2 Mock Drafts Ignite QB Frenzy for Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings need roster help at cornerback and off-ball linebacker to bolster the NFL’s 31st-ranked defense per yards allowed one year ago.

But don’t tell that to the mock-draft community, an entity increasingly choosing quarterback for the Vikings — via rather creative methods — in Round 1.

2 Mock Drafts Ignite QB Frenzy for Vikings

If you thought the Vikings “reaching” into Round 1 for Hendon Hooker was a mega theory one month ago, Peter King and Chad Reuter have something for you.

His name is Anthony Richardson from the University of Florida.

Ignite QB Frenzy
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Last Friday, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter authored his final mock draft of the 2023 cycle, and for the Vikings, a Mahomesian trade for the 10th overall pick was on the menu. He envisioned a Vikings trade up the draftboard with the Philadelphia Eagles, nabbing the 10th pick for the selection of Richardson.

“GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has not been shy about trading draft picks since taking on the job last year. Richardson’s potential as a dual-threat playmaker validates the hefty price Minnesota pays to jump up the board: the 23rd overall pick, a 2023 third-rounder (No. 87) and a 2024 first-rounder. (The Vikings also probably trade down in the fourth round to regain a selection),” Reuter opined.

Richardson posted the fanciest QB athleticism profile known to man at the 2023 NFL Combine, whisking his draft stock way up the board in Round 1, even into the Top 10 per most draft pundits. The Gator may not be available to the Vikings via trade at pick No. 10, as a team like the Indianapolis Colts or Atlanta Falcons may pounce beforehand.

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half against LSU at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, on Saturday, October 15, 2022. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun].

Some labeled Reuter’s mock an outlier, but it didn’t take long for Richardson-to-Vikings to gain more steam. NBC Sports‘ Peter King offered the same hypothesis, minus any trades. Yes, you’re reading that right — King believes the Vikings can remain at pick No. 23 and draft Richardson.

“Easily could go earlier — as high as four to Indianapolis. But the Vikings would be an intriguing spot for the raw Richardson. Kirk Cousins has one playoff win in five Vikings seasons. The math is not in Cousins’ favor. This is year six,” King wrote in his final mock draft.

He added, “He’ll have made $185 million as a Viking, and will be seeking $45 million-plus to re-sign after this season to be sure, guaranteed. Who would be surprised if the Vikings wanted to start fresh in 2024 if this is another one of those years?”

Vikings Allegedly Said
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Two sources tell VikingsTerritory that a trade-up for a quarterback, like the Reuter theory, is smoke and mirrors. But a Richardson tumble to No. 23 would have to intrigue general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Cousins could be gone in less than 11 months, intelligent franchises usually have a guy waiting to take the reins, and Richardson is evidently more gettable than most believed.

Among about a dozen others, the Richardson storyline will command ample attention for the Vikings Thursday night.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.