Perfect Storm Invites Vikings to Go All-In on QB

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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.

The Minnesota Vikings enter the 2023 NFL Draft with just five selections. Former general manager Rick Spielman would be appalled about such a scenario, and finding a way to double that would be his goal. However, this isn’t his show anymore, and things are set up for the Vikings to make one big splash.

Last season the Minnesota Vikings won the NFC North with a 13-4 record. That came on the heels of a record-setting comeback, close victories, and Josh Allen gift-wrapping a touchdown in the end zone. To say regression could be coming would be putting it lightly. Then again, Aaron Rodgers is out of the division, Green Bay is no longer a juggernaut, and betting on the Lions until they prove something seems foolish.

Perfect Storm Invites Vikings to Go All-In on QB

So why not run it back? Realistically, the Vikings are the same team they were a year ago. The defense is largely unchanged, and while it was terrible, the hope would be that a competent coordinator in Brian Flores can make a difference. Adam Thielen is gone, but his presence was hardly felt anyway, and another wide receiver will be inserted in his place. That’s not to say Minnesota does still have opportunity to make additions, but with five picks, it shouldn’t be expected that they’ll complete an overhaul this offseason.

Perfect Storm Invites
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

That all trends towards general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah being able to push his chips to the center and draft Anthony Richardson. If that means dealing the 23rd overall pick and a first-rounder next year, so be it. Richardson then immediately gives the Vikings a succession plan at the most important position, and he does so with a minimal cap hit, unlike what has taken place with Kirk Cousins.

The Vikings would still have a few additional picks for this draft to try and find depth or gems, but the focus on retooling the roster would then be placed on 2024. With Cousins off the books, cap space gets dramatically more workable, and with a long-term plan at quarterback, the assets (both draft and dollars) can be allocated everywhere else on the roster.

Vikings Have Official Anthony Richardson Odds
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) throws the ball during the first half against the Georgia Bulldogs at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, on Saturday, October 29, 2022. © Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK.

It’s unlikely Richardson would make an impact for the Vikings this year, but as a long-term play, that has to be the goal. The Vikings have too many holes to fill with just five picks, and an opportunity to jump up and grab a quarterback isn’t feasible when addressing everything else. In passing on this roster’s other needs, the 2023 draft can be about the long-term future at the most critical position, and the Vikings can then work out where they go from there.

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Kirk Cousins

Coaching put the Vikings in plenty of advantageous situations to win games a year ago. Rely on that again, and give the organization a player it hasn’t had in place for several years. This might be the last time it makes sense to go all in during this roster cycle.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.