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Is Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo Mensah’s Drafting of J.J. McCarthy Redemption for 2022 Draft Class?

We have yet to see if the 2024 draft picks will be the saving grace for the highly criticized 2022 draft class from Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo Mensah.

With Sam Darnold most likely holding down the starting job, at least to begin 2024, it likely delays McCarthy’s pathway to becoming the full-time starter and face of the franchise in Minnesota.

Kwesi Adolfo Mensah’s Time as Vikings GM

When the Vikings hired Adofo-Mensah as GM in January 2022, it signaled a new era focused on analytics and data-driven decisions. His background in economics and Wall Street trading distinguished him from traditional football executives. Adofo-Mensah’s success as a general manager is still up for debut according to many fans.

The Vikings also hired, former Ram’s offensive coordinator , Kevin O’Connell at head coach followng a successful run at the Super Bowl with McVay.

Coming into this 2024 draft , Adolfo-Mensah professed that this would be a “big off season“.

Let’s take a moment to examine a few draft picks with Kwesi at the helm.

Previous Draft Picks (1st Round)

The 2022 draft season is widely regarded as a bust with little to no production coming from the first and second round picks. Jordan Addison in 2023 proved to be a good fit for the Vikings offense and a bit of redemption for the franchise.

Hot off the heels for the 2024 Draft, it’s yet to be seen if JJ McCarthy and Dallas Turner will work out.

Lewis Cine (Safety, 2022 1st Round, Pick 32)

The Vikings’ 2022 first-round selection was Lewis Cine, a hard-hitting safety out of Georgia who was the defensive MVP for the national champion Bulldogs. Cine was viewed as a potential successor to longtime safety Harrison Smith, but his rookie season was derailed by a compound fracture suffered in Week 4.

In his short time in the NFL, Cine has seen just 10 defensive snaps, stuck behind the solid safety core that includes Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum. Cine’s high draft pedigree won’t be enough to get playing time. Many have criticized Vikings GM Adofo-Mensah’s choice of Cine over Kyle Hamilton along with the entire 2022 draft class.

The severity of Cine’s injury may have set back his development and shaken his confidence. He was said to be developmental when drafted and I guess you could say this is part o his development.


Jordan Addison (WR, 2023 1st Round, Pick 23)

Adofo-Mensah’s 2023 first-round selection was Jordan Addison, who shined with future first rounder’s Kenny Pickett and Caleb Williams in college. Addison made an immediate impact, hauling in 70 receptions for 911 yards and 10 touchdowns in his rookie season.

Addison’s production spiked when playing with Kirk Cousins compared to other Vikings QBs – averaging 13.4 yards per catch and scoring 7 TDs with Cousins throwing to him.

How will Addison fair with a new Quarterback this coming season?

Among the NFL’s rookie pass-catchers, only Puka Nacua eclipsed Addison’s rookie campaign. However, Addison led all NFL rookies with 10 TD catches.

With Justin Jefferson solidified as the Vikings’ WR1 and TJ Hockenson at tight end, Addison seems poised to operate as the clear #2 option in the passing game heading into year two.

2024 Vikings Draft Picks (1st Round)

J.J McCarthy

The pressure will be on McCarthy to hit the ground running and show he was worthy of being a first-round pick. His development arc could make or break Adofo-Mensah’s draft reputation quickly.

Watching for his growth under Darnold, as a backup is all we can hope for this coming season unless he is outshines QB 1 in every way leading up to the seasons start.

Dallas Turner

Dallas Turner is one of the top pass rushers from this draft class will be exciting to watch from day one of the season. Currently listed as first on the depth chart and will be involved in the defensive; no doubt.

If the goal is to gauge Adofo-Mensah’s 1st Round picks from 2024, Turner would be the one to watch as McCarthy likely won’t start with Sam Arnold there.

Who is Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah?

(pronounced ah-DOH-foh MEN-sah)

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is the current General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings in the National Football League. Hired in 2022, he took over the Vikings’ front office as one of the youngest GMs in the league at just 40 years old.

Adofo-Mensah’s journey to becoming an NFL executive was unconventional. After starting on Wall Street as a trader, he transitioned to football in 2013, joining the San Francisco 49ers as Manager of Football Research & Development. He later got promoted to Director of that department, helping the 49ers integrate analytics into decision-making.

In 2020, Adofo-Mensah moved to the Cleveland Browns as their Vice President of Football Operations. His two Cleveland seasons further solidified his reputation as a bright, analytical mind in the NFL.

Vikings Going Forward

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s first Vikings GM season is firmly behind us with things looking up. As the Viking’s offense falls into place we are excited to see the strategies going forward.

With the Vikings still seeking a franchise quarterback, Adofo-Mensah faces major decisions ahead. His ability to unearth talent and reshape the team’s culture will determine if the Vikings can build a consistent winner in the years to come under his leadership.