The Vikings Blueprint — to Avoid — Is Published

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The Minnesota Vikings are entering arguably the most important week of the franchise in recent history. Looking to replace Kirk Cousins at the quarterback position, and with the draft capital to do it, this regime will get one swing. The blueprint for what not to do is now there.

The Vikings Blueprint — to Avoid — Is Published

There is a consensus of four quarterbacks seen as the top tier of this incoming draft class. The Minnesota Vikings won’t have a shot at Caleb Williams, and it’s entirely conceivable they won’t sway any other team to allow them an opportunity to move into a position to take Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, or J.J. McCarthy, either. No matter what happens, they can’t become part of 2024’s version of 2021’s draft.

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When Zach Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos on Monday for nothing more than a sixth-round pick, it all but cemented the group as a colossal failure. While Trevor Lawrence has flashed solid production for the Jacksonville Jaguars, he has hardly been the can’t-miss superstar he was billed as out of Clemson. Every other quarterback taken in the top 15 picks from the 2021 NFL Draft is no longer on their original team.

Despite still being on their rookie contracts, each of the other four draft prospects has been traded to different organizations. Each has flamed out and is now expected to be a backup. Three years into their professional careers, their franchises pulled the respective plugs on their development and will be going in a different direction. Two of those teams are also drafting in the top three picks this cycle and looking for another signal caller.

Offseason Is Different
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine the Week of February 27th. The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Should the Vikings capitalize on an opportunity to move up in the draft, it will likely cost them three first-round picks. By giving up that amount of draft capital, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell absolutely cannot afford to get the pick wrong. On the flip side, if the board falls in a spot where Minnesota doesn’t move, whatever player they take later in the first round must be right as well.

Maybe the Vikings will find themselves in a spot where they have exhausted all their options, and Sam Darnold will wind up being the only choice for the season ahead. That would be extremely disheartening and likely result in another reset next year, but it also wouldn’t leave them open to giving up so much to get nothing in return.

picking the giants
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The bottom line is that the evaluation must be correct, and the support for whatever prospect is ultimately deemed worthy must work. Avoid the landmines.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.