Vikings get J.J. McCarthy, Dallas Turner in NFL Draft: 'We're through the moon'

It wasn’t the path they thought it might be at the start of the night, but the Minnesota Vikings added a potential future franchise quarterback and a star edge rusher in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night.

The Vikings made a trade with the New York Jets to acquire the No. 10 overall pick. With it, they took Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. They then dealt the No. 23 overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars to move up to No. 17. With that selection, they chose Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner, widely thought to be one of the top defensive players in the draft.

The Vikings got McCarthy after Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and Michael Penix Jr. all went in the first eight picks. Minnesota might have also caught a break when the New York Giants, instead of taking a quarterback at No. 6, went with LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers.

"Really excited with what we were able to do tonight. We’re through the moon with what happened, we were able to add two cornerstone-type pieces to the franchise. We can’t believe we got them both in the same draft," Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said.

McCarthy was with family and friends in Ann Arbor, Mich., when the Vikings came calling.

Ahead of the Vikings, the Titans and Jets weren’t in need of first-round quarterbacks. In a stunner, the Falcons took Penix after signing former Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency.

The Vikings moved up to the No. 10 pick, presumably to prevent other teams from getting ahead of them to take McCarthy. When the pick was announced at the Vikings draft party at U.S. Bank Stadium, the crowd erupted.

"We went into this entire draft process with the mindset on identifying a quarterback of the future that we could bring in here. I think we were able to do that in J.J. McCarthy," Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell said. "Very, very excited to have spent a lot of time with him throughout the process. I’m really happy with the way it all came together and very happy to have J.J. McCarthy on our team."

McCarthy was the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year, and a first-team All-Conference pick last season. He threw for 2,991 yards with 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 72% of his passes. The Vikings signed Sam Darnold in free agency as a bridge quarterback, but McCarthy will get the chance to compete for the starting job.

So after months of speculation on trading up, McCarthy could be throwing passes to Justin Jefferson in the near future.

McCarthy, at No. 10 overall, is the highest-drafted quarterback in Vikings’ franchise history.

Minnesota wasn’t done moving up. They traded with Jacksonville for the No. 17 overall pick, sending the Jaguars No. 23, a fifth-round pick, and two 2025 draft picks. With the No. 17 pick, the Vikings took Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner.

He was a First-Team All-American last year and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He led the Crimson Tide with 14.5 tackles for loss, and finished eighth in FBS with 10 sacks.

The Vikings currently do not have a pick in the second round on Friday.