Vikings Draft Target Wants to Join Skol Nation

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
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The NFL draft is approaching, and the Minnesota Vikings could experience a franchise-changing version of the event. With a quarterback at the top of the wishlist following Kirk Cousins’ exit, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is trying to facilitate a trade into the top ranks of the draft to secure one of the best prospects.

Vikings Draft Target Wants to Join Skol Nation

Vikings Draft Target Wants to Join Skol Nation
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The speculations are endless. Minnesota could climb to the third spot if the New England Patriots are willing to part ways with their draft choice in exchange for three first-rounders. A slightly cheaper deal would land Minnesota still in the top five but out of reach of Drake Maye, the third quarterback on most boards.

With Caleb Williams expected to be the first player selected, followed by Jayden Daniels to the Washington Commanders, the third team in the queue would choose between the North Carolina passer and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. Most favor Maye, although there have been some rumblings about teams actually leaning McCarthy.

Vikings Top Draft Target
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

The national champion appeared on The Adam Schefter Podcast and was asked about ending up in Minnesota.

It would mean the world (to be drafted by the Vikings) just because of Coach O’Connell. He’s a guy that I would run through a brick wall for. Everything that he wants to do with his football team is something that I want to be a part of, and obviously, being in the NFC North, being a Bears fan my entire life, and being able to play at Soldier Field and staying in the Midwest, it would just be a dream come true. I love what they are building. Obviously, the weapons there are limitless, and they have just a great thing going for them. So it would be a blessing to be a part of it.

J.J. McCarthy

It should be noted that the 21-year-old similarly praised other organizations because he obviously wants to be drafted by someone. Still, the Vikings remain intriguing because of the excellent environment in which a quarterback can flourish.

Theory on Harrison
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Head coach Kevin O’Connell has drawn praise from players ever since he started to be the skipper of the franchise. His jovial nature has been a real culture changer in Minnesota. He produced a 13-4 season on the field in 2022, but his side lost the postseason matchup against the beatable New York Giants. Last season, the Vikings finished with a 7-10 record, although his offense certainly overperformed after the season-ending injury of his starting signal-caller.

Keeping the offense going with Joshua Dobbs under center, who had just arrived, and career backup gunslinger Nick Mullens was sensational. However, the ultimate goal of a trip to the postseason was missed.

McCarthy’s excitement about the weaponry is understandable. Every quarterback in the league would love to target Justin Jefferson and his teammates Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson. The entire league might not have a better trio of pass catchers.

Mock Draft
Nov 25, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Ohio State lost 30-24. © Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The draft prospect has been controversial in the NFL landscape because of his subpar production in college. He was not asked to carry the offense at Michigan like other passers in the draft in their offenses. Still, when the team needed him, he came through. With poise in the pocket, exciting athleticism, and an underrated arm, McCarthy possesses all the talent in the world to turn into one of the better QBs in football, especially in Minnesota’s QB-friendly environment.

Leading up to the draft, the Vikings are the favorites to land McCarthy via trade-up.

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