Vikings Reportedly Tried to Trade for Exciting QB Prospect in 2023

Silhouetted against a large window, Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) makes a pass during the 2023 NFL Pro Day held at Condron Family Indoor Practice Facility in Gainesville, FL on Thursday, March 30, 2023. Richardson will meet with six NFL teams. They are the Panthers, Colts, Titans, Raiders, Falcons and Ravens. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Quarterback will be at the top of the wishlist in a few months as the Minnesota Vikings enter the offseason without Kirk Cousins under contract. After decades of chaos, he joined the purple team in 2018 and solidified the QB position. While they could still look to re-sign their veteran passer, they must be careful how much money they want to invest in a 36-year-old coming off a torn Achilles injury.

Vikings Reportedly Tried to Trade for Exciting QB Prospect in 2023

Vikings Reportedly Tried to Trade for Exciting QB Prospect in 2023
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) throws the ball during the first half against the Georgia Bulldogs at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, on Saturday, October 29, 2022. © Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Regardless of what general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah intends to do with the four-time Pro Bowler, filling the position in the draft is certainly an option. Just a year ago, the Vikes were viewed as a suitor for the rookie quarterbacks, but with Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson flying off the draft board within the first four selections, they were never in a position to grab one of those talented signal-callers.

But it turns out they attempted everything to make it happen, according to NFL analyst Brett Kollmann, who appeared on The Mina Kimes Show.

I don’t think people realize how hard the Vikings tried to trade up for Anthony Richardson last year. Like, the haul that they put on the table was massive. They were going to give away the entire farm, all of it. They were going to give everything.

But, it takes two to tango. Their trade partner thought that they were going to be too good, and so they went elsewhere. They didn’t want low picks, they wanted high picks.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) scores a touchdown during fourth quarter game action against the Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts, on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Florida’s Richardson was probably the most controversial but also the most exciting prospect in the 2023 draft. Running a 4.41 40-yard dash at 244 lbs are total unicorn numbers. He is a physical specimen that can fling the ball 60 yards deep with a flick of his wrist and run over and around defenders. Unfortunately, the rookie was hurt for the majority of his debut season, suffering a concussion and a shoulder sprain. His frequent runs took a toll on him, and it is always a risk when a quarterback likes to do that.

In four appearances, Richardson threw for 577 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception while rushing for four additional scores and 136 yards, totally living up to the dual threat expectations. Although not everyone is sold on his throwing ability.

It is a strange comment to think the Vikings would’ve been too good after drafting a project quarterback, someone who has always struggled with consistency in his passing game. Could he be lethal in combination with Justin Jefferson, especially long-term? Sure. But he would’ve needed some time to get there.

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Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

The trade was most likely with the Arizona Cardinals, who traded the third overall pick to the Houston Texans to select Will Anderson one pick after drafting C.J. Stroud, and Richardson landed in Indianapolis with the fourth overall pick.

Kollmann’s report conflicts with a report from Tom Pelissero, who mentioned after the draft that the Vikings indeed tried to facilitate a trade but only for Young, who went first overall to the Panthers: “They were making calls about moving up very high in the draft, but my understanding is that was for one player and that was Bryce Young, who ended up going No. 1, and so there went any possibility for Minnesota to go get him.”

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports.

It ultimately doesn’t matter which one of those reports is true for the upcoming draft to be noteworthy. If the Vikings tried to trade a bunch of assets to go all-in on a future franchise quarterback, there is a decent chance they will repeat that this year.

Kollmann mentioned that he foresees the Vikings to make a move this year for LSU’s Jayden Daniels, a QB with a similar skillset as Richardson, but he could also see Washington’s Michael Penix as a fit for Kevin O’Connell’s system.

O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will identify the guy they want to lead their franchise and attempt to make a move to acquire that player, so the draft could be a critical one for the Vikings’ future.

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