Would-Be Vikings Draft Plan Just Got More Complicated

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One prominent Minnesota Vikings-themed draft theory eight weeks from now involves the team trading up the board to obtain its quarterback of the future.

Would-Be Vikings Draft Plan Just Got More Complicated

The idea essentially applies to four men: Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan). Williams, Maye, and Daniels are tentatively expected to fly off the board in the first three picks, while McCarthy could be gettable outside the Top 5.

Draft Plan Just Got
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Well, the would-be Vikings’ draft plan encountered a setback from the rumor mill this week — New England doesn’t sound interested in trading the pick. Outside of New England, for Minnesota’s sake, Chicago is unlikely to do business with the Vikings if it trades the first overall pick, and the Washington Commanders at No. 2 seem poised to select a quarterback.

Through the process of elimination, if Minnesota wanted one of the “big three,” the Patriots felt like the last man — or team — standing. Before Thursday.

Clue for Jayden
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MassLive reported Thursday, Day No. 3 of the NFL Combine, “According to multiple sources, the Patriots are planning to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 pick. One NFL executive, outside of New England, relayed that it’s widely expected in league circles that quarterbacks will be selected with the first three picks in April.”

Before free agency, on paper, New England possesses these roster needs:

  • Quarterback
  • Wide Receiver (x2)
  • Offensive Tackle (x2)
  • EDGE Rusher

So, some — this website included — believed New England could be identified as a reasonable trade partner for the Vikings and other teams seeking to scramble up the board for a quarterback. The Patriots have more team roster needs than most, meaning trading back from No. 3 would stockpile the draft cabinet.

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“The team interviewed both prospects this week in Indianapolis and have been heavily focused on quarterbacks at the Combine. The Patriots are relying on new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo and quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney, all of whom are in Indianapolis, to scout the position. Drafting a signal caller is only one step in this process. According to a source, the Patriots plan on signing a veteran free agent quarterback, too,” MassLive added.

If the MassLive reporting is accurate, the Vikings will face an uphill climb in acquiring a blue-chip quarterback prospect. It boils down to which team will trade their pick — the Bears, Commanders, or Patriots?

The answer could be none.

Destinations Narrow
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New Patriots coach Jerod Mayo recently said about roster construction, “In my mind, the most important piece is the quarterback. He touches the ball on every single play (on offense). He touches the ball, distributes the ball. You want that leadership. You want leadership from that spot. So to me, that’s the No. 1 (priority).”

The NFL Draft is exactly eight weeks away, and if there is no trade(s), Minnesota will pick 11th.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.