Silver Linings from the Vikings Loss in Week 17

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The Minnesota Vikings no longer control their own destiny to the playoffs following their Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

While they aren’t officially eliminated yet, Kevin O’Connell’s squad would need an exorbitant amount of help in order to sneak into the tournament later this month. Even with the grim outlook from this loss, there are still silver linings to be taken away from it. Here is a look at a couple of them.

We Officially Know the Vikings’ QB Situation

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Heading into Week 17, there was still some mystery as to what Minnesota’s QB situation looked like. While Josh Dobbs and Nick Mullens had both proven incapable of leading the offense in the long term, there was still hope that Jaren Hall could do so based on his success in limited time against the Atlanta Falcons.

Now, though, there can be no doubt. The Vikings successor to Kirk Cousins is not on the current roster. While that may not seem like much of a positive on the outside, it can be viewed as such with the talent in this year’s draft class.

The Vikings should take a stab at another QB in this class, and preferably, they would do so early on and land one of the top prospects. Figuring out the QB position needs to be one of the top priorities for this team even if they bring back Cousins in 2024.

A Rising Draft Pick in 2024

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With the loss, Vikings fans can comfortably root for Minnesota to get as high of a pick as they can in this spring’s draft. Coming into the night, the Vikings sat with the No. 14 selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, and after Week 17’s debacle, that pick has jumped up to No. 12 with the potential to move into the top 10 if the Vikings fall to Detroit on Sunday.

This would move them into much better position to land that aforementioned QB prospect. While it will certainly be tough to move up far enough to grab players like Drake Maye or Caleb Williams, there are plenty of prospects that should be available from the Nos. 5-12 range.

Silver Linings
USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) during the pregame warmup before playing the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe on Sept. 23, 2023. © Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Even if the Vikings ultimately land a bit outside of this range, it is much easier to trade up from a pick in the teens rather than somewhere in the early 20s. There are certainly teams in the top 10 that could be willing to trade down as well. The Los Angeles Chargers hold the No. 6 pick in this draft, and they won’t be looking for a QB prospect. It’s questionable if either the New York Giants at No. 5 or Tennessee Titans at No. 7 would do so, either.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah tried to get a little too cute in his first draft as Vikings GM, but he absolutely nailed the selection of Jordan Addison in 2023. Hopefully, the front office can replicate 2023’s success in the 2024 Draft and find a quality QB prospect.

While Minnesota’s loss to Green Bay was devastating in terms of their hopes for the 2023 season, there can still be hope for 2024 and the future.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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