3 Takeaways from Vikings Pre-Draft Press Conference

Minnesota Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media about the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the TCO Performance Center. The Vikings have long-term draft needs at quarterback, cornerback, and interior offensive line.

The Minnesota Vikings will step up to the plate in two weeks and select a 2024 draft class, and fans largely expect the organization to identify and choose a quarterback of the future.

3 Takeaways from Vikings Pre-Draft Press Conference

Minnesota said goodbye to Kirk Cousins after six seasons last month, as the veteran passer took his services south to the Atlanta Falcons to the tune of four years and $180 million.

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Meanwhile, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stood in front of reporters on Thursday, answering questions for a bit over 15 minutes. Here’s what fans learned about his draft intentions.

3. Still Flexible

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Minnesota isn’t required to draft a quarterback or anything of the sort. Adofo-Mensah said Thursday about his trade with the Houston Texans one month ago: “We looked at it as not just, ‘Hey, this is a more attractive asset if we went up,’ but it’s also an insurance product on different outcomes. Now, do you always use insurance? No. You could go your whole life and never get in a car accident. But if you did, you’d be really glad you had insurance.”

Of course, the purple team probably will draft a quarterback — more on that later — but the young executive echoed his statements from the last several weeks. The team can be flexible on draft night.

“We wanted to make sure we set ourselves up for potentially a better look if a team picks up the phone, because they don’t have to pick up the phone, but we also want to set ourselves up for being in a really good situation. If they don’t, we pick great players. I know we talk about quarterback a lot, and it is the most important position in our sport — but it’s the most important position in a team sport. It’s not just getting the quarterback right; it’s getting the quarterback right and the team around it,” Adofo-Mensah added.

2. They Love More than 1 QB

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports | Sep 16, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) passes the ball as Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Maverick Baranowski (6) pressures in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings aren’t fixated on one quarterback. In a draft this deep with young signal-callers, Adofo-Mensah’s confirmation makes sense. “When you go back to the team element and value, I think there’s multiple guys that we are in love with just on an outright basis. But there’s other guys we’re in love with given what, if we get them at a certain value, what they’d also be able to come with,” he told the media.

Minnesota has the option of packaging its 11th and 23rd picks to move up into the Top 5 or Top 10 if it can find a willing trade partner.

“So, as I talked about earlier, skill-set-wise, if you’re talking about the ability to overcome context — well, if the guy has less ability but we have assets to go get somebody who is not going to put him in that situation, those things add up, too,” Adofo-Mensah mentioned when explaining how there’s more than one quarterback on his club’s radar.

3. Risk Isn’t a Dealbreaker

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The granddaddy of them all, the Vikings, aren’t afraid to make a splashy draft trade on April 25th.

“Just because something’s risky doesn’t mean you have to stay away from it. You know what the rewards are, right? And that’s something you have to weigh and measure. You can’t look at these decisions in a vacuum. You know, you look at the whole portfolio of decisions that go around it, the things you have to do,” Adofo-Mensah opined on the risk of trading precious draft assets to procure a quarterback of the future.

And risk there shall be. Trading up for a quarterback does not involve a spotless track record; the other team usually “wins the trade.”

But you can’t swim by dipping your toes in the pool.

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).

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