There’s One Rookie QB Most Vikings Fans Aren’t High On

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While the NFL’s 2024 draftboard could change significantly in the next 11 weeks, most expect quarterbacks Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), and Jayden Daniels (LSU) to join new teams within the Top 5 picks — and maybe even Top 3.

There’s One Rookie QB Most Vikings Fans Aren’t High On

The Minnesota Vikings, meanwhile, may be in the market for a rookie quarterback, as incumbent passer Kirk Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency, will turn 36 this summer, and is recovering from a torn Achilles. Some draft nuts have speculated that Minnesota will trade up on draft night into the Top 3 for Williams, Maye, or Daniels, a “we shall see” theory as of early February.

QB Most Vikings Fans
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And if the Vikings do not want to “trade the farm” for a quarterback but still want one in Round 1, a few compromise options are available, mainly Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon). All three should be available to the Vikings at pick No. 11.

Per early fan sentiment, however, Oregon’s Bo Nix may be one to avoid. PurplePTSD’s Josh Frey told VikingsTerritory this week about Nix, “He doesn’t have a ton of zip on his arm, and when he does throw deep, it’s often a floating duck. This begs for big interception numbers in the NFL. Definitely my least favorite watch of the Top 6.”

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Others on social media haven’t been as kind as Frey:

Nix was front and center at last weekend’s Senior Bowl, and since then, some steam has picked up for Nix to the Vikings. Why? Well, he should be quite gettable for Minnesota with its 11th pick or even trading down the board. A handful of draft brains believe Nix could even fall into Day 2 (Rounds 2 and 3).

Back in December, Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema connected Nix to the Vikings in an early mock draft and explained, “Nix once again had a very impressive year as Oregon’s signal-caller. He finished the season with a 92.2 passing grade and an 87.3 passing grade under pressure, making only one turnover-worthy play under pressure all season. While he brings NFL-caliber arm talent, his season was not as demanding as it was for others. His season average depth of target was below 7.0, and his percentage of total passing yards that came through the air was below 40%.”

case for bo
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Too, VikingsTerritory’s Ted Schwerzler identified Nix as his current draft crush last week and opined, “It’s predictable coming from the Ducks fan, but Nix elevated himself to new heights again in year two with Oregon. He has more experience than any player coming into the draft at the quarterback position, and he should provide a multi-talented leader at the next level. Nix won’t cost the draft capital that the early three quarterbacks do, and he might also be available in the second round.”

But the knock on Nix is pretty clear: arm strength. He does not possess the trait to a degree of other elite prospects, like the aforementioned Maye. The anti-Nix sentiment also invokes the “reach” mentality from years past. For example, the Vikings needed a quarterback in 2011 and drafted Christian Ponder, and some believe Nix is a redux of that situation.

While Nix could turn out as a decent NFL quarterback, the warning signs are evident this early in the draft process. He doesn’t have the tools to be trusted as a Day One starter for the Vikings — unless something changes in the next few months or his NFL Combine performance is unprecedented.

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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