This Is the Absurd Price to Acquire the First Overall Pick

Vikings to Meet with
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Kirk Cousins signed the three-year deal offered by Rick Spielman in 2018 and extended his contract twice. Once in 2020 after winning a playoff game and the second time in 2022 when the new regime tried to buy some more time with the veteran without a long-term commitment. There is a decent chance he has played his last game in the purple jersey as his contract will expire, leading to Cousins becoming a free agent in March.

This Is the Absurd Price to Acquire the First Overall Pick

This Is the Absurd Price to Acquire the First Overall Pick
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The Vikings must find his successor at some point, whether they re-sign him for another season or not. He is 36 and coming off a torn Achilles tendon, one of the worst injuries a professional athlete can sustain.

Minnesota was awarded the 11th overall pick for their 7-10 record. The disappointing season with nine games of QB carousel led to the highest pick in almost a decade. That draft position is likely too late to get one of the top guys.

That’s why general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is reportedly interested in trading up for a passer. Ben Goessling said during an appearance on Paul Allen’s radio show on KFAN: “If they’re going to take one, it’s going to be someone we love or we’re not doing it. If you have to give up a couple first-round picks for future years, I don’t think they’d bat an eye at that. They have certainly looked at this as ‘we need to get the guy that we can plant our flag with for the next 10 years and if it costs a lot to do that, so be it.”

2024 NFL Mock Draft
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While fantasizing a trade-up for one of the top three quarterbacks including Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels is fun–they are currently expected to fly off the board with picks two and three–why not think even bigger? The biggest way possible, to be exact. Trading up for Caleb Williams, the presumed first-overall pick.

He has been a highly-touted prospect for years and everyone is just praising his talent. But what would it cost? The price surely is humungous. With the Bears currently holding the first pick, a division rival, the costs rise even more.

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Brad Gagnon from Bleacher Report precited the trade package it would take for the dream of some Vikings fans to become reality. And after reading it, the number of people in that group will decrease. This is what the Vikings would have to give up for the first overall pick:

  • 2024 11th overall pick
  • 2024 second-rounder
  • 2025 first-rounder
  • 2025 second-rounder
  • 2025 third-rounder
  • 2026 first-rounder

That is quite an absurd price and it includes three picks in the first round, two in the second, and one in the third. It all comes down to how good Williams is. If he is the next big thing, a perennial MVP candidate who can drag teams into the postseason and perhaps to the Super Bowl, who cares about the trade package? Chiefs fans probably don’t even know what Patrick Mahomes cost them in 2017. And if they do, they don’t bat an eye.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson talks to quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) during the third quarter of a regular season NFL football matchup Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-7. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

But the risk is high. If Williams doesn’t pan out, the Vikings are in trouble. The team likely stinks and doesn’t even have the picks to take advantage of it. And he doesn’t even have to be a colossal bust. If he’s a solid but not elite player like Trevor Lawrence who was similarly viewed coming out of college, the Vikings wouldn’t be happy with the deal.

Adofo-Mensah hasn’t shied away from risky moves and he made some controversial trades in his own division but even he might be hesitant to do this. However, the Vikings have never had a QB prospect like that. Daunte Culpepper was the 11th overall pick, Christian Ponder was picked 12th overall and Teddy Bridgewater was the 32nd pick. The ownership might be done with half solutions and aim to land a big fish.

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It is a highly unlikely scenario. The Bears presumably just pick Williams and if they don’t, would they give him to Minnesota? Unlikely. But no matter how improbable it is, the thought of getting a young star like Williams to throw the ball to Justin Jefferson is a fun one.

More feasible targets for Minnesota are Daniels or Maye who also require a trade (although not that costly of a deal), and second-tier players like J.J. McCarthy or Michael Penix.

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