The Latest QB Trade Theory for Vikings

These 5 QBs Could
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The 2023 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, and the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to pick five times during the event.

Long-term roster needs include cornerback, wide receiver, off-ball linebacker, and perhaps interior defensive line, but if the club wants to get a head start at the game’s most important position, a quarterback could join the depth chart, too.

The Latest QB Trade Theory for Vikings

Current quarterback Kirk Cousins is under contract for one more season, and if everything stays the same, he can sign anywhere in the NFL via free agency in 11 months. The process would resemble Derek Carr’s world tour a month and a half ago.

Minnesota Vikings fans are all over the board about “what to do next” at quarterback, mainly a hodgepodge of choices: draft a rookie quarterback now, wait until later, extend Cousins indefinitely, or trade for Lamar Jackson.

Left up to ESPN’s Mina Kimes, though, the decision is straightforward — trade up on draft night for Florida’s Anthony Richardson.

Latest QB Trade
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.

Kimes offered the Vikings QB solution on ESPN airwaves Friday, “I suspect they’re willing to move on. And that, to me, is where it gets even more interesting. I’ve seen a lot of mock drafts that have the Vikings take Hendon Hooker at pick 23.”

The Vikings haven’t drafted a quarterback in Round 1 since 2014, when Teddy Bridgewater joined the franchise with the 32nd overall pick.

“My feeling is if you’re Minnesota, and you’re willing to allocate a 1st-Round pick — and that means it’s over with Cousins — if you’re willing to do that, then you should really consider just trading up for Anthony Richardson,” Kimes recommended.

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The theoretical trade package for Richardson is totally up in the air. If Vikings boss Kwesi Adofo-Mensah believes Richardson won’t escape the draft’s top three spots, he’d have to trade up with the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3 for an onslaught of picks likely involving three 1st-Rounders and an extra mid-rounder.

However, if Richardson slips to the Philadelphia Eagles slot at No. 10, the price would reduce to approximately two 1st-Rounders and a mid-rounder.

Vikings Have Official
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) salutes while carrying a bag of Skittles in his mouth while walking on Steve Spurrier-Florida Field during Gator Walk at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, September 10, 2022. © Doug Engle / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Richardson is arguably the most freakishly-gifted quarterback to step foot inside the NFL Combine. The Florida Gator absolutely mesmerized folks — scouts, general managers, draft heads, fans, everyone — in Indianapolis two months ago, and his draft stock accordingly skyrocketed.

The only item to decide for Richardson and his future team is accuracy. Kyle Boller, Ryan Leaf, and Jake Locker are the only 1st-Round quarterbacks in the last 25 years with a worse collegiate completion percentage than Richardson. All three emphatically flamed out as 1st-Round picks, so Richardson will hope he is the outlier.

Richardson scripted a heartfelt letter to general managers this week via The Players’ Tribune. He wrote, “And, yeah, I may not pay attention to all the noise, but I do hear the critics. I know the things people are picking apart. People talk about whether I can be accurate. They say I don’t have touch. They say I can’t throw short. They say a lot of things. All I gotta say is: Watch how hard I work. In my mind, I can do anything with the football in my hand — but I know that no one will ever work harder than me to improve.”

Quiet Contender
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) scrambles with the ball during the second half against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, on Sunday, October 2, 2022. © Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK.

“Whether that’s my footwork, accuracy, mechanics, learning defenses, you name it. You can always grow, and that’s what I’m focused on. I’m going to come in and be tireless. I’m going to put it all on the line. My family sacrificed too much for me to not give everything to this game,” the prospect added.

And while making good on the promise, Kimes feels it should be with the Minnesota Vikings.

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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