Former Vikings GM Has Spicy Draft Theory for Old Team

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Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Former Vikings GM Has Spicy Draft Theory for Old Team

The Minnesota Vikings own two 1st-Round picks after a splashy trade three weeks ago when current general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah sent two 2nd-Round picks to Houston for the Texans’ 2024 1st-Rounder (Pick No. 23) and a late-round pick swap.

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Most expect Minnesota to fire off another trade with the Washington Commanders (Pick No. 2), the New England Patriots (Pick No. 3), the Arizona Cardinals (Pick No. 4), or the Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No. 5). Doing so would enable the purple team grab Daniels, Maye, or McCarthy. In theory, anyway.

And according to former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, Minnesota could end up “overpaying” for the fourth quarterback on the board. Caleb Williams is virtually guaranteed to be drafted by the Chicago Bears with the first pick.

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Spielman recently said on CBS Sports airwaves, “They’re going to have to give picks 11 and 23 and their 2025 first, plus some more draft capital. I think JJ will be a good pro, but Minnesota will overpay to get him. At this point, they don’t have a choice given their current QB room.”

This theory — for what it’s worth — aligns with a recent mock draft from ESPN. Field Yates predicted this week Minnesota doing business with the Los Angeles Chargers and the No. 5 pick but sending three 1st-Rounders for the prize, J.J. McCarthy.

Yates explained, “Three quarterbacks are already off the board, and Minnesota has a big hole there after Kirk Cousins signed elsewhere in March. So I have the Vikings sending Nos. 11 and 23 this year and an additional 2025 first-rounder to the Chargers to move up to No. 5 overall for the class’ QB4. Los Angeles, meanwhile, picks up valuable assets to build its roster back up.”

Rick Spielman Connects
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On the whole, the only item that really matters about the incoming purple trade — with any team — is the quarterback ending up productive in the NFL. If that guy is a decade-long starter, nobody will care how much the trade cost in hindsight. Yet, three 1st-Rounders for the Chargers’ pick shatters all trade calculator norms.

Yates then connected McCarthy to Minnesota with the fifth pick: “Minnesota would be betting on McCarthy’s combination of very good ball placement and mobility helping him become its long-term answer, with Sam Darnold in tow for 2024 if McCarthy needs time to get his feet wet. The supporting cast in Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson and an elite offensive tackle duo give him a shot for serious early success. McCarthy completed 72.3% of his passes and threw only four interceptions last season.”

Spielman, meanwhile, is filled with Vikings draft takes. He made the case for Spencer Rattler to a quarterback-friendly system — the Vikings have one of those — and the former Vikings bossman even name-dropped his old team as a Rattler landing spot. Spielman answered a question about Rattler’s ideal fit last week, first connecting him to San Francisco with a Brock Purdy connection: “Anyone coming out of that offensive system would be the best, whether it’s the Rams or whether it’s the 49ers. I would say even Minnesota.”

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So, if you’re keeping score of Spielman’s takes at home, here’s where Minnesota is:

  1. They could overpay for the fourth quarterback off the board — to the tune of three 1st-Rounders.
  2. If that doesn’t work, Spencer Rattler could be an option.

The NFL draft is exactly three weeks away.


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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