Vikings Have One Last Rookie QB Meeting — Tonight

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

He can be considered a forgotten man in the Minnesota Vikings mock draft machine, but the club will do the diligence on Thursday evening — one week before the draft.

Vikings Have One Last Rookie QB Meeting — Tonight

That’s Jayden Daniels of LSU, a man heavily predicted to land with the Washington Commanders at the second overall pick.

Rookie QB
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero tweeted Thursday, “Former LSU QB Jayden Daniels is scheduled to have dinner tonight with Vikings brass in Baton Rouge, per Ron Butler. Minnesota owns the No. 11 and 23 picks and has been gathering all the info in case there’s an opportunity to move up for one of the top QBs.”

Daniels ending up in Minnesota is a longshot but cannot be fully ruled out. As of mid-April, these are the draft team odds for the Heisman Trophy winner:

  • Washington Commanders: -330
  • New England Patriots: +275
  • Las Vegas Raiders: +650
  • Minnesota Vikings: +1100
  • New York Giants: +1600
  • Chicago Bears: +2000
  • Denver Broncos: +3500
  • Tennessee Titans: +3500
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

Daniels has both marvelous traits yearned for by Vikings faithful and NFL general managers — he can fling the ball from the pocket with ease and also has a running back’s legs and feet. Winning the Heisman Trophy, too, in 2023 helped elevate his draft profile.

His only perceived weakness is his frame: he’s 6’4″ and around 200-220 pounds. He declined measurement at the NFL Combine, leading to mystery about his weight. He could weigh less than 200 pounds. And that’s important for his style of play, as curious minds want to know if he can absorb hits when he takes off from the pocket as a runner.

Earlier this week, CBS Sports‘ Will Brinson published a mock draft where Daniels slid out of the Top 4 picks to No. 5, and the Vikings pounced via trade with the Los Angeles Chargers. Brinson wrote, “The Chargers are the easiest trade-out team on the board and might even move out of No. 5 for the Vikings’ two first-round picks.”

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

But Brinson’s mock was a serious outlier. Most mock drafts believe Daniels is a Commander; so do sportsbooks.

Last month, Daniels’ college coach, Brian Kelly, appeared to spill the beans about his quarterback’s future. “He’s gonna get the ball out to his playmakers and make plays for Washington,” Kelly told reporters about Daniels’ upside in the NFL.

If Daniels does not become a Viking — he probably won’t — the club is favored to draft Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy or North Carolina’s Drake Maye. Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) and Bo Nix (Oregon) are the other options after the “Big Four” of Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy.

New Fox Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings haven’t used Round 1 or 2 draft capital on a quarterback since Teddy Bridgewater 10 years ago.

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