Latest Vikings Draft Rumor Claims Franchise Wants This QB

Mock Draft Continues
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) signs autographs during the national championship celebration at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings are in a crucial phase as their subsequent actions could determine the organization’s fate, at least for the next few years. With quarterback Kirk Cousins potentially leaving Skol Nation once free agency arrives after six years, the purple team must find his successor sooner rather than later.

Latest Vikings Draft Rumor Claims Franchise Wants This QB

vikings draft rumors
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The rumor mill has been producing an absurd number of quarterbacks who could wear the purple colors next season. They include virtual draft busts like Trey Lance and Sam Darnold and aging veterans long past their primes like Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill.

The only way to truly fill the void left by a potentially withdrawing Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback is in the draft. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah holds the 11th overall pick, out of reach to secure the consensus top picks Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (UNC), and Jayden Daniels (LSU).

However, a different passer has caught the public eye regarding a draft target for Minnesota: Michigan’s signal-caller J.J. McCarthy.

Forced by Broncos
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.

According to Destin Adams from A to Z Sports, teams around the league act under the impression that they had to jump the Vikes via trade if they wanted to land the passer, as he would not make it past them.

Sources have told me that NFL teams considering moving up for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy have pinpointed the Minnesota Vikings as a threat to land him. As I continue to speak to sources around the league, a common theme surrounding McCarthy is that most believe the Vikings are interested in the quarterback. Here is what one source had to say: “I’m pretty confident at this point whoever lands McCarthy is going to trade up. We believe his floor is at 11 to Minnesota, and we wouldn’t be shocked if they moved up themselves to make sure they land him.”

Destin Adams

McCarthy has had quite an eventful draft journey as his stock started as a mid-to-late first-rounder but has been rising for weeks. Most draft pundits (and reports confirm that theory) expect the 21-year-old to come off the board in the top half of the draft. Some even view him as a top-five choice. With seven weeks to go until the draft kicks off, all of that is just pure speculation, although draft media is pretty good at figuring out which players are considered top-ten picks.

Mock Draft Continues
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) signs autographs during the national championship celebration at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The quarterback led Michigan to a national championship, but folks weren’t impressed because Jim Harbaugh’s enterprise featured an excellent defense and an unstoppable running game. McCarthy was asked to become a game manager and make an occasional big play, but he surely wasn’t asked to carry the team to victories by throwing for 400 yards and scoring five times.

However, he has some intriguing traits as he combines decent athleticism and solid arm talent with the ability to read the field and make good decisions. He can play inside the pocket within the stricture and create outside of the pocket by using his legs to buy time and fire on scramble drills when a play is breaking down. Weighing in at 219 lbs at the scouting combine ended the talker about his lack of size. In addition, he shows outstanding maturity, poise, and the leadership qualities that teams are looking for when they move to acquire the new franchise QB.

Build A Wide
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

McCarthy fits what the Vikings want to do on offense, and at age 21, he is far from done developing. He would be inserted into an offense with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson, which is a major reason why QB prospects should be interested in joining the Vikings. Another benefit of the purple team is the coaching staff that features not just one but two former NFL quarterbacks. Kevin O’Connell and new QB coach Josh McCown can provide the necessary tutorship a young passer requires.

Adofo-Mensah might need to proactively shut down any other team jumping them by trading up themselves if they really want to land McCarthy. Getting their guy should be the primary goal in the upcoming draft, and McCarthy seems to be the guy that unites interest from the Vikings. The draft stock makes him a realistic get for the organization with the 11th overall pick.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt