The Minnesota Vikings were one of the busiest teams in the league during the 2024 NFL Draft. During the draft, they made two trades up to land two potential franchise difference makers. One was Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy and the other was Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner. It wouldn't be a major shock if those two first-round rookies ended up pushing veterans Sam Darnold and Andrew Van Ginkel for playing time immediately for the Vikings.

Quarterback competition

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) against the Washington Huskies in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium.
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't much of a secret that the Vikings had their eye on JJ McCarthy. All throughout the draft process, the question wasn't whether or not they would target the former Michigan Wolverine, but how high they had to trade up to get him. Turns out, it was only one spot. McCarthy fell to the 10th pick in the draft and the Vikings worked a simple swap with the New York Jets to land their guy.

Now the question shifts to when does McCarthy get run under center for Minnesota? Given his draft status, the answer should be sooner than later. Five of the 24 first-round quarterback drafted since 2017 have played at least eight games as a rookie. Patrick Mahomes, Jordan Love, Deshaun Watson, Trey Lance, and Anthony Richardson were the only ones who didn't.

Watson and Richardson didn't make it there because of injuries. They had already established themselves as starters. Mahomes, Love, and Lance sat and learned behind entrenched veterans Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, and Jimmy Garappolo, and for good reason. The Chiefs, Packers, and 49ers were all playoff teams in those guys' rookie seasons.

The case is different in Minnesota. Sam Darnold is not an entrenched starter in the NFL, and when he has gotten that chance, he's been woefully erratic. Darnold also just got here this offseason on a one-year deal. The Vikings may begin the year with him as the starter, but they don't owe him anything beyond that.

McCarthy is believed to be a good fit for Kevin O'Connell's scheme. He already has experience in a pro-style scheme. The Vikings moved up to draft him, which signifies their belief in him. It's only a matter of time before he's starting games for Minnesota.

A shift at edge rusher

The Vikings did not stop there during the draft. A few weeks before the draft, Minnesota shipped their second-round picks in 2024 and 2025 to Houston for the 23rd overall pick in the 2024 draft along with a late-round pick swap. Then during the draft, the Vikings flipped that 23rd pick along with a 2024 fifth-rounder and third and fourth-round picks in 2025 to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 17th pick.

It is a lot of draft capital for a team that missed the playoffs last year to give up. As good as Dallas Turner is, he has to perform exceptionally well immediately and for a long time for Minnesota to recoup the trade value they relinquished in this deal.

A good way to get that return on their investment is to play him right away. Turner and Jonathan Greenard, Minnesota's marquee free agent signing this offseason, could help form one of the best pass rush duos in the NFL. But if they were to do that, then another free agent acquisition, Andrew Van Ginkel, would have to see his playing time dwindle.

Van Ginkel is a jack of all trades. He can rush the passer but he can also play a multitude of positions. If anybody would know how to use him, it would be Brian Flores. Flores is the defensive coordinator of the Vikings and was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2019-2021. He drafted Van Ginkel in the fifth round in his first year in charge of the Dolphins and had him for all three years in charge.

Flores can find different ways to use Van Ginkel. He will have to, considering what the Vikings gave up to get Turner.