Purple Rumor Mill: Dalvin Cook Eventual Departure, Draft Homework on QBs, CB as 1st Pick?

Should Consider Benching
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

VikingsTerritory’s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the April 16th edition.

Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about pertaining to the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Dalvin Cook Eventual Departure, Draft Homework on QBs, CB as 1st Pick?

Here’s the second batch of the week. Yesterday’s can be read here.

Rumor: Dalvin Cook could be released — not traded — before the NFL draft.

Draft Homework
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) looks on after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

This is a somewhat new development. Most Vikings fans believed Cook would be traded before or during the 2023 NFL Draft.

But it could be an outright release.

Minnesota allegedly has “all options” on the table regarding Cook’s hefty contract, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “I’m told all options are on the table here and that he could be released closer to the draft if things don’t work out,” Fowler said this week on SportsCenter.

Fowler continued, “They had talked to at least one team about a trade in the past closer to free agency, so he is certainly a name to watch.”

The broad takeaway? Cook’s days as a Viking feel numbered — via release or trade.

Rumor: The Vikings have done extensive homework on QBs for the draft.

Oct 29, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) throws a pass against the Stanford Cardinal in the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have reportedly met with these four QB prospects:

  • Anthony Richardson (QB), Florida
  • Will Levis (QB), Kentucky
  • Tanner McKee (QB), Stanford
  • Dorian Thompson-Robinson (QB), UCLA

This indicates the club knows it’s unreasonable to be involved in the Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud sweepstakes and is accordingly studying “the other guys.”

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was asked about drafting a quarterback in this draft and about the perks of having Cousins’ successor in-house before he leaves the team. The Vikings general manager responded at Thursday’s pre-draft press conference, “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.”

Head coach Kevin O’Connell answered 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 continued.

That sounds like they’re open to the idea of a QB in this draft — but not locked in as a requirement.

Rumor: A cornerback is the most likely first pick by Minnesota during the draft.

Another Pundit Piles
Nov 5, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive back Deonte Banks (3) reacts following a play during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings have chatted with approximately 13 corners during the pre-draft lead-up:

  • Joey Porter Jr. (CB), Penn State
  • Kelee Ringo (CB), Georgia
  • Cam Smith (CB), South Carolina
  • Emmanuel Forbes (CB), Mississippi State
  • Eli Ricks (CB), Alabama
  • Jarrick Bernard-Converse (CB), LSU
  • Mekhi Blackmon (CB), USC
  • Starling Thomas V (CB), UAB
  • Isaiah Bolden (CB), Jackson State
  • Terrell Smith (CB), Minnesota
  • Julius Brents (CB), Kansas State
  • Kei’Trel Clark (CB), Louisville
  • DJ Ivey (CB), Miami

That is significantly more than any position. It’s probably a safe bet to make CB your frontrunner for the Vikings first pick of the event. Otherwise, they could stock up on a couple in the draft’s middle rounds.

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 Viking obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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