As the 2022 NFL Draft approaches, the Minnesota Vikings have a few areas of need going into the annual seven-round draft which begins on April 28 in Las Vegas. Minnesota has a total of eight picks in the draft, headlined by a first-round selection at 12th overall. Beyond that, the Vikings have one pick in each of the second, third, and fifth rounds, three in the sixth round, and one in the seventh round. Here is a breakdown of the Minnesota Vikings quarterback room ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Breakdown of Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Room Prior to 2022 NFL Draft
With their first-round selection, Minnesota should select LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. if he is still on the board, and then address their other needs with their remaining picks. With the bulk of needs residing on the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings are likely to target those with a majority of the picks. Offensively, however, Minnesota has a need on the offensive line that they might address as well.
But outside of that, the Vikings could also look to the future at some point in this draft, notably at the quarterback position. Leading up to the draft, new head coach Kevin O’Connell met with local media to discuss the team and its mindset going into the draft, adding the team could look at a quarterback at some point in the seven rounds. O’Connell said, “I don’t think anything is off the table” when it comes to potentially selecting a prospect to develop behind Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond, and company under center.
With more important needs elsewhere, should the Vikings target a quarterback in the draft or would that be a mistake? The below takes a look at the current situation in the Vikings quarterback room and who might be available for the purple and gold to select if they are eying a quarterback prospect.
Current Quarterback Situation
Leading into the draft, the Vikings have four quarterbacks currently on the roster, headlined by Cousins who will likely return under center to lead the offense once again in 2022. Behind Cousins, the depth chart is filled out by Mond, Sean Mannion, and Nate Stanley.
When it comes to the state of each quarterback on the roster, all are in different stages of their NFL careers. Cousins is likely near the end of his time in Minnesota and could possibly be entering his final season in purple and gold. Mond is a quarterback the Vikings thought might be their signal-caller of the future, but the second-year quarterback has some development to undergo yet before that can truly be a consideration. Mannion is more of a veteran backup option who would be an easily movable piece if needed. Stanley is a young quarterback who could serve as more of a practice squad player at the bottom of the depth chart.
With that said, Minnesota could look to add to that group through the draft. The Vikings have carried three quarterbacks in the past, although a new regime is in place which could change that amount. You would think Cousins and Mond would be part of the team in 2022, but perhaps another prospect could join the group via the draft if the Vikings are intrigued by a player.
Quarterbacks Available in the Draft
It is possible that the Vikings strongly consider selecting a quarterback at some point in the draft, if a player falls to them, or that they take one earlier in the draft. If that is the case, there are a few prospects who will be available in the draft that Minnesota could look to target.
This year’s draft class is viewed to have a lower level of talent at the quarterback position than that of years past. That being said, there still might be a prospect worth taking a shot on this year. It could be a situation kind of similar to Minnesota’s drafting of Mond in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Some of the top quarterback prospects in this draft who might be worth keeping an eye on for the Vikings include Sam Howell from North Carolina, Desmond Ridder from Cincinnati, Carson Strong out of Nevada, Bailey Zappe from Western Kentucky, and Skylar Thompson from Kansas State.
The three headlining quarterbacks are Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, and it is likely they are selected earlier in the draft than Minnesota would truly consider using a draft pick on a quarterback. There are a decent amount of prospects that would be available later in the draft as well, perhaps a Tom Brady-type of talent that could be a hidden gem for the Vikings to find.
Minnesota will head into the 2022 NFL Draft with various needs, mainly on defense, with a few holes remaining on offense as well. But all options appear to be on the table, as O’Connell recently admitted, and perhaps a quarterback is also in the plans for the team to bring in during the draft in late April.