Vikings GM Juked the League

Vikings Will Enter 2023 Offseason with Familiar Problem
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft, most onlookers believed the Minnesota Vikings would “trade the farm” for a quarterback of the future.

Vikings GM Juked the League

When the dust settled, Minnesota basically sold the ranch via mid-round draft capital for EDGE rusher Dallas Turner while grabbing quarterback J.J. McCarthy for a discounted trade sum after a deal with the New York Jets to move up one spot on the draftboard.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Thereafter, and with the Turner selection, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah evidently juked the league. ESPN quoted an anonymous AFC executive this week about Adofo-Mensah’s dealmaking: “I had to think twice because I had him pegged as a volume guy when it came to draft picks. It looks like he’s shifted his thinking to where, the reality is it’s hard to win without players you can build around.”

And it was fair to assume Adofo-Mensah was a “volume guy” before the 2024 NFL Draft because he spent the 2022 and 2023 drafts accumulating picks. Trading up for two men, in particular, while going radio silent in Rounds 2 through 7 came as a surprise.

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Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler added about the juke, “Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah kept the league guessing with his big Day 1 trade (no, not the move up for J.J. McCarthy). Some people with Jacksonville were surprised when the Vikings looked to trade up from No. 23 into the teens, eventually swapping a sizable haul for Jacksonville’s 17th pick: a fifth-round pick in 2024, as well as third- and fourth-rounders in 2025, greatly diminishing Minnesota’s draft a year from now.”

Before the draft, Minnesota was expected to waltz out of Round 1 with a rookie passer — probably Drake Maye or McCarthy — and that’d be that. But when McCarthy didn’t cost multiple 1st-Rounders via trade, maneuvering the board for Turner apparently became the priority for Adofo-Mensah. An unforeseen one.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

Fowler concluded about Adofo-Mensah’s trade tendencies: “Adofo-Mensah, with an analytical background, played to his reputation early in his tenure. The first two moves of his first two drafts were trade-backs, including a significant jump from No. 12 to 32 with division rival Detroit in 2022. But over the past two months, Adofo-Mensah went all-in to move up — three times, twice while on the clock — to secure McCarthy and Alabama pass-rusher Dallas Turner.”

Overall, Vikings fans may be experiencing a new leaf from Adofo-Mensah — one that prefers pursuing impact players as a substitute for multiple picks. Or perhaps the man is more balanced in Year No. 3 on the job.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings rookie minicamp begins on Friday.

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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