Vikings Fans Have 1 Major Item on Christmas Wishlist

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Christmas time. The Vikings are still in playoff contention, but they surely don’t seem to be a Super Bowl team without QB1 Kirk Cousins. So what do fans hope to get for Christmas to secure the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history? The answer is simple. One right move in the draft can put the team in a position to be an annual contender.

Vikings Fans Have 1 Major Item on Christmas Wishlist

Vikings Fans Have 1 Major Item on Christmas Wishlist
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The move everyone desires is the selection of the future franchise quarterback — someone who can put the Vikings into the tier of the top teams in any given year. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning always opened an NFL season on teams viewed as potential Super Bowl-winning teams, and they were the main reason for that.

Picking a guy like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, or Joe Burrow changes the trajectory of franchises, elevating them from a normal team to a potential dynasty with guaranteed meaningful football in January. Vikings fans want to be relevant in January more often than just once a decade in an unusual season.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In the last six years, the Vikings have tried to reach the big game with Kirk Cousins on the roster, and they have failed dramatically, winning only a single postseason game. And Cousins has been good enough to win more than that, but there is just always something wrong with the franchise. Either the defense stinks like it did from 2020 to 2022, or the offense isn’t working like it did in 2018. And even when they are clicking like they were in 2019, they didn’t come close to beating the 49ers in the divisional round after already upsetting the Saints as big underdogs in the previous week.

Cousins keeps teams relevant in the playoff contention by throwing 30 TDs and 4000 yards, but he isn’t great enough to mask the team’s flaws to keep them in Super Bowl contention. He doesn’t inspire free agents to join the team to hunt rings.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports.

There is a difference between having an elite quarterback and someone in that second tier. Those second-tier quarterbacks can win a Super Bowl on a stacked team like Matthew Stafford did in February 2022, but they can’t push an average team into contention, also proven by Stafford and Cousins for years. Mahomes can do that.

For that reason, the Vikings should swing big in the upcoming draft. Head coach Kevin O’Connell should identify the next elite quarterback; that’s part of why he was brought, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah should do anything possible to acquire him, regardless of the cost. It might take three first-round picks, but nobody would care if the passer is any good. Just ask the Chiefs or Bills.

The Vikings could also have a hybrid approach, acquire the new franchise QB in the draft after extending Cousins for a year or two to have the young guy develop without any pressure but also to keep the team relevant as he does.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

But no matter what they are doing, they should attempt to find THEIR guy. The new regime has gone through two drafts, but the only selected QB was fifth-rounder Jaren Hall, who is unlikely to be the next big thing as he can’t get on the field over Joshua Dobbs and Nick Mullens.

At some point, the offensive-minded head coach should have the opportunity to work with a young and uber-talented passer to show what he can do with one of those paired with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The good news is that it is one of those deep first-rounds with a plethora of decent QB prospects. Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are expected to be the top picks in the draft, while Jayden Daniels’ draft stock is rising. Bo Nix, Michael Penix, and JJ McCarthy are also potential first-round picks.

Cousins has been a wonderful team captain for the Vikings and perhaps kept some recent groups in playoff contention that shouldn’t have been there. His stable and solid play has been a nice change from what the organization had before signing the veteran, but they should aim for greatness, whether the Vikes keep Cousins or not.

The time for a new era has arrived.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt