Vikings GM Sheds Light on Draft Plan

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Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

On Friday, Minnesota Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah finagled a trade with the Houston Texans, sending two 2nd-Round picks to the Houston for the Texans’ 2024 1st-Rounder (Pick No. 23) and a late-round pick swap.

Vikings GM Sheds Light on Draft Plan

News of the trade was a stunner, a clear indicator that Minnesota is in the mood to obtain its quarterback for life after Kirk Cousins via the draft. Most expect a follow-up trade sometime in the next 5.5 weeks, a transaction that could occur as early as now or go the distance until draft night, April 25th.

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And on Monday, Adofo-Mensah joined KFAN’s Paul Allen on Allen’s daily show and explained the Vikings’ draft plan. “That move gave us the best flexibility. I would say, at this point, there’s a preferred scenario, but the process is ongoing. We’re still evaluating things at every position. At the moment, I would say there’s a preferred scenario, but evaluation is ongoing,” he told Allen.

Preferred scenario should imply that Adofo-Mensah knows his next steps via trade, presumably to hop into the Top 5 for a quarterback like Drake Maye (North Carolina) or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan). In theory, the Vikings could stand pat, too, and choose two prospects at picks No. 11 and 23, though that plan feels unlikely, considering Minnesota should covet a blue-chip rookie quarterback.

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Last week, Adofo-Mensah also said the Vikings aren’t boxed into taking a quarterback in Round 1, claiming Sam Darnold, a free-agent newcomer, provided them flexibility: “I think all these terms like ‘bridge quarterback’ and ‘team manager’ have connotations that come with it. We like Sam. We like what he brings to the team. You think about the life cycle of the quarterback, and when they hit their peak, then you talk about the context around them – what offensive line, what system, all those things matter – we looked at Sam as someone who could give us a performance in that position.”

Most heard Adofo-Mensah’s comments about possibly leaving Round 1 without a quarterback as, “What else is he supposed to say?” Advertising to the world that Minnesota needs a quarterback would reduce trade leverage and make the Vikings look desperate — probably why the young executive pumped the brakes on the necessity of taking one in the 1st Round.

Draft Analyst
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Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the draftboard in Rounds 1 and 2, and Minnesota will likely end up with one of those men. Oddsmakers indicate it’s a two-horse race between Maye and McCarthy, with McCarthy in the lead.

The would-be likely trade partners for Minnesota include the Patriots at No. 3, the Cardinals at No. 4, and the Chargers at No. 5.

The Vikings haven’t drafted a quarterback in Round 1 since 2014 and have never used a Top 10 draft pick on one.

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).

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