Vikings Target 1 QB Prospect, Thinks Top Draft Analyst

Drops One Hint
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

When free agency showed one thing, it’s that the Minnesota Vikings will be in the market for a rookie quarterback when the draft rolls around. Kirk Cousins left the building and with him, all the security the franchise has had at the most important position for six seasons. He used to be the ultimate reliability as injuries had not happened before last season’s Achilles tear and his play remained steady over the years.

Vikings Target 1 QB Prospect, Thinks Top Draft Analyst

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That guarantee of having a passer who will produce between 25 and 35 touchdowns and roughly 4,000 yards every single season is gone. Incoming is uncertainty with the signing of Sam Darnold and the looming bust potential of the incoming rookie quarterback.

None of that, however, should prevent general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah from taking that risk. Cousins at age 36 and after a torn Achilles is no longer that certified stability. The new approach brings risk, a lot of it, many teams are stuck in QB carousels just like the Vikes were after their QB1 was out for the season.

Listed as Contestant
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But there’s also potential, the fan base desires the acquisition of a young quarterback the franchise can groom into that famous franchise quarterback. If that guy turns out to be a star, the organization would be a perennial contender.

When the draft arrives on April 25, the Vikings hold the 11th overall pick, out of reach to bring one of the top guys to Minnesota. Adofo-Mensah traded for pick 23 which is the obvious first step to trade up. One QB in the draft is intriguing for the Vikings.

Analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah talked about the Vikings’ draft for a brief moment on the podcast and they view Drake Maye as the potential target.

Maye is a wonderful idea as Minnesota’s skipper for years to come as he possesses the requisite arm talent and athleticism to take the offense to another level. Combining his skill set with the dynamic receivers the Vikings employ could lead to offensive fireworks and would make not only Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson happy.

Mock Draft Reveals Splashy
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Head coach Kevin O’Connell needs a new running mate and acquiring a talented rookie is the obvious choice given Minnesota’s situation. The Bleacher Report scouting department wrote about the UNC passer:

Overall, Maye is a supremely talented passer. He has the athleticism, arm talent and baseline processing skills to become a weapon at the next level. All he needs to do is cut out some of the “doing too much” plays. Maye has the skill set to fit in any system and develop into a star.

Other evaluations focus on some sloppy footwork that surely needs an overhaul. Having two former NFL quarterbacks on the staff (O’Connell and QB coach Josh McCown) will be helpful for any incoming passer.

Trading up for Maye would require one of the top three teams to pass on him and either pick someone else or trade out of their position. If he is Washington’s (2) or New England’s (3) pick, the Vikings would have to look elsewhere to find a franchise QB. J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan has also been linked to the purple team.

Rookie QB
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The good news is that there have already been rumors about the Patriots and their internal debate about Maye. Some within the organization are rumored to be against drafting the North Carolina prospect. And Adofo-Mensah wouldn’t have acquired Houston’s pick without having a deal in place to get his guy.

If Maye is what Minnesota wants, the GM must do everything in his power to acquire the signal-caller. He has proven that he isn’t scared to make gutsy trades. The price will be hefty but if he turns out to be a top QB, nobody will ever care about it.

Sam Darnold is currently the starting quarterback and he is an underwhelming option although O’Connell was complimentary of him at the press conference on Thursday. Darnold looking better than he did in the past but ultimately losing the job to Maye would be the best-case scenario.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt