Upcoming Rookie QB Linked to Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings have two quarterbacks under contract in 2024 and beyond — Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall.

Kirk Cousins and Joshua Dobbs will be free agents in March, and it is unclear if the Vikings will re-sign either man.

Upcoming Rookie QB Linked to Vikings

So, Minnesota may need a quarterback in next year’s draft, perhaps using high-round draft capital once and for all to land such a prospect. The last time the Vikings used a 1st-Round pick on a quarterback was 10 years ago, with Teddy Bridgewater.

There’s a widespread assumption that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell will want a young passer to sculpt sooner rather than later, and if that’s in 2024, Bleacher Report believes the man could be LSU’s Jayden Daniels.

Upcoming Rookie QB
Quarterback Jayden Daniels 5 runs the ball as the LSU Tigers take on Georgia State in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 18, 2023. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Daniels will enter the draft pool before too long, and once the draft hype machine does its thing, he’ll likely become a 1st-Round prospect, possibly the third quarterback off the board after USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., J.J. McCarthy from Michigan, and Oregon’s Bo Nix could also command 1st-Round draft stock.

Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports.

Bleacher Report labeled an ideal draft pick for each NFL team this week, and for Minnesota, it was Daniels. “Kirk Cousins is an impending free agent and is in his mid-30s. Even if the organization brings him back, it’d be smart to invest in a succession plan and Daniels could be a good project of Kevin O’Connell to work with,” BR‘s staff declared.

Indeed, the Vikings could “do both” — re-sign Cousins for a year and let Daniels marinate on the depth chart. Most teams toss their 1st-Rounder into the fire these days, but it’s not a rule.

dead period
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, after a 20-17 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 9 of the 2022 regular season.

“Jayden Daniels just keeps getting better. Though he won’t wow you with arm strength, Daniels is a sharp and aggressive thrower. He plays within the rhythm of the offense as well as anyone in the country right now and he isn’t afraid to attack tight windows,” BR‘s Derrik Klassen opined.

Minnesota signed Cousins as its fix-all QB1 solution in 2018, but that has translated to just two postseason appearances and one playoff win. It may be time to wind down the Cousins experiment.

Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports.

Klassen concluded, “As a runner, Daniels is in a tier of his own in this class. Daniels has the speed, change-of-direction, and vision to be a major threat in the NFL, if his slight frame can withstand it. The QB3 title remains wide open, and Daniels is making a strong case to take it.”

Depending on the Vikings’ next five games, Minnesota may not own the draft capital necessary to draft Daniels outright, so a trade up the board could be mandatory.

Yet, if a team enjoys a QB prospect and that man turns into a star, the price doesn’t matter.

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off in 20 weeks.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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