The Vikings Have a Fail-Safe in the Draft

The Vikings 2022 Defense by the Numbers: After Week 6
Minnesota Vikings fan during NFL game Sunday Oct 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens. © BILL INGRAM / THE PALM BEACH PSOT / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings have a built-in insurance policy — a fail-safe — available in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Vikings Have a Fail-Safe in the Draft

The source is the Arizona Cardinals, a club open for business between now and April 27th. Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort point-black told the world Wednesday his team’s approach to trading and team-building. There is no mystery.

Arizona Cardinals team owner Michael Bidwill (left) and new general manager Monti Ossenfort (right) pose for a photo with one of the Cardinals helmets during a news conference at Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center in Tempe, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. © Alex Gould/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Asked by reporters if he’d be willing to trade down from Arizona’s No. 4 spot, Ossenfort didn’t hold back. “There will be a big neon sign that says ‘open.’ I don’t like it blinking — that kind of messes with my eyes — but we’ll always have the conversation. We may not get to the point where the deal makes sense, whether it’s at 4 or anywhere we’re picking, but we’re always going to have the conversation,” the executive replied.

Draft Plan Just Got
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Last week, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah got the ball rolling with his draft plan, sending two 2nd-Round picks to Houston for the Texans’ 2024 1st-Rounder (Pick No. 23) and a late-round pick swap. Minnesota now has more 1st-Round ammunition in this draft to move up the board than any other team, particularly quarterback-needy ones.

Ossenfort added, “And if it makes sense and it’s attractive to building our team, then it’s something we’ll certainly consider no matter where we’re at in the draft.”

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports.

Many believe Minnesota should trade into the No. 2 hole with the Washington Commanders or No. 3 with the New England Patriots to ensure a Top 3 quarterback prospect, but as a fallback plan, it seems the Cardinals are essentially guaranteed to do business with the Vikings if the deal is sweet enough.

“There’s been a little bit more action. I’d say those phone calls are starting to pick up a bit.” Ossenfort said about recent NFL trade offers.

Rookie QB
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Luca Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

For Vikings fans, Ossenfort’s comments can be translated to Minnesota’s new worst-case scenario — those words are used loosely — in the draft, which is ending up with Michigan’s J.J McCarthy. If Adofo-Mensah wants McCarthy as his quarterback for life after Kirk Cousins, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons eight days ago, the Wolverine is totally gettable, especially if the Cardinals are guaranteed to listen to trade offers.

Too, the draft’s Top 3 draft order isn’t even wholly solidified. The Patriots, for example, could spring for McCarthy, leaving North Carolina’s Drake Maye for the Vikings — who might just be the man they’ve coveted all along. The Athletic’s Alec Lewis wrote earlier this month about new quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, Minnesota, and Maye, “McCown’s presence is also useful because he can relate to veterans and has experience working with highly touted draftees (Sam Darnold, Jalen Hurts, Bryce Young, etc.). Another facet to consider: McCown coached North Carolina’s Drake Maye, whom the Vikings adore.”

Jot it down: it feels like the Vikings can do no worse than attaining the draft’s No. 4 overall pick — a lock for a Top 4 quarterback prospect.

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