Expected Big Vikings Splash Draws “Considerable Buzz”

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The Minnesota Vikings have lost key players in free agency, primarily quarterback Kirk Cousins who will suit up in a Falcons uniform from now on. To replace him, at least short-term, Minnesota added former third overall pick Sam Darnold but another passer seems to be on the way. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s move to acquire a second first-rounder is a big indication of an incoming rookie quarterback.

Expected Big Vikings Splash Draws “Considerable Buzz”

There's "Considerable Buzz" About Big Vikings Splash
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Handing the keys of the franchise to Darnold who has yet to string together half a season of good play without trying to acquire a real franchise quarterback would be borderline malpractice and the Vikings have shown the necessary urgency. Most analysts around the league expect the deal, using the added draft choice in the top round as the next step in a grander plan to trade up into the top picks.

ESPN’s draft analyst Matt Miller reports that Minnesota is one of two candidates to trade up on April 25:

With Cousins in Atlanta and Russell Wilson in Pittsburgh, the Vikings (No. 11) and Broncos (No. 12) are trade-up candidates. There is considerable buzz about Minnesota trying to move into the top five to secure a quarterback such as McCarthy or potentially Maye/Daniels if either falls past New England.

Friday saw the Vikings make a move to add an additional first-round selection (No. 23) from the Texans — in exchange for 2024 second- and sixth-round picks, plus a 2025 second-rounder. With two first-round picks, the Vikings now own the draft capital to fly up the board for a quarterback. The latest leaguewide rumor has the Vikings trading to No. 4 overall, where the Cardinals are in a sweet spot to trade out with a quarterback-needy team.

Matt Miller, ESPN

The Vikings have never drafted a quarterback in the top ten of the draft which might just be the reason for the struggles the organization has had at the most important position.

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Acquiring the fourth overall pick would secure Minnesota one of the four highest-rated quarterbacks in the draft. Caleb Williams is the presumably first-overall pick and will go to Chicago. A trade within the division seems unlikely, especially because Williams is regarded as a sure thing, and sending that kind of player to a division rival is a gutsy move.

The Washington Commanders draft second overall, and Jayden Daniels out of LSU is a wonderful fit in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. The offensive coordinator needs mobile quarterbacks to execute his scheme and Daniels possesses absurd speed for a passer. He is favored to go second overall and if he indeed does, that would leave Drake Maye (North Carolina) and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan).

New England has the third choice. They could either draft one of them or trade down, selecting receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is the wild-card scenario. There are some rumors about New England’s hesitancy toward Maye. It remains to be seen if those are true.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The fourth spot, as Miller mentioned, could be the sweet spot. Trading with Arizona makes sense because they already have a quarterback (Kyler Murray) but their roster needs a lot of talent to be competitive and picking twice in the first round would be helpful.

Denver could compete with Minnesota in the trade-up market but bereft of a second-round pick, it would require much more future draft capital to move ahead of the Vikings. Miller envisions them to trade down because they can’t match Minnesota’s potential trade package.

Forced by Broncos
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Maye and McCarthy are two players who fit Minnesota’s offense remarkably well. They have the athletic tools to push the ball downfield but they can also extend plays inside and outside of the pocket. Both guys are intriguing targets for Minnesota. If the consensus board is right, Maye is the better prospect but if the Patriots stay put and choose him third overall after Daniels and Williams, that is a moot point.

The good news is that McCarthy is more than just a consolation prize. Regardless of who ends up in Minnesota will enter a phenomenal situation. Throwing the ball to Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson behind a solid offensive line while working with a pair of former QBs in the coaching staff is simply the perfect place to develop as a young passer.

Adofo-Mensah will put his stamp on the franchise on April 25. The selection of a rookie signal-caller is likely.

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