ESPN Says This Is the Guy to Watch for in Vikings Trade

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The 2024 NFL Draft is 73 days away, and the Minnesota Vikings will choose 11th that evening, barring a trade up or down the board.

ESPN Says This Is the Guy to Watch for in Vikings Trade

And during the event, the Vikings may need a new quarterback, depending on the outcome of Kirk Cousins’ impending free agency. Cousins is scheduled to hit the open market in four weeks, and it is unclear as of February 12th if Minnesota will sign the 35-year-old to an extension.

ESPN Says This
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Meanwhile, ESPN opined on a possible Vikings draft plan last weekend. With a theory that would thrill fans, ESPN’s Dan Graziano suggested Minnesota could be in the trade mix for LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

“The Patriots also need a quarterback, but there are people around the league who believe they are open to trading the No. 3 selection, moving back in the draft and addressing the quarterback position in free agency. If the Pats do trade that pick — which could be Daniels or Maye — the two teams I’d keep an eye on are the Falcons (moving from the No. 8 spot) and the Vikings (moving from the No. 11 spot, assuming they don’t bring back Cousins),” Graziano wrote Saturday.

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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.

Minnesota would have to spend a king’s ransom on a trade that would land Daniels, but nobody would care too much if Daniels morphs into a franchise quarterback. Stay tuned.

Graziano added, “Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long term, and the notion of bringing in Daniels to pair with their star LSU alum wideout Justin Jefferson has appeal to some in the organization.”

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Daniels has both coveted characteristics dreamed about by Vikings fans and NFL general managers — he can fling the rock from the pocket and also has a running back’s mobility. Winning the Heisman Trophy, too, in 2023 helped elevate his draft stock.

Last month, via mock draft, Pro Football Network’s Wil Helms envisioned this potential Vikings trade with the Washington Commanders for the pick to grab Daniels:

Vikings Get —
2nd Overall Pick (Jayden Daniels)

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

That’s the kind of price Minnesota must contemplate if it wants to swing for the fences in a trade for Daniels.

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- or 3rd-Round option.

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The Vikings have drafted four players from LSU, Daniels’ school, in the last four drafts:

  • WR Justin Jefferson (2020)
  • RG Ed Ingram (2022)
  • DL Jaquelin Roy (2023)
  • S Jay Ward (2023)

Minnesota has never used a Top 10 draft pick on a quarterback. If the Daniels theory from ESPN comes to fruition, he’d be the first.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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