3 potential NFL Draft prospects the Vikings should be paying attention to

Kirk Cousins' injury has sunk the Vikings' hopes of making a playoff run this season. Here are three NFL Draft prospects who could help Minnesota make a run in 2024.
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) signals
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) signals / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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The moment the Minnesota Vikings lost Kirk Cousins to a devastating Achilles injury their hopes of making an improbable playoff run this season were sharply extinguished. No matter how Cousins' recovery progresses, it's time for Minnesota to initiate a serious roster rebuild via April's NFL Draft.

Selecting a new quarterback for the present and future will be an obvious consideration for the team's front office. Part of that depends on exactly where the Vikings end up selecting in Round 1. Currently, their 5-4 record has them projected to pick somewhere around the No. 20 spot. It's very likely their performance down the stretch will see their draft position go higher ahead of the actual event.

None of that means the Vikings have to take a quarterback. The team could look to add an impact starter at another high-value position to jumpstart their rebuild. That might not be a popular decision with the team's fan base but it doesn't stop it from being a consideration. Minnesota should keep a close eye on these three prospects ahead of April's draft.

3. J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Michigan's starting quarterback isn't the most exciting signal-caller in this year's draft class but it's easy to see how he'd fit in Minnesota. J.J. McCarthy shares a lot in common with Cousins which could ease his transition to the helm of the Vikings' offense.

McCarthy possesses the arm strength required to make all of the throws in the NFL playbook. He's also an above-average processor of the game from a mental perspective. He doesn't possess the sort of elite talent to elevate the players around him but he can fit into a system and serve as a quality offense's point guard.

He's not in the same class of classmates like Caleb Williams or Drake Maye but McCarthy will be included in the next tier of quarterback prospects. The Vikings should spend a lot of time evaluating his college tape to see if he is good enough to bet their future on.