Questions Answered: A Sleeper Rattler, The Vikings’ Overpay, T.J. Hockenson

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The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by VikingsTerritory. Today is the April 5th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Questions Answered: A Sleeper Rattler, The Vikings’ Overpay, T.J. Hockenson

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

A Minnesota fan signals for a first down during a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won the game, 24-10. © Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Q: Do you consider Spencer Rattler a “sleeper” draft choice for the Vikings?

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Answer: No.

Perhaps if Minnesota utterly strikes out on Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, Jayden Daniels, and Michael Penix Jr., Rattler would turn into an emergency option. But truth be told, it would be pretty horrid to miss out on all 1st-Round quarterbacks after a team planned to net one during life after Kirk Cousins.

Some folks like Rattler, but we’re not part of that camp. If the Vikings want a gunslinger type, promote Nick Mullens and let her rip. Rattler is all over the board per his style of play and scouting report, and we prefer a smarter rookie quarterback solution — like Drake Maye.

Rattler in purple would feel like a half-measured fix.

Q: Will the Vikings overpay for a Top 5 draft pick and bow to the Patriots, for example?

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: Yes.

Hopefully, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah doesn’t have to pay more than three 1st-Round picks, but as the draft hype machine continues to buzz, three 1st-Rounders feel likelier. No matter the team the Vikings find for a draft trade, they’re going to pay a lot. It’s the nature of the beast.

Beyond three 1st-Rounders, however, we’d probably back off and explore the upside of Michael Penix Jr., for instance. In reality, the Patriots likely won’t get too much more than three 1st-Round picks for their No. 3 overall selection. Three 1st-Rounders and a 2025 3rd-Rounder is our cutoff. Or something similar.

Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston said this week, “I keep circling back to it’s going to be three 1st-Round picks, meaning Minnesota at No. 11 and 23 — and their 1st-Round pick next year. From what I’m hearing, it’s going to take a lot more than that for the Patriots to be moved off their spot.”

“Because they, as a team collectively, understand as an opportunity what these three quarterbacks represent at the top of the draft,” Curran added about the Patriots’ trade intentions.


Q: When do you expect T.J. Hockenson to be back on the field?

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

A: Probably in October.

We expect Hockenson to hit the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list late this summer, and then Vikings fans will just cross their fingers and wait. Of course, a more encouraging summer recovery timeline would be welcomed with open arms.

Yet, as a realistic return, we say October or so.

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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