Famed Draft Analyst Posts Unfavorable Vikings Update

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The 2024 NFL Draft is less than four away, and according to Sportskeeda‘s Tony Pauline, the Minnesota Vikings are in a precarious spot.

Famed Draft Analyst Posts Unfavorable Vikings Update

Minnesota has nine picks overall during the event: two on Thursday night and seven on Saturday, as scheduled.

January 10th, 2024. Minnesota Head Coach Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center concluding the 2023 NFL regular season. Minnesota finished 7-10 in 2023 and missed the postseason.

But per Pauline, the Vikings’ 1st-Round plans sound unfavorable. “According to sources, the Vikings are starting to move into panic mode as their recent attempts to trade up for a quarterback have been rebuffed. While the team has two picks in the first round (the 11th and 23rd selection), they have no day two picks and will have to sweeten the offer with selections in 2025,” Pauline wrote Thursday.

For a couple of months, Vikings fans have narrowed the team’s would-be draft choice down to a binary decision between Drake Maye of North Carolina and J.J. McCarthy from Michigan. Trades may be needed to obtain both men.

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Pauline continued, “I’m told Byron Murphy is a player they will target with the 11th pick if they can’t trade up, something I initially reported from the Shrine Bowl back in January, though there’s a very good chance the defensive tackle from Texas is drafted prior to that pick.”

In an ordinary draft — where Minnesota doesn’t need a quarterback of the future — targeting Murphy II would be wondrous news. The guy is a beast. However, in 2024, no quarterback as the first pick from Minnesota would be considered a letdown.

mock draft
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) warms up before Ohio State game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

On March 13th, Kirk Cousins formally left Minnesota, signing with the Atlanta Falcons for four years and $180 million. He isn’t coming back. Two days later, Vikings boss Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled the trigger on a pre-draft trade, grabbing an additional 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans while offloading two 2nd-Rounders in the deal, plus a late-round pick swap. 

Now, fans wonder which team will do business with Minnesota for the would-be trade, as 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) are likely companions.

Caleb Williams (USC), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), and Bo Nix (Oregon), plus the aforementioned Maye and McCarthy, are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2. Most Vikings loyalists believe the purple team will end up with one of the six.

Draft Plan Just Got
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

If Minnesota pulls the trigger on a trade — panic or no panic — it will likely cost multiple 1st-Round assets.

Some believe the Vikings have a “verbal handshake” trade in place wit the Patriots for Maye, contingent on the Commanders drafting Daniels. Stay tuned.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.