Viking Receives Hot Seat Treatment and It Impacts the Draft

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL draft is right around the corner, and it could be monumental for the Minnesota Vikings. After the exit of starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, the franchise needs a new guy under center to carry the organization’s hopes. With the 11th and the 23rd overall picks, they have the draft capital to move into the top range of the draft to secure one of the top prospects.

Viking Receives Hot Seat Treatment and It Impacts the Draft

vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over the Vikings in 2022. The team had an aging roster without any cap space because of some expensive contracts. The draft slot was right outside the top ten after the team missed the playoffs in the previous season.

Now nearly all the aging players are gone; he has created cap space, and the team is younger, especially the core guys. Still, the draft slot is almost similar after a premature ending to the 2023 campaign.

Viking Receives Hot Seat Treatment and It Impacts the Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Dianna Russini, a so-called NFL insider for The Athletic, reports that the executive might be on the hot seat two years into his tenure.

I have a list of five GM’s who I believe need to nail this draft for their own job security and, more importantly, their team’s future. This Wednesday, my column will go live. But I’ll give you an exclusive here: The GM under the most pressure in this draft is the Vikings’ Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Three years into his regime, his Vikings are 20-14 but without a playoff win. After letting Kirk Cousins walk — despite his head coach’s public desire to keep the QB — Adofo-Mensah is running out of time. This might be the best opportunity he has to add a franchise-altering passer.

I expect the Vikings to do everything they can do move up on Thursday to get their guy.

Dianna Russini, The Athletic

It would be unusual to fire a general manager this early in his tenure, and it would be crazy to allow a GM to be on the hot seat to mortgage the organization’s future.

Adofo-Mensah has done some nice things through three seasons. His two high-profile moves were acquiring Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson. Ty Chandler, Ivan Pace, Akayleb Evans, Mekhi Blackmon, and Ed Ingram are five players who have shown some promise.

Lewis Cine Is Doing
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

However, many focus on the 2022 draft, and they are correct to some extent. The selected top players, Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth, haven’t worked out. On the flip side, all general managers make mistakes in the draft, and that draft shouldn’t remain the lasting image of his tenure. Part of the story is also that the scouting department of the previous regime was still in charge.

Finding more difference-makers in the draft is his job; he hasn’t done that well enough.

That fact changes his approach in his third draft. He must be aggressive, something he has never been afraid of, and attack in the draft. Taking a big swing is what the franchise and the GM need, so it should be the obvious move.

purple rumor mill
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, that swing is the trade into the top five of the draft to select a passer. If he does that, his job is safe for at least two seasons, and if the guy is any good, he will be safe for much longer than that. Drafting a franchise quarterback transforms an organization into an annual contender, and as Russini alluded to, Adofo-Mensah will try everything to make it happen.

Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy should be the favorites to be drafted by the Vikings on Thursday.


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

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