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Who are the top quarterback prospects for the Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Vikings' season officially over after 30-20 loss to Lions
Vikings' season officially over after 30-20 loss to Lions 01:08

UPDATE (March 11): Veteran QB Kirk Cousins' tenure with Minnesota is over as he'll reportedly sign with the Atlanta Falcons. Read the previous story below. 

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings are expected to make a move for their quarterback of the future in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Even if the Vikings decide to bring back QB Kirk Cousins for another year or two (or, gasp, even three), he will be 36 years old next season and is coming off an Achilles injury. The critical need for a successor was further highlighted by abysmal quarterback play after Cousins went down for the season.

RELATED: Who are the Minnesota Vikings' most important free agents?

So, the tea leaves point to the Vikings snagging a rookie quarterback in the first or second round of the draft — with the intention of them eventually starting. This is widely regarded as a deep draft for quarterbacks, so the Vikings may not even need to move up to get their guy. 

But who could it be? Here's a list of potential QB draft prospects as they stand now. 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans drops back and looks to throw a pass during the first half of a game against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Ryan Kang / Getty Images

Caleb Williams 

College: University of Southern California
Age: 22
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 215 pounds
Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Williams is arguably one of the most-hyped quarterback prospects in the last decade.

Despite USC's struggles this season, Williams threw for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions.

According to a draft profile from the NFL, Williams has a vast skillset, elite arm strength and is best when he "goes off the script, escapes and makes plays." He's even drawn comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes.

The Vikings having a shot at drafting Williams is extremely slim, however. The Chicago Bears own the No. 1 pick and are unlikely to make a deal with a division rival.

Duke v North Carolina
Drake Maye #10 of the North Carolina Tar Heels stiff-arms Jeremiah Lewis #39 of the Duke Blue Devils during the first overtime period at Kenan Memorial Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 47-45 in double overtime. Getty Images

Drake Maye

College: North Carolina
Age: 21
Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 230 pounds
Hometown: Huntersville, North Carolina

Maye has led UNC to a 17-9 record over the last two seasons, earning ACC Player of the Year honors in 2022. He also led the ACC in yards passing again this season.

Maye was technically less efficient this season, but still put up 3,608 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He's no stranger to running the ball, too. Over the last two seasons, he's run for 1,209 yards and notched 16 touchdowns.

CBS Sports ranks Maye No. 5 overall in the NFL Draft behind USC's Caleb Williams, but some mock drafts even have Maye going before Williams at No. 1.  The NFL's draft profile describes Maye as "big, athletic and instinctive."

Like Williams, the Vikings' shot at Maye — who could go second in the draft — is unlikely. 

Florida v LSU
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 11: Jayden Daniels #5 of the LSU Tigers runs with the ball against the Florida Gators during a game at Tiger Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. / Getty Images

Jayden Daniels

College: Louisiana State University
Age: 23
Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 210 pounds
Hometown: San Bernardino, California  

Compared to Williams and Maye, the Vikings have a much better chance of landing Daniels, but it may require making a deal with the Cardinals or Chargers to make that happen. Right now, the Vikings own the 11th pick in the draft, and Daniels may be selected before then.

Daniels was the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner after putting together a record-breaking 2023 season. He passed for 3,812 yards, rushed for 1,134 yards and had a whopping 50 total touchdowns (40 through the air and 10 on the ground).

In Nov. 11 against Florida, Daniels became the first player in Football Bowl Subdivision history to rush for more than 200 yards and pass for more than 350 yards in the same game.

He could be the dynamic playmaking QB the Vikings are looking for.  

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon
Quarterback Bo Nix #10 of the Oregon Ducks walks off the field during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl against the Liberty Flames at State Farm Stadium on January 01, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. The Ducks defeated the Flames 45-6. Getty Images

Bo Nix

College: University of Oregon 
Age: 23
Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 217 pounds 
Hometown: Pinson, Alabama

Soon to be 24 years old, Nix is one of the oldest incoming rookies in the 2024 draft class.

This season, Nix passed for 4,508 yards with 45 touchdowns and three interceptions. He had a great last college game too, making program history in Oregon's 45-6 win over Liberty in the Fiesta Bowl. 

According to a scouting report from Bleacher Report, Nix is athletic, has impressive arm strength and has "functional accuracy." However, BR notes that Nix wasn't asked to do a lot as a "processor," because the offense relied mostly on screens, run-pass options and simplistic vertical concepts.

Ohio State v Michigan
J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines scrambles against Jordan Hancock #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the third quarter in the game at Michigan Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. / Getty Images

J.J. McCarthy

College: University of Michigan
Age: 20
Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 202 pounds 
Hometown: La Grange Park, Illinois

McCarthy spent three seasons with the Michigan program, where he posted an impressive 27-1 record. The Wolverines also won their first national championship since 1997 with McCarthy under center.

CBS Sports ranks McCarthy as the No. 5 quarterback and No. 22 overall prospect. He's described as an accurate passer with sound decision-making skills.

Something that may hurt his draft positioning: He wasn't asked to throw that much. In 2023, he passed for 2,991 yards with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas v Washington
Michael Penix Jr. #9 of the Washington Huskies warms up prior playing against the Texas Longhorns in the CFP Semifinal Allstate Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome on January 01, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sean Gardner / Getty Images

Michael Penix Jr.

College: University of Washington 
Age: 23
Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 213 pounds
Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Outside of being another older incoming rookie (he turns 24 in May), the biggest question mark surrounding Penix is his injury history. The Heisman Trophy runner-up even once considered retiring from football due to injuries.

In 2023, Penix passed for 4,903 yards with 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He's touted for his arm strength (he's left-handed), especially when the throws are down the field.

The offensive line in Washington was dominant, however, so Penix is relatively unproven against pressure and blitzes.

Furthermore, Penix had a poor performance in the National Championship game, which will likely hurt his draft stock. 

Runners up: 

  • Jordan Travis, Florida State
  • Michael Pratt, Tulane
  • Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

It's still early in the process. Prospects will rise and fall as the 2024 NFL Draft approaches. Check back on for more Vikings coverage and the latest offseason updates. 

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