5 Freaky Draft Outcomes for the Vikings

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Fourteen weeks of the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason are in the rearview, with free agency basically over and the 2024 NFL Draft eight days away.

5 Freaky Draft Outcomes for the Vikings

The club has signed 14 new free agents this offseason, re-upped with seven internal players, watched as 16 players joined new teams, and even executed a blockbuster trade in March to prepare for the draft, which will feel like a massive offseason climax. All Vikings fans’ sights have turned to the draft, and rightfully so. The organization needs a quarterback of the future after Kirk Cousins bolted for the Atlanta Falcons five weeks ago.

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The draft will probably follow a predictable storyline where Minnesota drafts its quarterback of the future.

But these are the outlandish — really freaky — possible outcomes, ranked in ascending order of likelihood (No. 1 = outlandish but most likely to occur of the five).

5. Trading for Bryce Young

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The Scenario: Minnesota trades the 11th and 23rd picks to Carolina for Bryce Young.

NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero appeared on The Pat McAfee Show last May and explained about trade rumors and the Vikings: “There were all those draft rumors. Half of those are just completely wrong. A lot of the stuff with the Vikings trading up for the quarterbacks was proven wrong. Will Levis was sitting there when the Vikings’ pick came up at No. 23, and they didn’t take him.”

Pelissero then mentioned the Vikings’ ardor for Young, “They were making calls about moving up very high in the draft, but my understanding is that was for one player, and that was Bryce Young, who ended up going No. 1, and so there went any possibility for Minnesota to go get him.”

Instead of sending three 1st-Rounders for a new rookie, Minnesota could, in theory, get Young after all for a reduced price.

4. Trading for Tua Tagovailoa

Vikings QB Trade
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The Scenario: Vikings trade the 11th overall pick to Miami for Tua Tagovailoa.

Fox Sports’ Nick Wright advanced this zany theory in March, linking Minnesota to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, presumably for the price of the Vikings’ two 1st-Round picks.

Wright said on First Things First, “If I were advising the Dolphins, you know what I would tell them? You know how Minnesota acquired an extra 1st-Round pick? They have the 23rd pick because they want a quarterback. I would call them and see what they think of Tua Tagovailoa.”

“You could have stability at the quarterback position and maybe quiet Justin Jefferson’s fears,” Wright added.

Miami could draft Michael Penix Jr, for example, and away we go.

3. Trading for Justin Herbert

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The Scenario: The purple team trades three 1st-Rounders to Los Angeles for Justin Herbert.

Jim Harbaugh has spoken with the highest of flattery about his Michigan signal-caller, J.J. McCarthy. It’s almost a bit weird that Harbaugh’s new team, the Chargers, has Justin Herbert at QB1 because the coach isn’t shy about praising McCarthy.

“I’ve been to a lot of pro day workouts. That was the best I’ve ever seen from a quarterback. That was the best throwing day I’ve ever seen,” Harbaugh said about McCarthy two weeks ago.

“I think he’s the best quarterback in the draft,” Harbaugh added, calling his Michigan quarterback a “killer.”

Well, in this scenario, the Chargers ship Herbert to the Vikings, eat his $63 million dead cap penalty, and Harbaugh gets his man, a total carry-over of McCarthy from Michigan to Hollywood.

2. Drafting TWO QBs

Minnesota Reemerges
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The Scenario: In addition to Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy, the Vikings draft Michael Penix Jr. after a slide into Round 2 and subsequent second trade up the draftboard.

On Monday, Pro Football Focus‘ Sam Monson advanced this theory, mock-drafting Drake Maye to Minnesota at No. 9 while sending Penix Jr. to the purple team in Round 2 via another trade. Monson wrote about Penix Jr. and Minnesota, “General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has a finance background, which means diversifying and hedging. Minnesota shocks the NFL by selecting quarterbacks in the first and second.”

Think of this one as a jacked-up version of the Washington Commanders’ 2012 selection of Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the same draft.

1. Drafting No QB at All

Sam Darnold
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The Scenario: Minnesota shocks the world and considers Sam Darnold as the QB1 solution, waiting until next year for the quarterback of the future.

Here, Minnesota would presumably bungle any would-be trade up the draftboard, biding time for the 2025 NFL Draft, where prospects like Shedeur Sanders, Drew Allar, Carson Beck, Conner Weigman, and Quinn Ewers will become all the rage.

The Vikings could also just draft a mid-rounder like Jordan Travis, Michael Pratt, or Joe Milton and hope for the best.

The purple team’s fans would leave the draft with a familiar slogan: There’s always next year.

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 MIN 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.