11. Minnesota Vikings: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
There’s a lot to be said about the possibility of the Minnesota Vikings looking for their Kirk Cousins replacement in the first round. However, I don’t feel confident that one of the guys available beyond Williams, Maye and Daniels would really fit their bill with the No. 11 pick. So instead, they look to replace another likely departing veteran in Danielle Hunter.
Jared Verse could’ve been a first-round pick in last year’s draft but chose to return to Florida State. He’s not the freak that some guys at the position in this class are, but he’s refined, strong and explosive, and has a relentless motor when coming off of the edge. He should start Day 1 for this Vikings defense and immediately find his way into Brian Flores’ heart.
12. Denver Broncos: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
Even if the Vikings don’t want to gamble on a QB here, the Denver Broncos almost have to. All signs point to an unceremonious split between Sean Payton and Russell Wilson this offseason, leaving the Broncos with some big questions as to how they will replace him. The draft has to be the favorite option looking toward the future, though, which is why they take a massive swing.
J.J. McCarthy is basically an unknown commodity as he makes his way to the NFL. Yes, he has pedigree, a national title, and physical tools. But the former Michigan star was simply not asked to chuck the pill around too often in his college career. Payton is an offensive genius, though, and mining all of the talent out of McCarthy seems like a challenge he’d welcome.