That Vikings-49ers Trade Turned out Pretty Nifty

Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; A Minnesota Vikings fans holds a sign before the game against the San Francisco 49ers in a NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

As a product of a trade with the San Francisco 49ers, the Minnesota Vikings landed a potential quarterback of the future.

It just wasn’t Trey Lance.

That Vikings-49ers Trade Turned out Pretty Nifty

Lance was the subject of Vikings-themed trade rumors amid the last few weeks but ultimately stayed in San Francisco through the end of the 2023 NFL Draft. Instead, Minnesota drafted BYU’s Jaren Hall as a result of a 49ers trade.

49ers Trade Turned
Sep 24, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) drops back to pass the ball against the Wyoming Cowboys in the first quarter at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports.

On Friday night, as Minnesota’s 87th overall pick approached, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah — who used to work for the 49ers — traded the pick to San Francisco for the 102nd, 164th, and 222nd picks. Some Vikings fans admonished the move because Adofo-Mensah and his predecessor Rick Spielman always seem to trade back and stockpile draft picks. They’re basically the Spider-man meme.

But after some patience in realizing the trade spoils, the Vikings exited the trade in promising shape, at least on paper.

Nov 13, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; UAB Blazers running back DeWayne McBride (22) celebrates after running for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the spoils:

The Vikings-49ers Trade:

49ers Get:
🏈 Ji’Ayir Brown (S)

Vikings Get:
🏈 Mekhi Blackmon (CB)
🏈 Jaren Hall (QB)
🏈 DeWayne McBride (RB)

Of course, any “draft grades” or “trade winners” cannot be adjudicated until years down the road, despite pundits loving to drop a verdict in the hours after the transaction. This trade could turn out to be utter garbage of one team or both. Still, for the Vikings purposes, few onlookers would decry the exchange of assets.

Mar 3, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California defensive back Mekhi Blackmon (DB04) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Blackmon will compete for playing time in an underwhelming Vikings CB room. He can reasonably expect to see tidbits of playing time if he fires up a productive summer. McBride would receive some snaps in 2023 and 2024 if Dalvin Cook leaves the franchise, as many expect to occur after June 1st.

But the real would-be gem from the deal is Hall. He’s the one who could take over the Vikings QB1 job in 2024 or 2025 if Kirk Cousins leaves in free agency. Minnesota didn’t extend Cousins’ deal as of yet this offseason, signaling the possible end of his run in the Twin Cities. We shall see.

Age is Hall’s “weakness.” He’s 25, an abnormally old age for a rookie quarterback and ramification of “the COVID year.” The BYU alumnus also batted concussions in 2019 and a hip injury in 2020. But injury concerns shouldn’t matter too much until 2024 and beyond.

Nov 19, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) warms up prior to a game against the Utah Tech Trailblazers at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Hall produced 51 passing touchdowns in the last two years at BYU with just 11 interceptions — in 22 games. He also ran for 6 scores and tallied a receiving touchdown, too.

The Vikings-49ers trade was the first between the two clubs since 2020, when San Francisco netted WR Brandon Aiyuk in the draft while Minnesota traded for the picks that became CB Jeff Gladney, EDGE D.J. Wonnum, and WR K.J. Osborn.

Minnesota hosts San Francisco next season at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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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