Purple Rumor Mill: Will Levis Week, a Trade with DEN, the Duke Minimum

Scheme Fit
University of Kentucky senior quarterback Will Levis showed his passing form during a Pro Day workout at Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, Mar. 24, 2023. © Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal and USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

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 March 25th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Will Levis Week, a Trade with DEN, the Duke Minimum

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 a realistic shot at landing Will Levis from Kentucky in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Will Levis Week
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports.

Levis, via mock draft, happened in two spots this week — NFL.com and The Athletic.

In the NFL.com edition, author Charles Davis explained the selection, “Finally! Teams picking as high as No. 4 overall will likely consider the big-armed passer from Kentucky, but he lands with QB-friendly coach Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota as the franchise’s signal-caller for the future.”

And in The Athletic piece, the Vikings had to trade No. 23, 87, and a 2024 1st-Round for the No. 7 pick and a 6th-Rounder. The seventh overall pick was used on Levis.

If the Vikings are internally ready to make 2023 Kirk Cousins’ final year in purple, they may as well trade up this year for Levis — or whichever quarterback they’ve labeled “their guy.” Otherwise, they’ll have to do so next year, and the trade price will be about the same.

All of the life-after-Cousins fodder boils down to which quarterback general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell desire. They won’t draft one of this year’s “Big 4” by throwing darts at a board. It’s more calculated than that.

Overall, the answer is that Levis in Minnesota is realistic if the Vikings want it to be.

Rumor: Minnesota may unload a draft pick + a player to the Broncos for Jerry Jeudy or a lesser trade package for Courtland Sutton.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos signed ex-Saints WR Marquez Gallaway on Friday, making their WR room incredibly crowded with Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler, and Callaway.

Yes, Jeudy and Sutton are reportedly on the trade block, and the Vikings are linked to trade talks because they have a WR2 need. There is no tangible evidence, though, that Adofo-Mensah has spoken to George Paton about either wideout.

Perhaps the Broncos would accept a 3rd-Round + Dalvin Cook for Jeudy. Or, for Sutton, he should be gettable for a mid-to-late rounder.

Ultimately, the Vikings should be WR2 shopping, and Denver has two for sale. That’s why there’s rumor smoke.

Rumor: Former Vikings CB Duke Shelley was only offered the league minimum to return with the club in 2023.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Through implication, this is correct — and absurd.

Shelley reportedly signed in Las Vegas for $1.3 million. After his breakout season, the Vikings — a team deprived of CB depth at the moment — should’ve been able to afford Shelley’s $1.3 million asking price. It’s a bargain.

No cigar, however, as Minnesota stares at a CB room right now with Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth, and Akayleb Evans. That desperately needs improvement in free agency or the draft.

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.