Vikings trade up into first round for QB in new PFF mock draft

Could the Vikings take an edge rusher at 11 and then add a quarterback with their next pick?

Ten years ago, the Vikings took a standout defensive player with their top draft pick and then traded up into the first round for a quarterback. Could they follow that blueprint again this year?

In 2014, the Vikings selected Anthony Barr with the ninth overall pick, then moved up from 40 to 32 to take Teddy Bridgewater. Barr went on to make four Pro Bowls, while Bridgewater — who just called it a career a couple weeks ago — got off to a promising two-year start before a catastrophic knee injury altered his NFL trajectory.

In 2024, the Vikings hold the 11th overall pick. They may be in need of both impact defensive players and a quarterback of the future, depending on what happens with Kirk Cousins in free agency. PFF's Trevor Sikkema has Minnesota addressing both of those needs in his latest mock draft.

Round 1, Pick 11: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings will be one of those teams that could aggressively move up for a quarterback. If they can’t find a deal, look for them to shift their focus to the defensive line. Interior or edge could be in play here, but with Verse still on the board, he is the pick here.

In Sikkema's mock, the top QBs go 1-2-3 and then the Commanders move up from 12 to 10 to jump the Vikings for J.J. McCarthy. So the Vikings stay put at 11 and make Verse the second defensive player off the board after Dallas Turner went eighth to Atlanta. Verse starred at Albany, then transferred to Florida State and racked up 18 sacks and 29.5 total tackles for loss over the past two seasons. The two-time All-American is 6'4", 260 pounds, and looks like a future NFL star with his strength and athleticism off the edge. Verse can replace Danielle Hunter or play alongside him.

Round 1, Pick 30: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

  • Vikings receive: A 2024 first-round pick (No. 30)
  • Ravens receive: A 2024 second-round pick (No. 42) and a 2025 third-round pick

With the Vikings unable to secure a quarterback earlier in the draft, look for them to have their eye on Nix if he happens to fall to the end of the first round. A small trade-up allows them to get a fifth-year option on him, which is paramount, given how much money quarterbacks can command.

Later in this hypothetical night, the Vikings trade their 2025 third-round pick to move up 12 spots and grab Nix. As Sikkema mentions, a not-insignificant benefit to picking someone like Nix at 30 instead of in the second round is having the fifth-year option on their rookie contract.

Some people may not like this move, given what they remember of Nix during his Auburn days. But the fifth-year senior is coming off two very strong seasons at Oregon, including a 2023 campaign where he threw for 4,500 yards and 45 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He completed over 77 percent of his passes last year, averaging 9.6 yards per attempt. Nix also brings some dual-threat ability, having ran for 20 touchdowns in his two years in Eugene.

Nix seemingly doesn't have the upside of someone like McCarthy or Jayden Daniels, but he's a good athlete with plenty of arm talent. If the Vikings can help him develop as a processor, he'd have a chance to succeed in an ideal environment for a young quarterback.

Sikkema isn't the only draft analyst toying with the idea of the Vikings taking an edge rusher at 11 and then a quarterback later. This mock from NFL.com's Chad Reuter has the Vikings taking Turner 11th and then trading up for Nix at 33. This one from The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner has them taking Turner 11th and Michael Penix Jr. at 42.

If they can't get McCarthy or Jayden Daniels, taking a swing on Nix or Penix with their second pick might be worth it.


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