Anonymous NFL Executive Claims Vikings Got Hosed

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings found two franchise cornerstones in the 2024 NFL Draft, or at least two they have attached the label with hefty expectations.

Anonymous NFL Executive Claims Vikings Got Hosed

Minnesota used Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft to select quarterback J.J. McCarthy of Michigan and outside linebacker Dallas Turner from Alabama. Virtually no Vikings fan believed both men were obtainable, as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was expected to trade his 1st-Round assets for a quarterback of the future. But on draft night, McCarthy fell to pick No. 10, and the young executive pulled the trigger on a trade with the New York Jets — while keeping his 23rd overall pick intact. He then chose Turner after an expensive trade to the 17th spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Vikings Top Draft Target
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Vikings fans rejoiced at the maneuvers, as the club “got its guys,” hell or high water, acting boldly in pursuing replacements for Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter, who departed for the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans, respectively.

But not everyone was impressed. Last week, The Athletic‘s Mike Sando quoted an anonymous NFL executive about Minnesota’s trading: “I can buy trading some future picks if you are going to be contending and you are going to get a potential starter. But the Vikings are not even close to contending. What they did, or even what the Bears did in giving up a (2025) fourth (for a fifth this year), I would not be doing that if I were those teams.”

dallas turner
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports.

It is unclear why the Vikings “aren’t close to contending.” Of course, most of anything related to purple and gold football for the next few years depends on McCarthy’s ascension to QB1 and how well he plays along the way. If he stinks, of course Minnesota won’t contend.

Yet the roster after the quarterback(s) — Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, Christan Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill, Aaron Jones, Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, Ivan Pace Jr. Harrison Phillips, Blake Cashman, Josh Metellus, plus the rookie Turner — isn’t some bottom-feeding group lacking talent. It may not scare the Kansas City Chiefs, for example, but to claim the Vikings’ roster is just pedestrian is a bit strange.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Indeed, Adofo-Mensah traded a lot to fetch McCarthy and Turner. That isn’t contested. Here were the parameters:

The Vikings Got:
J.J. McCarthy
Dallas Turner
6th-Rounder (2024)
7th-Rounder (2024)

The Vikings Gave:
No. 11
2nd-Rounder (2024)
2nd-Rounder (2025)
3rd-Rounder (2025)
4th-Rounder (2024)
4th-Rounder (2025)
5th-Rounder (2024)
5th-Rounder (2024)
6th-Rounder (2024)

Vikings Viewed in Same
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota rolled the dice on an expensive trade, but “not even close to contending” all depends on McCarthy’s maturation, with a side dish of Sam Darnold in 2024.

Maybe the unnamed executive works in Green Bay.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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