Vikings’ Initial Trade Preference Was Reportedly Too Rich

Vikings Draft
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

All the smoke you heard about the Minnesota Vikings’ preference for Drake Maye in last week’s draft was apparently real.

Vikings’ Initial Trade Preference Was Reportedly Too Rich

For months and especially weeks leading up to the draft, the purple team was linked to a trade up the draftboard with the New England Patriots at pick No. 3, probably for North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye. The deal never materialized, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying, according to ESPN.

Vikings Trade
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

Mike Reiss explained the Patriots trade sweepstakes this week, “A source said the New York Giants had offered the No. 6 overall pick and their 2025 first-round pick, while the Vikings were ultimately willing to part with No. 11 and No. 23, along with a 2025 first-rounder, in exchange for the third pick and two mid-round selections from New England.”

Minnesota’s cutoff evidently stopped at three 1st-Rounders or the two franchises couldn’t meet in the middle for subsequent pick swaps. Heading into the draft, credible reporting suggested New England wanted a true godfather offer, and if Reiss is correct, it didn’t receive it.

Mock Draft
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports.

“By the time their scouting process was complete for the 2024 draft, Mayo said the Patriots most liked three quarterbacks — USC’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Maye. Thus, a trade package out of No. 3 would have had to blow them away to consider moving down to the next QB options,” Reiss continued.

Instead, Minnesota used Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft to select quarterback J.J. McCarthy of Michigan and outside linebacker Dallas Turner from Alabama. Virtually no Vikings fan believed both men were attainable, as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was expected to trade his 1st-Round assets for a quarterback of the future. But on draft night, McCarthy slid to pick No. 10, where the young executive pulled the trigger on a trade with the New York Jets — while keeping his 23rd overall pick in-house. He then picked Turner after an expensive trade to the 17th spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Minnesota 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

Reiss concluded, “But clearly neither of those proposals met the criteria for the ‘bag’ that Mayo said the Patriots would have needed to be OK with trading the pick, and explains why the Patriots called Maye immediately when they were on the clock at No. 3.”

After grabbing McCarthy and Turner from Round 1 — an unexpected turn of events — this was the price tag:

The Vikings Got:
J.J. McCarthy
Dallas Turner
6th-Rounder (2024)
7th-Rounder (2024)

The Vikings Gave:
No. 11
2nd-Rounder (2024)
2nd-Rounder (2025)
3rd-Rounder (2025)
4th-Rounder (2024)
4th-Rounder (2025)
5th-Rounder (2024)
5th-Rounder (2024)
6th-Rounder (2024)

vikings gm
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

On the whole, unless ESPN has it wrong, the Vikings had Maye circled as 1A, with McCarthy at 1B.

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 MIN 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