Vikings’ Royal Trade Package May Not Be Enough

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Most Minnesota Vikings fans have narrowed the club’s would-be choice regarding a quarterback of the future to two men: Drake Maye (North Carolina) or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan).

Vikings’ Royal Trade Package May Not Be Enough

The tricky part is determining how Minnesota climbs the draftboard via trade to get either man.

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According to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, trading into the draft’s No. 3 spot, currently owned by the New England Patriots, won’t be easy or affordable. Wolfson said this week on SKOR North‘s Mackey and Judd Show that the price to do business with New England could exceed three 1st-Round picks.

“To me, 11, 23, plus next year’s one, I’m just not convinced … I don’t think that gets you to 3rd overall; it probably gets you to 4, I think, but not to 3,” Wolfson said Tuesday, nine days before the 2024 NFL Draft.

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And that theory is a problem for Vikings loyalists who want the franchise to draft Maye especially. For over a year, Maye was considered the draft Robin to Caleb Williams’ Batman before LSU’s Jayden Daniels overtook the spot in recent months. Maye became quasi-gettable for Minnesota at No. 3, but if the price is beyond three 1st-Rounders, Minnesota could shy away and explore a trade for McCarthy at No. 4 or No. 5.

Per the Wolfson reporting, through implication, three 1st-Rounders via trade may have to involve the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 or the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5.

Others, like former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, have suggested recently that a superstar player might be required for a trade with New England. “The ‘pipe dream’ for the Patriots, per Spielman, would be the Vikings trading receiver Justin Jefferson as part of a package that includes multiple first-round picks. Or maybe starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw,” ESPN’s Mike Reiss wrote on Sunday. Reiss covers the Patriots and cited Spielman as the source for the Jefferson + Darrisaw theory.

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Darrisaw is one of the NFL’s best offensive tackles, and if he’s included in any trade, well, Minnesota would start at square one involving one of the sport’s most important positions. Reiss added about New England’s roster needs, “Receiver and left tackle are two of the Patriots’ top needs, alongside quarterback, and the latter is why former Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik (2009-13) isn’t sure any trade — other than a blockbuster in the pipe dream category — would be worth it for New England.”

Some Patriots fans daydream about Jefferson in the hypothetical trade, though Minnesota is extremely unlikely to trade him anywhere.

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports | Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) celebrates after winning 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game against the Washington Huskies at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports.

Per oddsmakers, McCarthy is the odds-on favorite to end up in Minnesota (+110), a probability that aligns with the Wolfson reporting. With the draft eight days away, trading with the Patriots at a pricepoint beyond three 1st-Rounders — which already destroys all traditional draft trade calculators — may be too spendy.

The Vikings have nine picks in the 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).

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