This Is What the Vikings Should Do in the Draft

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It is a crazy time in the Vikings universe as the franchise is set to draft a quarterback in the top round for the first time since Rick Spielman selected Teddy Bridgewater ten years ago. With Kirk Cousins’ departure, the purple team needs a new QB1, a team captain to lead them where Cousins couldn’t. Is Sam Darnold that person? Unlikely. The good news is that there are some promising passers in the draft.

This Is What the Vikings Should Do in the Draft

This Is What the Vikings Should Do in the Draft
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With roughly three weeks to go until Commissioner Roger Goodell opens the draft, the Vikings possess two selections in the first round, picks 11 and 23. The rumors and theories about those two picks are endless.

Option one, certainly the most popular option, is to package those selections and ship them somewhere in exchange for a higher pick, a top-five pick, to be exact. That would land the franchise one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.

in Particular Rookie
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Option two, primarily used by people who aren’t big fans of the rumored QBs expected to be available when they trade up, is to stay put and select a defender at 11 and a remaining signal-caller with the 23rd overall pick.

Option three, a rare but existent opinion, is to draft two defenders with those picks and ignore the most important position until next year.

While all those plans have advantages, what the Vikings should do is pretty evident. Minnesota employs one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, and since the goal is to win a Super Bowl and bad passers can’t do that, they must find one who can.

Drops One Hint
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The draft is a lottery, and every pick can be a generational bust. That indeed makes trading up a risky idea. The number one concern of opponents of the previously mentioned first option is that if the drafted player is bad and the price tag is enormous, the franchise is set back for years. Without trading up, that surely would be easier to accept.

However, the Vikings shouldn’t just pick a random quarterback; they should draft the one they like, the one head coach Kevin O’Connell identifies as the next franchise quarterback. That’s where moving up the draft board comes into play. The young head coach is an offensive-minded coach who was a QB in his playing days. Part of what makes him exciting is that he should be the right guy to evaluate passers.

Franchise QB
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In all likelihood, the Vikings only like half of the six potential first-round quarterbacks. Some don’t fit the offense or what O’Connell envisions his offense to look like, and others lack the talent to pass the team’s evaluation.

Unless the decision-makers are incredibly high on one passer outside the top four, they should pull the trigger and pay the price to move up the board for one of the best prospects. After decades of trying to fill the position with available veterans or leftovers in the draft, it is the right time to make the move.

The Vikings have never drafted a quarterback in the top ten picks, but they should change that. Of course, they shouldn’t pay a crazy price, for example, by trading away Justin Jefferson or Christian Darrisaw in addition to a boatload of picks, but trading the two first-rounders in 2024 and possibly one more in 2025 or 2026 shouldn’t prevent the team from grabbing their guy.

Vikings Vegas Odds
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On April 25, everything will come together for the organization. The Vikings have the ammo to facilitate a trade because of the trade GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah completed with the Houston Texans a couple of weeks ago. In addition to that, they need a passer because of Cousins’ exit. The final piece that should convince folks is that this draft class has fantastic QB prospects. Those three aspects combined highlight what the Vikings should do.

Caleb Williams is the presumed first-overall pick and will head to Chicago, barring a huge surprise. Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are outstanding prospects who, in some other classes, would go as the top pick. Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy is rising on draft boards because he checks many boxes and has the mental traits teams seek.

At the end of the day, having a franchise QB is priceless. Ask any Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills fan if they can even remember what it took to bring Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen to their facility. Ask any Cincinnati Bengals or Houston Texans fan if they would ever trade Joe Burrow or C.J. Stroud.

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The Vikings should try to find that guy. The odds are against them, but they should maximize their chances by drafting the player they like the most. Finding a quarterback who fits the offense and who is viewed as the top guy on the board should be the priority over keeping as many assets as possible while drafting a player of whom no one is really convinced.

It’s the perfect time to make a splash, and that should involve trading up to secure the player the Vikings want to lead the franchise for years to come. Whether that is Maye, McCarthy, or Daniels is up to O’Connell and his staff.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt