Vikings Unsurprisingly Land on Trade List

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 version of the NFL draft could be groundbreaking for the Minnesota Vikings, as the purple team needs a new captain to steer Kevin O’Connell’s offense. Because the class is filled with excellent talent at the quarterback position, and the Vikings hold their highest draft pick in a decade, it is the perfect opportunity for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to find that guy.

Vikings Unsurprisingly Land on Trade List

Despite the solid draft position, acquiring one of the best passers in the draft requires a trade into the top range. Caleb Williams is expected to be the first player off the board, followed by Jayden Daniels. Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy are also predicted to be among the top five draft choices.

Vikings Unsurprisingly Land on Trade List
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) warms up before the Ohio State game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

While it can’t be ruled out that Minnesota will draft one of the remaining guys, primarily Bo Nix and Michael Penix, a trade seems to be the first objective to secure a top talent. ESPN’s insider Field Yates assembled a list of teams who are the most likely to trade in the first round of the draft and the Vikings made the cut.

Perhaps no team has seen more trade speculation than Minnesota, which of course is looking hard at the available quarterbacks after the departure of Kirk Cousins this offseason. While Sam Darnold was added as a potential holdover option, the Vikings already own two valuable first-round picks and nine total selections that could be used to make a push up the board — perhaps for one of LSU’s Jayden Daniels, North Carolina’s Drake Maye or Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

The cost would be more than just those two picks to get into the top five, though — it’d probably require Minnesota’s 2025 first-rounder to be attached to any deal. Calls to the Patriots (No. 3), Cardinals (No. 4) or Chargers (No. 5) would be entirely logical.

Field Yates, ESPN
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Darnold is not a bad choice to be the bridge quarterback until a potential rookie is ready to start, but he is a long shot to be actually more than that. He has continuously been put in horrible situations that have hurt his development.

The good news is that Minnesota has the necessary infrastructure to take pressure off a young passer. If the Vikings acquire one of the first-year signal-callers, that guy would be put in an offense that features Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson, as well as a solid offensive line and a great coaching staff.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, trading up is expensive, regardless of whether it is to the third or the fifth spot, but it should be noted that nobody will care about the cost if the player is good enough to be the franchise quarterback.

As Adofo-Mensah mentioned at his recent press conference: “If you get the guy right, and he’s your answer for ten years, there’s no price you probably wouldn’t have paid looking back. You have to go back to the odds of that happening, and that’s the counterplay. Every GM is coming up here and talk, and they would probably say the same thing.”

purple rumor mill
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

At the end of the day, the Vikings need a quarterback, and some good ones are available early in the draft. If they choose the right guy, any trade is worth it.

Skol Nation will know much more about their franchise on April 25 when they are on the clock.

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