One Particular Word Keeps Popping up for Vikings Draft

Dustin Baker's Vikings Mock Draft 1.0
Vikings NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft is 29 days away, and the Minnesota Vikings are expected to trade up and grab a quarterback of the future for life after Kirk Cousins, who departed for the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago.

One Particular Word Keeps Popping up for Vikings Draft

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah finagled a fancy trade 12 days ago, grabbing an additional 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans while offloading two 2nd-Rounders in the deal, plus a late-round pick swap. 

Now, he’s expected to trade at least one more time, probably into the draft’s Top 5 spots, and land a quarterback prospect. Minnesota has never used Top 10 draft capital on a quarterback — despite 17 opportunities in 62 years — so the time may be now.

And one word keeps popping up regarding the Vikings’ draft plans.

It’s “Flexibility”

vikings draft
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

When the Vikings added an additional 1st-Rounder from the Texans, down the line, the organization claimed the move offered them flexibility.

Vikings owner Mark Wilf said about the team’s quarterback plan, “When it comes to the quarterback position, it’s certainly critical, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell are working hard. We’ve got a plan, and Sam Darnold is part of it. We’re excited he’s in the building, and we’re excited we have two first-round picks, so we’ll see where it all goes. We have a lot of flexibility, and we’ll see what happens.”

And before the Texans trade even came to fruition, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was asked if he was required to draft a quarterback next month. He replied to reporters, “No, I would not say that. As we enter this draft, we have the flexibility to go either way. The answer isn’t some strict thing.”

Flexibility provided by free agency; flexibility provided from the Texans trade.

The Sam Darnold Angle

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Minnesota inked veteran quarterback Sam Darnold to a one-year, $10 million deal two weeks ago. He’s the quintessential patchover quarterback option, assuming the Vikings’ would-be rookie passer isn’t ready for the bright lights of Week 1 in 2024.

Guess what he provides? Flexibility.

The Vikings will hope head coach Kevin O’Connell is a quarterback whisperer, a former quarterback himself — and a man who just hired Josh McCown, also a former quarterback, who mentored Darnold in New York.

Minnesota won’t be utterly required to start a rookie quarterback in September because Darnold provided the franchise — you guessed it — flexibility, as mentioned by Wilf this week.

And then Who?

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Then there’s the grand climax.

It would be rather odd if the Vikings didn’t parlay the Texans trade into a subsequent trade for a draft pick that would land a blue-chip prospect. Sportsbooks claim the Vikings are number-one-with-a-bullet to draft Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

Moreover, the aforementioned McCown also has ties to Drake Maye as his high school coach. Therefore, in addition to the everpresent flexibility mentioned by Vikings leaders, the club has ties to Maye and betting odds to grab McCarthy.

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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