The Wolverine Looks to Be the Vikings’ Answer

vikings QB
December 31, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (9) throws a pass during the pregame before the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

The Minnesota Vikings traded for a second first-round pick with the Houston Texans. They didn’t make that deal so that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could phone in a pair of depth options. The franchise seems to be going for its quarterback of the future, and the former Michigan Wolverine signal-caller seems to be the choice.

The Wolverine Looks to Be the Vikings’ Answer

There really is no world in which Caleb Williams won’t be the first overall selection. That may have been a question when the Chicago Bears still employed Justin Fields, but without an answer at the position, they will be calling the former Trojans quarterback’s name. Things get less certain from a name perspective from there, but it seems both Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are set to round out the top three.

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Minnesota may be interested in drafting the North Carolina product. Josh McCown, recently signed to coach the quarterbacks with the Vikings, was a coach for Maye at the high school level. In order for that to happen, though, a team needing a quarterback would have to trade their pick. That scenario seems unlikely to play out, especially when the top three options are considered higher caliber.

Arizona represents the Vikings’ most straightforward path to get into the top five as they don’t need a passer, and although Marvin Harrison Jr. would then be out of their reach, enough holes could mean the pair of first-round picks are utilized to make them a better team overall. Grabbing the fourth overall pick, Kevin O’Connell would get his Kirk Cousins replacement, and the likely outcome is represented as Michigan passer J.J. McCarthy.

Vikings Should Look
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McCarthy is definitely a dynamic talent in that he can move around the pocket while having plenty of arm talent. He played plenty of big games in a tough conference during college, but he also operated in a largely run-first offense, and while Aaron Jones is great, getting the ball to Justin Jefferson has to be the focal point.

The Vikings will have time to develop McCarthy. He isn’t going to step into a situation where he starts on day one, and even with Sam Darnold’s previous poor play, there’s no reason to assume he won’t be under center for Week 1. McCarthy’s ability to observe a quarterback who came in with lofty expectations and understand how he worked through the struggles of his career could have far-reaching ramifications.

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Given Minnesota’s relatively young quarterback prowess on the coaching staff, it makes sense to allow the group an opportunity to develop their guy. McCarthy may not be the first choice considering the possibilities, but he may be the most attainable. If there’s a belief in what he may eventually bring to the table, then it’s more than understanding to let this staff work.

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.