4 Rim-Rattling Trade Ideas for Vikings in Draft

The Vikings Have One Tradeable Asset
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The NFL draft is five days away, and the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled for five picks inside the event.

Last year, then-new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded more than any human during the draft, and there’s no reason to believe 2023 will be totally different.

4 Rim-Rattling Trade Ideas for Vikings in Draft

Sizing up roster needs and the team’s salary cap, these are four rim-rattling trades — that are somewhat realistic — the Vikings could pull off during the draft.

1. Trade into Top 10 for QB

Rattling Trade Ideas
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.

Vikings Trade:
23rd Overall Pick in 2023, the 2023 3rd-Rounder, and a 2024 1st-Rounder

Eagles Trade:
10th Overall Pick

Here’s one essential item to remember about the Vikings method in scouting the quarterback of the future: they’re not just waiting for some guy to fall down the draftboard.

In their war room months ago, the club identified the quarterbacks it adores the most from this draft. If that person — whether Anthony Richardson, Will Levis, or even C.J. Stroud — falls to a desirable spot in Round 1, like pick No. 10, the Vikings could strike.

Yes, the trade will cost a lot, but any trade that high up the ladder will always be expensive — now or in the 2024 draft.

For example, if Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell love Richardson and he plunges to pick No. 10, Minnesota could pounce to arrange life after Kirk Cousins, who is under contract for just one more season. Richardson would sit-and-wait for one year, with all eyes on 2024 for his emergence.

2. The Trey Lance Trade

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings Trade:
2024 2nd-Rounder

49ers Trade:
Trey Lance

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday, “Sources: The 49ers have received inquiries from several teams looking into a potential trade for former No. 3 pick QB Trey Lance. The conversations have been the result of SF fielding the calls, not making them, with teams aware that Brock Purdy is likely the future starter.”

And according to Pro Football Talk, the Vikings allegedly expressed interest in Lance at the 2023 NFL Combine.

Lance hasn’t filled a consistent QB1 job since 2019 at North Dakota State — a long time ago — but he’s 22 years old. If the Vikings don’t want to hand out a satchel of future 1st-Round picks to trade up for Richardson, Levis, or Stroud, well, Lance can be the guy. He’s the same age now as a rookie quarterback.

Plus, Adofo-Mensah used to work in San Francisco, so no NFL general manager should have a clearer communication pipeline to the 49ers than him.

3. The Dalvin Cook Trade

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings Trade:
Dalvin Cook

Other Team Trades (MIA, ATL):
2023 4th-Round Pick

Minnesota reportedly tried to execute a trade for Cook in early March, but nothing fully came together. Then, Adofo-Mensah re-signed Cook’s teammate, Alexander Mattison, for a decently-sized two-year, $7 million deal.

The writing on the wall reads Cook is probably heading toward a trade or release.

If the Vikings can find a dance partner like the Miami Dolphins or Atlanta Falcons, the draft would be the time for the swap.

4. The Za’Darius Smith Trade

The Vikings Final Injury Report: Week 11
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings Trade:
Za’Darius Smith

Other Team Trades (BAL, SF, SEA):
2023 5th-Round Pick

Over six weeks ago, Za’Darius Smith tweeted this: “I just want to say ‘Thank you!’ to Skol Nation for an amazing season & experience! Thank you to all of my Teammates, Coaches & the entire Minnesota Vikings Organization! ?.”

Nothing happened afterward.

The Vikings signed EDGE rusher Marcus Davenport a few days later, and he’s on deck for the Smith’s job in 2023 — or so we think.

Like Cook, Smith is on a highway to release or trade. And the draft is arguably the last best spot to trade Smith and salvage a draft pick. Teams like Ravens, 49ers, or Seahawks may be interested in his services.

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).

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