The Vikings Need an Assist from the New England Patriots

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

Barring a trade, the New England Patriots will choose third on draft night near the end of April, a wonderful spot to select one of the class’ top three quarterback prospects.

The Vikings Need an Assist from the New England Patriots

After a season with underwhelming quarterback play involving Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, New England is an odds-on favorite to attach Drake Maye (North Carolina) or Jayden Daniels (LSU) to its roster and start fresh at quarterback along with new head coach Jerod Mayo. The Patriots cut ties with Bill Belichick earlier this month after 23 years.

Need an Assist
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

But here’s the deal: The Minnesota Vikings also need a quarterback of the future — with or without Kirk Cousins back in 2024 — and the team’s fans should formally hope that New England uses free agency to find a veteran quarterback.

Why? Well, it’s a numbers game. If the Patriots decide their roster is too far off to draft a quarterback like Maye or Daniels, meaning more roster holes need plugging before onboarding the unnamed rookie quarterback guy, they could trade back from the No. 3 spot and stockpile draft assets.

The Vikings could be one of the teams calling.

Destinations Narrow
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Most mock drafts foresee Caleb Williams (USC) ending up with the Chicago Bears and some combination and order of Maye and Daniels heading to Washington (the No. 2 pick) and New England (No. 3). If those theories hold, the Vikings will be “stuck” examining the draft profiles of Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Bo Nix (Oregon), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Michael Pratt (Tulane). Minnesota would miss out on the class’ top three and hope for the best with one of the other men.

However, if New England opts for a free-agent quarterback or finagles a trade for Justin Fields with the Chicago Bears, for example, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can climb the draftboard to secure Maye or Daniels.

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

No trades up to No. 3, though, matter if New England is hellbent on drafting Maye or Daniels. Theoretically, the Vikings can hope for the same regarding the Commanders — they have roster holes to address, too — but New England feels like the likelier spot to roll with a veteran quarterback over Washington. The Commanders have tried the veteran quarterback strategy to no avail as of late.

A trade for the Vikings won’t be cheap. Fans can debate the pros and cons of “trading the farm” for Maye or Daniels ad nauseam. But in reality, nobody will care if the Vikings chose Maye, for instance, and he’s an eventual Pro Bowler. The trade will have been worth the squeeze.

Which Rookie QBs
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

But the Vikings need a trade partner first, and the Patriots seem like an obvious target if they sign a player like Kirk Cousins or Russell Wilson — or trade for the aforementioned Fields.

The NFL Draft kicks off on April 25th in Detroit.

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