5 Big Draft Rumors Hit Vikings at the Last Minute

mock draft
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) warms up before Ohio State game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night in Detroit, and the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to make nine selections.

5 Big Draft Rumors Hit Vikings at the Last Minute

Of course, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is virtually guaranteed to trade during the event; that’s what he does.

And with the event down to hours away, five significant rumors have surfaced. These are those listed in no particular order.

1. J.J. McCarthy to New England at No. 3?

NFL Draft
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Listen, the New England Patriots had otherworldly luck the last time they drafted a quarterback from the University of Michigan.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted Wednesday morning, “The sense after asking around is that Patriots have Williams-Daniels-Maye as their expected order at 1, 2, 3. But had one league source broach this last night — ‘I think people are discounting the Kraft-Brady-McCarthy connection in all of this.’ Could be a thought for a trade-back.”

This would make Drake Maye rather gettable for the Vikings if the Washington Commanders choose Jayden Daniels at pick No. 2

2. Pats Staying Pat?

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

The Athletic claimed those same Patriots are content sticking-and-picking tomorrow night at No. 3, which would dampen Minnesota’s would-be plans for grabbing Maye, for example.

“Though team officials are open to listening to trade offers, league sources say no real offer has come New England’s way, with only ‘scenarios’ being discussed. Teams like the Vikings, Broncos and Raiders were told it would take significant draft capital for New England to trade out of its spot. With no deal in place right now, the Patriots are expected to stick and pick at No. 3,” Dianna Russini wrote Wednesday.

Now, if that’s an organic pick of McCarthy, as listed in No. 1 on this list, perhaps Minnesota would be cooking with gas.

3. Vikings Like Penix Jr. More Than You Think?

Vikings Rookie QB
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports.

This is the possible insurance policy.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah said this week, “I feel like Minnesota is even saying, we like J.J. at 11. We don’t have enough conviction that we’re going to part with all we’ll have to part with because now, now, like basically, if you’re comparing JJ to Penix, if they feel like, hey, worst case scenario, J.J. is gone, but we get Penix .… So I’m thinking Minnesota might just hold their water here at 11.”

There’s a world where Minnesota does not want to mortgage the future with a trade up the draftboard, and if McCarthy fails to drop into its lap at pick No. 11, well, Adofo-Mensah can draft Penix Jr. and claim that was the Vikings’ grand plan all along.

4. Jayden Daniels Likes MIN?

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

If you’re a Jayden Daniels enthusiast, perhaps he pulls an Eli Manning and forces his way to Minnesota.

The aforementioned Russini tweeted Wednesday, “Jayden Daniels was given a high grade by many teams. While the QB is “cool” with Washington, I’m told in his “dream world” he would reunite with Raiders coach Antonio Pierce (who was an asst coach at Arizona State when he was a Sun Devil) or play under Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota.”

The guy evidently likes the other purple and gold team — Daniels is familiar with those — and why not capitalize on that goodwill?

5. The McCarthy Slide?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports.

The New York Giants’ alleged ardor for a rookie quarterback — when they’re already paying Daniel Jones mucho dinero — is probably a smokescreen to draft wide receiver Malik Nabers. The Denver Broncos acquired Zach Wilson via trade, and Denver may waltz into the summer with Jarrett Stidham, Wilson, and a rookie like Bo Nix.

That leaves the Las Vegas Raiders as the only franchise for Minnesota to box out via a trade on draft night for a quarterback. In that case, McCarthy could slide down the draftboard, making a Vikings’ trade at No. 7 or 8 somewhat realistic or maybe even a tumble all the way to Minnesota’s 11th pick.

With fewer trade suitors for McCarthy, his odds of landing in Minnesota at an affordable price increase.

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.