Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s Incomplete ‘GM Ranking’

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who was hired in January 2022 after the club parted ways with Rick Spielman. The Vikings finished 13-4 in Adofo-Mensah's first season as general manager.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over the club 15 months ago and has since guided the team to a 13-4 record, added T.J. Hockenson at tight end, and seems poised to create an extra strategy for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Along the way, he completed a full NFL draft, trading over and over to stockpile more value. His 2022 draft class was riddled with injury, so 2023 will be quite telling on their prognoses in the league.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s Incomplete’ GM Ranking’

How does that young resume stack against other general managers? Well, Adofo-Mensah is too new, according to’s Gregg Rosenthal.

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before a wild card game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Rosenthal ranked all NFL general managers late last week, and for Adofo-Mensah, he nestled into a “too new” category as defined by Rosenthal wrote about the Vikings executive, “Managing a team in transition, Adofo-Mensah helped the Vikings win the NFC North with smart moves in free agency (Za’Darius Smith, Patrick Peterson, Harrison Phillips) and a timely trade for T.J. Hockenson. His first draft class is off to a slow start, with very little production despite four picks in the top 66.”

Adofo-Mensah arrived in the NFL from a Wall Street background, so accruing picks by trading downward should come as no surprise.

“The Vikings’ decision to start weaning themselves off the Kirk Cousins narcotic by passing on an extension this offseason was integral in setting up the franchise’s next phase,” Rosenthal concluded.

Open for Business
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah talks with head coach Kevin O’Connell prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

All Adofo-Mensah rankings are fine and dandy, but one item really matters regarding his longterm future with the club — his decision on “the guy after Cousins.” Of course, Adofo-Mensah could reverse course and sign Cousins to a contract extension after the draft if the event doesn’t net a rookie QB. However, he likely would’ve done so by now.

Whether Minnesota drafts Cousins’ successor in the 2023 NFL Draft or next year’s, he and head coach Kevin O’Connell’s choice at quarterback will define their legacies. Indeed, all aspects of the roster matter to performance on the field and wins and losses, but nothing quite matters like the covenant the Vikings make with Cousins’ heir apparent. If that guy flops, O’Connell is assuredly heading elsewhere, while Adofo-Mensah may get only one more crack at a QB solution.

Vikings on Another
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Adofo-Mensah was asked about drafting a quarterback in the upcoming draft last week, and he replied, “Ideally, you probably would want to have a year to have the person in the building or something like that, but I don’t know if that’s necessary.”

O’Connell opined on the same question, “Ideally, you would love to have that person in that role developing behind a great player like Kirk, but I don’t think you ever sacrifice it being the right player.”

“Regardless of the when, the where, the why, the how, you can’t sacrifice that. Cause you have to have ultra-belief and connection on making that decision cause it is such an important decision,” O’Connell added.

Adofo-Mensah has five picks at his disposal heading into the draft 10 days from now. We shall see how he scripts his next draft chapter.

Rosenthal considered Philadelphia Eagles boss Howie Roseman the best general manager in the sport.

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).

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