NFL.com Posts Holy Grail Mock Draft for Vikings

2022 Vikings Betting Odds Tracker: Week 11
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings fans may not have been loud enthusiasts of former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew before last week, but they’ll sure warm up to his takes now.

NFL.com Posts Holy Grail Mock Draft for Vikings

Now an analyst at NFL.com, the ex-NFLer published a mock draft on Thursday, and because the purple team needs a quarterback for life after Kirk Cousins, Jones-Drew assigned Drake Maye to the Twin Cities.

Mock Draft
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Believe it or not, that’s not even the sweet part. Jones-Drew connected a Maye — already a Vikings fan favorite — to Minnesota via the fifth overall pick, an indicator that the Vikings wouldn’t have to trade all the way up the board to No. 3 or so to procure Maye’s services.

Jones-Drew didn’t outline the parameters of trade specifically, but he explained Maye to Minnesota, “The Vikings acquired an additional first-round pick last month for this reason. With Maye available here, Minnesota jumps at the opportunity to select a quarterback with ties to new QBs coach Josh McCown. Maye’s big arm and ability to evade pressure in the pocket should excite Vikings fans.”

Maurice Jones-Drew
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The Chargers then flipped the 11th pick into Oregon State offensive tackle Tailese Fuanga and LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. at No. 23.

Last month, Maye became more gettable for Minnesota after Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled off a trade, obtaining an additional 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans while offloading two 2nd-Rounders in the deal, plus a late-round pick swap. Most identified the move as a sign that Minnesota would trade up the board once again — probably on draft night, April 25th.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

The Jones-Drew-driven beauty of Maye at No. 5 is the price tag. Vikings enthusiasts have spent the last few weeks debating the merits of trading next year’s 1st-Rounder in a deal that could net Maye or Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. Most would obviously prefer to hang onto next year’s 1st-Round capital because Minnesota could have a lousy record in 2024 with Sam Darnold and a rookie quarterback at the helm.

Trading with the Chargers — not the Washington Commanders or New England Patriots — would likely entail this year’s 1st-Rounders but probably not next year’s.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports.

Moreover, Jones-Drew’s theory of Maye at No. 5 coincides with a draft theory from last month.

Sportskeeda‘s Tony Pauline wrote about Maye-related sentiment from the NFL Combine, “The big news coming out of Indianapolis is the way teams are hot and cold on quarterback Drake Maye, who was expected to be a top-three pick. I was told at the combine that the New England Patriots would trade back if Jayden Daniels did not drop to their slot, the third pick of the draft. Just today, I heard further that several scouts from the Patriots organization are not fans of Maye, who really struggled down the stretch of the season. The fact that several people mentioned in conversation, not all, are sold on Maye makes this significant.”

A draft tumble for Maye or New England flat-out preferring a different pick would be music to the ears of Vikings fans. A few weeks ago, we polled the fanbase on X, formerly known as Twitter, about a draft darling, and the result was firmly Maye over McCarthy.

Minnesota has never selected a quarterback within the first 10 picks of a draft.


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.

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