Last-Minute Theory Muddies the Water for Vikings Draft Plan

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If you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan who wants the franchise to draft Drake Maye on Thursday night, you’ll have to hope that The Athletic‘s last-minute draft reporting is wrong.

Last-Minute Theory Muddies the Water for Vikings Draft Plan

With a day remaining before the 2024 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots are expected to stay put at pick No. 3 and select a quarterback — probably Maye — according to The Athletic‘s Dianna Russini, a development that complicates matters for the Vikings if Maye is their target.

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“Though team officials are open to listening to trade offers, league sources say no real offer has come New England’s way, with only ‘scenarios’ being discussed. Teams like the Vikings, Broncos and Raiders were told it would take significant draft capital for New England to trade out of its spot. With no deal in place right now, the Patriots are expected to stick and pick at No. 3,” Russini wrote Wednesday.

For a few months, Vikings fans have decided that the club’s rookie quarterback choice is basically binary between Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. Most believe McCarthy is more attainable in the draft — likely after the Patriots’ pick — but Maye has the vast upside that has been compared to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert.

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If The Athletic‘s reporting is correct, Minnesota would be out of the Maye Sweepstakes and presumably on to McCarthy, who could be selected anywhere from pick No. 4 to 11, where the Vikings are scheduled to choose a player.

Russini added about New England, “If the Patriots land on a deal to trade out of No. 3, I fully expect them to move back up to grab a QB. Bottom line, I anticipate them coming out of this draft with a top QB. It’s also worth noting the Patriots don’t mind starting this season with Jacoby Brissett before handing the keys to the new QB when he is ready.”

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The wildcard in this scenario might be McCarthy, in general. There’s a decent chance that New England covets the Wolverine — it’s had luck with University of Michigan quarterbacks in the past — and chooses him outright at pick No. 3. Minnesota would then presumably angle a trade for Maye somewhere between the 4th and 11th picks.

McCarthy is the favorite to land in Minnesota, with +125 odds as of Tuesday, April 24th. Vikings fans will have to cross fingers that New England is more flexible via trade than The Athletic is leading on if Maye is the draft darling.

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Otherwise, sportsbooks may have it right with McCarthy as the guy for Minnesota during life after Kirk Cousins.

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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