New Mock Draft Features Another Blockbuster Trade for Vikings

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

Last week, Pro Football Network posted a mock draft including a juicy Minnesota Vikings trade up the board for North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

Now, PFN is at it again, this time combining another splashy trade for the Vikings — but netting Jayden Daniels, a quarterback from LSU.

New Mock Draft Features Another Blockbuster Trade for Vikings

Indeed, mock drafts are jumping off pages fast and furious, with the Vikings generally spending their 11th overall pick on a quarterback — like Maye or Daniels — or an impact defensive player like Jared Verse (EDGE, Florida State) or Nate Wiggins (CB, Clemson).

Features Another Blockbuster
Quarterback Jayden Daniels 5 runs the ball as the LSU Tigers take on Georgia State in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 18, 2023. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

But per PFN, this edition screams quarterback, and Daniels would be on tap to lead the Vikings into life without Kirk Cousins, at least before too long. Foremost, this was the proposed trade haul between the Vikings and Washington Commanders, according to PFN’s Wil Helms:

Vikings Get —
2nd Overall Pick (Jayden Daniels)

Commanders Get —
2024 1st-Rounder
2025 1st-Rounder
2024 2nd-Rounder
2025 3rd-Rounder
2024 5th-Rounder

Lottery Ticket QB
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Helms explained the deal, “With Williams off the board, we’ll throw another change into the order of the top three quarterbacks. Rather than having the Commanders take Maye to replace fellow Tar Heel Sam Howell, we’ll have them trade down and ride with the incumbent starter for one more year — depending on how the board falls later.”

Daniels has both coveted characteristics craved by Vikings fans and NFL general managers — he can fling the rock from the pocket and also has a running back’s mobility.

New Fox Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

Helms added, “Sources expect the Vikings to be aggressive in the draft in their search for a franchise quarterback on a rookie deal. Jayden Daniels can make every throw and has elite athleticism. If the Vikings put a guy with his upside in an offense with Jordan Addison and Justin Jefferson, they’ll have the chance to contend for a Super Bowl if the LSU quarterback reaches his potential.”

Inevitably, some Vikings fans would bemoan the trade price — five draft picks is a lot for one player — but the result would boil down to a couple outcomes:

  1. If Daniels turns out to be a Top 10 quarterback in the NFL, nobody will care how much the trade cost in 2024.
  2. If Daniels is a bust or simply meh, the Vikings’ draft picks would return after everyone learned his ceiling. The Vikings would, quite frankly, be starting over again.
Another Blockbuster
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

Otherwise, Minnesota could stay put and still draft a quarterback at No. 11. Players like Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) will likely be available to the Vikings with the organic 11th pick. Tulane’s Michael Pratt, too, could be a 2nd-Round option.

The Vikings have never selected a quarterback with Top 10 draft capital.

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).

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