Texas DL Byron Murphy II is Vikings Reported ‘Contingency Plan’ at Top of Draft

byron murphy ii
Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

It’s safe to say the Minnesota Vikings’ top priority is drafting a new franchise quarterback, even if it means trading the farm. But the Vikings aren’t the only team pursuing whichever quarterback becomes attainable.

Whether it means the Patriots or Cardinals being open for business or someone like Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, or J.J. McCarthy falling further than expected, the 2024 NFL Draft will be full of surprises. We may not know what it is, but the Vikings’ front office has a plan in place, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will be ready to adapt when the bullets start flying.

In a perfect world, Kwesi lands whichever top quarterback prospect head coach Kevin O’Connell covets. But all it takes is one team making a surprise move on draft night and all those plans could be foiled. So… what happens if the Vikings can’t get the QB(s) they are targeting? What happens then?

NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings Plan-B is Byron Murphy II at No. 11

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Photo – USA Today Sports Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

According to NFL Draft insider Tony Pauline (Sportskeeda), the Minnesota Vikings are still intrigued by Texas defensive line prospect Byron Murphy II. Not only are they intrigued by him, though. Pauline reports that their “contingency plan”, should they fail to land a QB at the top of round one, is to pivot to interior defensive lineman, Byron Murphy II, out of Texas.

“Defensive tackle Byron Murphy, looking like Mr. Universe as he worked out shirtless, looked terrific in drills, just as he did during the combine. The Bears, Falcons, Colts, and Vikings met with Murphy the last two days.

Word since the Shrine Bowl was that the Vikings would take Murphy with the 11th pick. Obviously the focus has shifted to the quarterback position. Yet the feeling they were giving off at pro day is that Murphy would be their contingency plan at 11 if no signal caller is available.”

Tony Pauline on Minnesota Vikings’ interest in Byron Murphy (Sportskeeda)

Widely regarded as the best interior defender in the 2024 NFL Draft class, this isn’t the first time the Vikings have been linked to the pass-rushing stalwart. But this is the first time we’ve heard it since they’ve lost Kirk Cousins and the first time since they’ve acquired a second first-round pick.

Related: Why Didn’t Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Attend JJ McCarthy’s Pro Day?

If their preferred quarterbacks are gone at 11, why not shore up an area of the defense that has long been lacking? Not to mention, passing on a QB at 11 doesn’t mean they’re punting at the position altogether. There’s always coming back to someone like Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix later on, possibly even at 23.

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