ESPN’s Final Draft Thoughts Sound Promising for Vikings

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Will they or won’t they? That’s the question for the Minnesota Vikings, a club on everyone’s radar to trade up the draftboard on Thursday night.

ESPN’s Final Draft Thoughts Sound Promising for Vikings

Minnesota is scheduled to pick nine new players between Thursday and Saturday, with festivities kicking off in Detroit tonight at 7:00 pm CST.

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.

And the final transmission from ESPN regarding Minnesota’s trade efforts sounds promising.

Jeremy Fowler wrote Thursday, “The Vikings have actively worked the phones with teams in the top 10, according to multiple league sources, giving themselves options at the quarterback spot. As Dan points out, New England is among the teams they’ve called. ‘I think they pull it off,’ an AFC executive said about Minnesota moving up to secure a passer. ‘They’ve probably been the most active team as far as potentially moving up.'”

The Vikings fanbase will hope the unnamed AFC executive is correct, as most are prepared for a rookie quarterback after Kirk Cousins left six weeks ago. Cousins signed with the Falcons, and Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pressed the button on a trade two days later, sending two 2nd-Round picks to Houston for the Texans’ 2024 1st-Rounder (Pick No. 23) and a late-round pick swap.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota has two 1st-Rounders Thursday night to use on a trade up the board, plus the option to dip into next year’s piggybank.

Fowler continued, “Teams are split on whether Minnesota’s target would be Maye or McCarthy or someone else (slight lean to Maye, based on my attempts at an informal poll). The Vikings are in a precarious spot, with two first-rounders (Nos. 11 and 23) but zero Day 2 picks. They are counting on additional third-round picks in the 2025 draft due to the compensatory pick formula, so perhaps that gives them more flexibility Thursday night.”

December 31, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Michigan quarterback J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass during the pregame before the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

The New England Patriots hold the draft’s third overall pick, and if Minnesota wants North Carolina’s Drake Maye — he’s the fans’ preference — it must trade multiple 1st-Rounders to Robert Kraft and Co. to finalize the deal. Otherwise, the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 could listen to offers, needing to build out the roster with newcomer head coach Jim Harbaugh in the saddle.

“The belief among some team executives I’ve spoken to is that Minnesota doesn’t want to part with both of its first-round picks in a trade, which makes a major move up an arduous task. Perhaps that’s just posturing, but the Vikings appear nimble,” Fowler added.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

If Minnesota strikes out Thursday night on a rookie quarterback, it has Sam Darnold, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall on the depth chart. Players like Spencer Rattler, Michael Pratt, Jordan Travis, and Joe Milton will likely be available on Friday or Saturday.

The Vikings haven’t used the 1st Round on a rookie quarterback in 10 years.

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).

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