Purple Rumor Mill: Lamar Jackson as QB1, The UCLA QB, the Imminent CB Problem

Ravens Make Huge
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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 1st — not Fool’s — edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Lamar Jackson as QB1, The UCLA QB, the Imminent CB Problem

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.

Here’s the first batch of the week.

Rumor: The Vikings have actually achievable odds to trade for Lamar Jackson.

Dejected Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) against the Miami Dolphins during NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium Thursday in Miami Gardens. © BILL INGRAM /THE PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK.

As of March 28th, right when Lamar Jackson told the world he’d requested a trade by the Baltimore Ravens on March 2nd, these were DraftKings odds for teams landing the former MVP:

  • Colts +250
  • Falcons +300
  • Commanders +600
  • Dolphins +850
  • Lions +900
  • Vikings +1000
  • 49ers +1500
  • Titans +1600
  • Jets +2500

The Vikings would face substantial, perhaps damning, hurdles to trade for Jackson, mainly trading Kirk Cousins to a team of his choosing — he has a no-trade clause — and paying Jackson $40-$50 million per season.

But there is a glimmer of hope for crossover Jackson-Vikings fans. Minnesota isn’t committed to Cousins beyond 2023, and Jackson is a safer bet than any quarterback who could be drafted in 2023 and 2024.

Plus, he’s 26 years old — in the prime of his career.

A Vikings trade for Jackson is unlikely, but it cannot be ruled out.

Rumor: Minnesota could scoff at the idea of trading the farm for a new quarterback and instead select Dorian Thompson-Robinson from UCLA in the mid-to-late rounds.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

In the last few days, The Athletic and ESPN have linked Thompson-Robinson to Minnesota, a sensible idea as the Vikings are not committed to Cousins beyond 2023. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has opted not to extend the 34-year-old this offseason, at least not yet.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis mock-drafted Thompson-Robinson to the Vikings Thursday and explained, “Why not take a chance on a quarterback who can sit and develop? This type of pick has little downside. You are not giving up your best draft capital for an unproven player. And, if Thompson-Robinson doesn’t develop to your liking, you can always draft another QB in the coming years.”

“Thompson-Robinson is not without his question marks, but he is athletic and has pedigree. Also, O’Connell worked under Thompson-Robinson’s college coach, Chip Kelly, in San Francisco,” Lewis surmised.

And, the day before, ESPN’s Jordan Reid also selected Thompson-Robinson for Minnesota — in the same draft spot, the 119th pick in the 4th Round. It’s the draft pick acquired by the Vikings during the T.J. Hockenson trade.

Thompson-Robinson would marry two worlds for the Vikings — not having to trade anything for the quarterback of the future but still addressing the position.

Nobody is sure, though, if he’ll be any good.

Rumor: The CB room is slim for the Vikings, and help is on the way.

Vikings Rookie Defensive Class Down to 1 Great Hope in 2022
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

At the NFL’s ‘Annual Meeting’ this week, where Thursday Night scheduling was tweaked and players were granted permission to wear No. 0, O’Connell acknowledged Minnesota’s need for more cornerbacks — a first-of-its-kind acquiescence this offseason. “We know we need to add via through the draft or potentially through some other veterans,” he admitted about the Vikings CB depth.

O’Connell continued, “We need to add some more numbers in that room.”

The Vikings have these cornerbacks attached to the 2023 depth chart as of March 30th:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Andrew Booth
  • Akayleb Evans
  • Tay Gowan
  • Kalon Barnes

They need more — perhaps two to three — and O’Connell expressly acknowledged it this week. Cornerback depth is on the way whether from the draft of free agency’s third wave.


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.