Vikings “New” Draft Rumor Shouldn’t Surprise Anybody

Which Rookie QBs
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

In the next five weeks, the Minnesota Vikings will decide to extend Kirk Cousins’ contract or let the man walk to the open free-agent market for the first time in six years.

Vikings “New” Draft Rumor Shouldn’t Surprise Anybody

In either event, the franchise could draft a rookie quarterback in Round 1 for the first time in 10 years. The last guy was Teddy Bridgewater in 2014.

Draft Rumor
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Well, this week, ESPN and other media outlets seemed to catch on that trading up the board on draft night is a real possibility for Minnesota, a club entering Year No. 3 of its self-professed “competitive rebuild” strategy after general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell took over in 2022.

While the ESPN confirmation is fascinating, it is emphatically not a surprise. The club is deciding on extending a veteran quarterback recovering from a serious injury, a torn Achilles — a man who turns 36 this summer.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course trading up for a rookie quarterback is on the table. It would be truly bizarre if the option were already nixed.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote last weekend, “The Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13) might be a team to watch. New coach Antonio Pierce is a big fan of Daniels from their days together at Arizona State, and word is that Pierce evaluated offensive coordinators with the loose possibility of Daniels in mind. People around the league are keeping an eye on the Minnesota Vikings at No. 11, too.”

Network Has Explosive
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Meanwhile, draft sites like Pro Football Network and The Draft Network, among others, have forecasted a splashy Vikings trade up the board on April 25th. Most variations have Minnesota springing for Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), or Jayden Daniels (LSU). Those mock drafts have been prevalent in the last few weeks.

In that vein, ESPN’s reporting is merely confirmation. It’s just that no one — Vikings fans or NFL media onlookers — should be surprised one iota by Minnesota’s interest in trading “the farm” for a blue-chip quarterback prospect. This is how it goes when the other option is a man turning 36 on a mending Achilles.

Draft Analyst
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year, the Vikings’ front office allegedly explored deals involving Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson. The blueprint is already in the works. Now, with Cousins’ clock ticking, trading up may be a reality.

And truth be told, it was probably a tangible option the moment Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell took the job.


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.

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