ESPN Claims Vikings May Have Weird Trade Brewing

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On March 15th, Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensh conducted a trade, sending two 2nd-Round picks to Houston for the Texans’ 2024 1st-Rounder (Pick No. 23) and a late-round pick swap. Kirk Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons two days prior, and fresh off his departure, Minnesota quickly seized another 1st-Round pick, presumably to make trade business easier in finding his replacement.

ESPN Claims Vikings May Have Weird Trade Brewing

Most Vikings fans believe the club’s 11th and 23rd picks would be packaged in a subsequent deal, probably to move up the draft board for a quarterback of the future.

Minnesota 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.

But according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Minnesota evidently wants to retain the 23rd overall pick, a theory that has seemingly arisen out of nowhere. “You got Minnesota armed with two first round picks. This is the team that could be active. I’ve talked to several teams who believe that Minnesota at least right now, doesn’t want to part with that second first rounder, which is in the 20s. They want to try to preserve that, which could be tough to move up into the top five for a quarterback,” Fowler said this week.

Minnesota is tentatively expected to explore a deal with the Washington Commanders (Pick No. 2), the New England Patriots (Pick No. 3), the Arizona Cardinals (Pick No. 4), or the Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No. 5). Until now with the Fowler report, most onlookers thought pick No. 23 would essentially be required in any trade arrangement.

Vikings QB1
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Fowler continued, “So the feeling is they’re looking around at potentially McCarthy there, one of the quarterbacks, but they might not want to give up enough to get there.”

Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2, and specifically, NFL media and Vikings faithful have labeled Maye and McCarthy as the mostly likely targets for Minnesota.

Williams is basically a lock to Chicago, with Daniels trending toward a marriage with Washington. After that, the draftboard gets messy.

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If Fowler is correct, and Minnesota is conducting business to keep the 23rd pick, two items would become apparent. a) A player already on the Vikings’ roster would almost certainly be involved in the would-be trade for a quarterback b) Adofo-Mensah would offload 2025 and 2026 1st-Round picks more willingly than once believed.

There’s a small possibility that the draft community has overvalued the price of a trade into the Top 5, but of all scenarios regarding Fowler’s assertion, that seems the least likely. Or — perhaps the purple team will stick-and-pick at No. 11 or 23 with a player like Penix Jr.

Judgment Day
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No matter what, if Minnesota pulls off a trade into the Top 10 and selects a quarterback for life after Cousins, it will mark the first time in franchise history it selected a quarterback in the draft’s first 10 picks.

The draft is 12 days away.

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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