Vikings Big Trade Called a Coin Flip

Dustin Baker's Predictive 7-Round Mock Draft for Vikings
Vikings Draft

This is it: one the grandest moments in recent Minnesota Vikings history, and the franchise’s chances of trading up in the 2024 NFL Draft for a quarterback are apparently outfitted with 50-50 odds.

Vikings Big Trade Called a Coin Flip

That’s the word from ESPN, with the draft just two weeks away. On March 15th, Minnesota executed an out-of-nowhere pre-draft trade, grabbing an additional 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans while offloading two 2nd-Rounders in the deal, plus a late-round pick swap. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah now holds the 11th and 23rd picks in the draft, more than any other team not named the Chicago Bears or Arizona Cardinals in Round 1.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

And since the deal finalized, most Vikings fans and NFL pundits have envisioned another trade up the board, probably on draft night, for a quarterback of the future. The Washington Commanders (Pick No. 2), the New England Patriots (Pick No. 3), the Arizona Cardinals (Pick No. 4), or the Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No. 5) are popular spots. Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2, and Minnesota has been routinely connected to Maye and McCarthy, especially.

Accordingly, ESPN published an article this week, answering every team’s top draft question, and for the purple team, the probability of trading up the board arose.

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports | Sep 16, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) passes the ball as Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Maverick Baranowski (6) pressures in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

“Fifty percent. The Vikings’ preference is to trade up. But to use two words that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell have both repeated, Minnesota needs a “complicit” team to make that trade, and they’ll need the “flexibility” to pivot if none of their offers are accepted,” Kevin Seifert wrote.

If one asked a typical Vikings fan the same question, the percentage would probably land closer to 80% or so.

Seifert added, “There is a 100% chance the Vikings will draft a quarterback at some point in the draft, but the question is how highly regarded that player will be as a future pro. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell know they can’t simply will a trade into existence.”

Reaffirms Vikings QB Plan
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, these theories started the moment Kirk Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons. Minnesota had an almighty decision last month to re-sign Cousins for mucho dinero or let him hit free agency for the first time in six years. Adofo-Mensah chose the latter, and here we are.

Sportsbooks suggest J.J. McCarthy is Minnesota’s foremost target. Oddsmakers have applied a +105 moneyline to his profile for joining the Vikings roster. Maye isn’t far behind at +350.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) takes a moment to watch TCU celebrate after Michigan lost, 51-45 at the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 31 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

According to ESPN, though, the chances of a trade, in general, are a true coin flip. If there is a deal for a Top 5 or Top 10 pick, it will be the first time in franchise history that Minnesota has selected a quarterback that high in a draft.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by