Vikings Acquire Another First-Round Draft Choice — Here’s Why

vikings gm
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

It was expected to be a crucial offseason for the Minnesota Vikings with Kirk Cousins set to enter free agency. His departure made one thing clear: A new era of Vikings football is about to start. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah isn’t hesitating and the obvious plan is to find Cousins’ successor sooner rather than later as his latest move indicates.

Vikings Acquire Another First-Round Draft Choice — Here’s Why

Vikings Acquire Another First-Round Draft Choice -- Here's Why
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Most draft pundits envision the top three quarterbacks to be selected with the first three picks in April’s draft. Caleb Williams (USC), Jayden Daniels (LSU), and Drake Maye (North Carolina) are viewed by most as the elite QB tier, followed by Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

To acquire one of those players, trading up is required because the 11th overall pick will likely be too late for them. The first step has been made by Adofo-Mensah as he gained an additional first-rounder in the upcoming draft, more ammo for that trade.

Minnesota traded to Houston:

  • 2024 42nd overall pick
  • 2024 188th overall pick
  • 2025 second-round pick


  • 2024 23rd overall pick
  • 2024 232nd overall pick
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

What doesn’t look like a major move at first glance is actually incredibly noteworthy. By trading up into the first round and attaining another selection in the top round, the purple franchise now possesses the draft capital to pull off a trade. It is the first step to bring one of the top quarterbacks to Minnesota as Cousins’ successor.

In 2016 before the Philadelphia Eagles selected Carson Wentz, they sent a couple of players and pick 13 to Miami in exchange for the 8th overall spot. They then acquired the 2nd overall pick in a second step.

Two years later, the Bills drafted Josh Allen after pulling off a two-step trade. Buffalo sent picks 21 and 185 in addition to left tackle Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati, netting picks 12 and 187. The second step during the draft was to ship picks 12, 53, and 56 to Tampa Bay for the 7th overall choice and 255. That’s how the Bills landed their superstar passer.

Sam Darnold
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

In theory, the Vikings could’ve just made the deal without the intention to add a second trade but acquiring the 23rd overall pick in March without knowing who would be on the board by that time seems far-fetched.

The Vikings added Sam Darnold to be the bridge quarterback although the duo Adofo-Mensah/O’Connell wouldn’t use that word at their free agency press conference. Darnold has starting experience and more talent than he has shown so far in his career but his signing has never been expected to be a longterm solution.

Now in a prime position to make another move and acquire a pick that allows Minnesota to add the highest-drafted QB in their franchise history, the Vikings are likely eying one of the premium guys on the board. Caleb Williams going at the top of the draft to Chicago is a foregone conclusion, and Jayden Daniels is a perfect fit for Washington’s offensive scheme under new OC Kliff Kingsbury.

Mock Draft Reveals Splashy
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

That puts Drake Maye in the focus for Minnesota. If the Patriots (3rd overall pick) don’t like his outlook, they would either draft someone else or sell their pick to the Vikings for 11, 23, and perhaps another draft choice. Maye offers fabulous arm talent and athleticism.

Moving the ball down the field is the primary skill a quarterback must have to transform O’Connell’s offense into a juggernaut and Maye doesn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. His throwing ability and his aggressive mindset would match what the head coach wants to do and if he develops into one of the better passers in the league, it would truly unlock the impressive weapons the Vikings have in their arsenal.

Forced by Broncos
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Another decent plan is to secure McCarthy who is an underrated athlete and has outstanding maturity for a player who just turned 21. The knock on him is that he didn’t have to carry Michigan’s offense although it should be noted that whenever he was asked to make a play, he did.

The draft will open on April 25 and it remains to be seen when the Vikings officially make step two in the exciting process to find the new franchise quarterback.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt