Vikings Can Afford to Gamble with Draft Picks

https://vikingsterritory.com/2023/top_news/draft-crushes
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

If the Minnesota Vikings feel like their quarterback is among the top three picks, and they want to mortgage the future to grab him, it stands to reason that the current roster may mitigate the gamble. As always, they’ll need to get it right, but talent isn’t lacking with what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has left over.

Vikings Can Afford to Gamble with Draft Picks

When the Carolina Panthers moved up to the first overall pick last season to select Bryce Young, they gave up an absolute haul. Not only handing over established star wide receiver D.J. Moore, but also parted with the 9th overall pick, a 2023 second-round pick, a 2024 first-round pick (that became first overall), and a 2025 second-round pick. Should the Vikings want to move up the draft board, especially if they want to deal with the division rival Bears, it will cost a ransom.

Afford to Gamble
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Losing pick capital is never ideal because it represents the most straightforward way to provide cost certainty on a roster. An organization can supplement the 53-man roster with economic fits by adding players on rookie contracts. Those players can then be developed into key contributors and difference makers while their eventual payday is at least four years.

That said, quarterback is the most important position to have cost certainty in the NFL. It’s why Minnesota is in this position at all. Kirk Cousins continues to look for a payday at every opportunity, and regardless of his overall abilities, making the most of his bottom line always remains the focus. If the front office can land a future cornerstone at a modest cost, then everything else on the roster becomes gravy.

3 Outlandish
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota is unique because a quarterback may be among the final pieces to accelerate their competitive rebuild. That’s not to say there aren’t holes on the roster, but that a cheaper signal caller allows them to be filled. Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter, and Christian Darrisaw all require paydays in the near future. Finding ways to supplement the defense and offensive line is a thing.

Not all those areas need to be addressed with first-round picks, and some can be fixed with modest-cost free agents. Parting with some picks along the way solely to get the quarterback solidified isn’t as scary as it may be for a team like the Panthers.

Obviously, with any significant move, all of this hinges on the key decision-makers getting the selection right. Drafting someone who looked like the Panthers Young in year one may be catastrophic. A miss to that extent isn’t something that the Vikings can have happen, but jumping up the board and grabbing their guy is certainly more fruitful than taking a signal caller at 11 and having that guy be a clear non-starter.

from Vikings End
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

Sometimes, aggressiveness is the only way to get it done, and while that leaves you open to scrutiny, it could also be the defining moment for this regime moving forward.


Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.

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