Vikings HC Revealed Draft Hints … at Church

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

We’ve reached the “What did Kevin O’Connell say to the church congregation?” part of the Minnesota Vikings draft cycle.

Vikings HC Revealed Draft Hints … at Church

Few saw it coming, but it was significant nevertheless. O’Connell addressed churchgoers at St. Phillip The Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth last weekend, and a quarterback scout happened to be in attendance.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

O’Connell said about his reputation around Vikings facilities regarding scouting rookie quarterbacks: “For a couple of years, I’ve been kinda known as a quarterback killer, when it comes to the draft, in Eagan because the feeling that I feel from our fan base is when we get this next, he’s going to be the guy. And I feel it, I know you guys all feel it, so I have had to, in a lot of ways, fight off some mistakes from being made.”

Minnesota is expected to draft a rookie quarterback in three days and may have to trade up the board for one, especially if it wants Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy, for example.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

O’Connell also mentioned about his coaching philosophy and molding young quarterbacks: “I do very much believe in certain principles of playing the quarterback position. I believe the footwork in the lower half of any quarterback can be fixed with the proper coaching and teaching, and I think that when you see good things on tape, you see things that they can do better on tape, you’re looking for a lot of different things and to check a lot of boxes.”

On March 13th, Kirk Cousins formally left Minnesota, signing with the Atlanta Falcons for four years and $180 million. He isn’t coming back. Two days later, Vikings boss Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled the trigger on a 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. 

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports.

Now, fans wonder which team will do business with Minnesota for the would-be trade, as 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 likely companions.

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. Most Vikings loyalists believe the purple team will end up with one of the six.

O’Connell said about possibly doing trade business with the Patriots — the team that drafted him in 2008 — “I may or may not have sent a nice bouquet of flowers to Robert Kraft the other day.”

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

J.J. McCarthy of Michigan is the odds-on favorite to become a Viking on Thursday night, with a +160 moneyline.

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