USC-Themed Site Claims You Know Who Is a Dark Horse for Vikings

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Chicago Bears own the first overall pick in April’s draft, thanks to a nifty 2023 trade with the Carolina Panthers. Carolina used the trade with Chicago last year to draft Bryce Young, an experiment that didn’t get off the ground in 2023.

USC-Themed Site Claims You Know Who Is a Dark Horse for Vikings

Now, the Bears are in line to draft USC’s Caleb Williams if they decide to cut ties with Justin Fields, a quarterback drafted by Chicago three years ago. It’s one of the NFL’s hottest debates: will the Bears stick with Fields or roll with Williams?

Who Is a Dark Horse
John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports

Well, if Chicago is in a trading mood, one USC-themed website believes the Vikings would be a sound fit for Williams. Trojan Wire published an article this week, calling Minnesota a “dark horse” to draft Williams, which would obviously involve a splashy draft trade.

“The Minnesota Vikings have been burned by a mega-trade for a star player in the past. The deal they made with the Dallas Cowboys to get Herschel Walker set back the franchise and helped the Cowboys win multiple Super Bowls. If the Vikings do trade up for Caleb Williams, they will have to give up a king’s ransom for the USC quarterback. It could seem like a Walker-style mistake. However, there are a few reasons why a Caleb trade would not be a Walker-ish mistake,” Trojan Wire’s Matt Zemek opined on Monday.

Caleb Williams Excites
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.

Minnesota would have to send a king’s ransom to Chicago for the pick that would later land Williams.

Zemek added, “Caleb could throw to Jordan Addison again. That worked out well at USC in 2022. The Vikings have Justin Jefferson and Addison and other quality pass-catchers. The Vikings would have to give the Bears the crown jewels and Fort Knox and more … but it might be worth it.”

Rookie Voted
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

Recent rumor mill smoke has suggested the Vikings are willing to trade up the board for a quarterback of the future, especially if incumbent quarterback Kirk Cousins hits free agency. Minnesota has about five weeks to decide on Cousins’ fate — to re-sign the 35-year-old or let him test the open market.

Last week, Bleacher Report dragged the would-be Vikings trade pandemonium to new heights, projecting the Vikings’ price to barter with the Bears for the first overall pick. Long story short, the price was bonkers. Including an NFC North rival tax, BR’s Brad Gagnon claimed the Vikings’ side of the bargain would be massive. Here was the hypothetical trade:

Vikings Get —
1st Overall Pick in 2024

Bears Get —
2024 1st-Rounder
2025 1st-Rounder
2026 1st-Rounder
2024 2nd-Rounder
2025 2nd-Rounder
2025 3rd-Rounder

Gagnon explained, “The leap from the No. 11 spot to the top of the draft is worth a top-five selection, per the chart. The Minnesota Vikings don’t have an extra one of those lying around, so they’d realistically have to surrender their next two first-rounders — if not 2026’s as well — and a boatload of Day 2 capital. If nothing else is on the table, the Bears could become more flexible.”

“The Vikings already don’t have a third-round pick this year. If they want to move up for Kirk Cousins’ replacement in April, it’s relatively safe to say they’ll be without additional draft picks on the first two days of both this draft and the next one. Because they’re a division rival of the Bears, it might cost even more than that,” Gagnon added.

2024 NFL Mock Draft
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Most Vikings fans rebuked the BR trade theory as too expensive.

Last month, Vikings faithful also talked themselves into believing Williams posted a “social media hint” about his draft plans. Williams, a USC teammate of current Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison, commented on an Addison Instagram post, sending a handful of Vikings enthusiasts into speculative bliss. Addison posted a picture of himself and Kirk Cousins with a comment: “Used to dream bout this, I can’t believe I’m here.”

Williams promptly replied, “See you soon brotha.”

The NFL draft lead-up process still has 11 weeks to go, but many consider Williams a generational talent akin to Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning.

The Vikings have never used a Top 10 draft pick on a quarterback and are organically scheduled to pick 11th on draft night.


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.