two players who could make a difference for their teams. JJ McCarthy, the quarterback for Michigan, and Dallas Turner, the edge rusher for Alabama, were the two. If those two first-round rookies managed to push Vikings veterans Sam Darnold and Andrew Van Ginkel for playing time right away, it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

It was no secret that JJ McCarthy was a target for the Vikings. The question that remained throughout the draft process was not if they would go after the former Michigan Wolverine, but rather how high they would have to trade up to acquire him. As it happens, there was just one spot. After falling to the tenth pick in the draft, McCarthy was acquired by the Vikings through a straightforward trade with the New York Jets.

The new query is when McCarthy will be run under center for Minnesota. The sooner rather than later, considering that he is still in draft form. Among the 24 quarterbacks selected in the first round since 2017, five have appeared in at least eight games as rookies. The only ones who didn’t were Anthony Richardson, Trey Lance, Deshaun Watson, Jordan Love, and Patrick Mahomes.

Due to injuries, Watson and Richardson were unable to attend. They had proven themselves to be contenders already. For good reason, Mahomes, Love, and Lance studied under seasoned players Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, and Jimmy Garappolo. During those players’ rookie seasons, the 49ers, Chiefs, and Packers were all postseason teams.

In Minnesota, things stand in contrast. Sam Darnold is not a lock to start in the NFL, and in the few opportunities he has had, his performance has been appallingly inconsistent. Darnold, too, signed a one-year contract this offseason. He might start for the Vikings early in the season, but they owe him nothing more.

McCarthy is thought to fit nicely with Kevin O’Connell’s plan. He’s worked in a pro-style scheme before. The fact that the Vikings advanced to draft him shows that they have faith in him. Before long, he will be starting for Minnesota in games.

A change of pace at the edge rusher
During the draft, the Vikings did not stop there. A few weeks prior to the draft, Minnesota sent their 2024 and 2025 second-round selections to Houston in exchange for the 23rd overall pick in the 2024 draft and a late-round selection swap. The Vikings then traded that 23rd pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 17th pick during the draft in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick and 2025 third and fourth-round picks.

Giving up so much draft capital is a big deal for a team that didn’t make the playoffs the previous season. Even with Dallas Turner’s exceptional talent, Minnesota will need him to perform exceptionally well both now and in the future to make up for the trade value they gave up in this deal.

Playing him straight away is a good way for them to get that return on their investment. Turner and Jonathan Greenard, the star free agent that Minnesota signed this offseason, have the potential to be one of the NFL’s top pass rush combinations. However, doing so would mean that Andrew Van Ginkel, another free agent acquisition, would have to see less playing time.

Van Ginkel is a multitalented individual. In addition to being able to rush the passer, he can play a variety of positions. Brian Flores would be the one who would know how to take advantage of him. Prior to joining the Vikings as their defensive coordinator, Flores led the Miami Dolphins from 2019 to 2021. In his first draft year as head coach of the Dolphins, he selected Van Ginkel in the fifth round and kept him for the entire three-year tenure.

Flores can employ Van Ginkel in a variety of ways. Considering what the Vikings gave up to acquire Turner, he will have to.

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