Vikings May Need a Draft Pivot to Plan B

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Most Minnesota Vikings fans have settled on the possibility of a trade up the draftboard in two nights as quite realistic.

Vikings May Need a Draft Pivot to Plan B

And while that plan can remain intact, the would-be trade partner may need adjustment.

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Vikings fans have labeled the New England Patriots as a potential trade partner for months, and with the draft 57 hours away, the idea of New England sticking-and-picking at No. 3 is picking up steam. The Patriots have plenty of roster holes, but this quarterback class is deeper than usual, perhaps making a quarterback selection too irresistible.

The Athletic’s Chad Graff — who covered the Vikings in the past — published a final mock draft for New England this week and wrote, “Everything Eliot Wolf said last week pointed to the Patriots being content with taking Maye or Daniels with this pick. They don’t really have a choice between the two. Washington will almost certainly take one of them with the second pick. The other will probably become the Patriots’ quarterback of the future. It’s a fascinating debate, though, because of their different strengths. Daniels is probably more pro-ready, brings more of a big-play, home-run ability and is a better deep-ball thrower.”

Vikings Mock Draft
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Graff is pretty plugged in, and the first sentence is telling. There’s a chance that fans of the purple team overthought this thing all along and that New England merely selects Maye with the third pick. And then that’d be that, and Minnesota would have to explore Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy at quarterback, for example.

“Maye has a stronger arm, is better at picking apart defenses over the middle of the field and is better at hanging in the pocket when pressure comes. The guess here is the Patriots will proudly take whoever falls to them and profess he was the team’s top choice all along,” Graff concluded.

Apparently Out of Kirk
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On March 13th, Kirk Cousins formally left Minnesota, signing with the Atlanta Falcons for four years and $180 million. 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. 

Now, fans wonder which team will do business with Minnesota for the would-be trade, as the Washington Commanders (Pick No. 2), those very Patriots (Pick No. 3), the Arizona Cardinals (Pick No. 4), or the Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No. 5) are likely companions.

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Maye has served as Minnesota’s top draft target, at least per fan sentiment, for months, but that theory was based on the pretense that New England would trade back.

Last Thursday, one week before the 2024 NFL Draft, New England appeared open for business. “We’re open to anything. Moving up, moving down. We’re open for business in the first round and every round,” de facto New England Patriots general manager Eliot Wolf said.

Yet, if the Vikings aren’t willing to meet New England’s asking price, the Patriots will have no problem effectuating the Graff mock draft and claiming Maye was their man from the jump.

The Plan B may be a trade with Cardinals, Chargers, Tennessee Titans, or Atlanta Falcons for McCarthy.

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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