Vikings Nopedy Nopes: J.J. McCarthy Draft Steam, Justin Fields, Kyle Rudolph’s Idea

Vikings Draft
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports.

A new weekend publication from VikingsTerritory, we unveil the Vikings Nopedy Nopes of the week.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes: Tua Tagovailoa, Maye vs. McCarthy, Vikings Losing the Trade

The nopedy nopes are weekly Minnesota Vikings-themed items that we’re not buying. It’s a spin-off of our rumor mill, and we hope you enjoy. Here is the fourth batch of Vikings nopedy nopes in the series’ history.

The Nopedy Nope: J.J. McCarthy’s climb up the draftboard is all steam — like Malik Willis in 2022 or Will Levis in 2023.

Vikings Nopedy Nopes
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy makes a pass against Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner during the first half of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

Some NFL fans have casually mentioned McCarthy as this year’s Will Levis or Malik Willis. That is — a man who receives tremendous hype leading up to the draft but then curiously slides out of Round 1.

To combat that thought, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah said this week, “I put it out in my last mock draft, and I have quarterbacks going one through four … I’m talking to teams that are in the Quarterback market, and teams that aren’t… JJ McCarthy is really highly thought of, and that’s not a smokescreen.”

Back in December, when credible mock drafts were just getting off the ground, McCarthy was forecasted as a 2nd-Rounder. Fast forward to March, and the man is damn near a Top 5 prospect in all mocks.

Too, Jeremiah’s opinion aligns with others’. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero recently mentioned about McCarthy: “It’s been really interesting because everybody is always trying to figure out — especially at the top of the draft — what the other teams are doing. When I’ve had conversations here with executives for other teams who know [Washington GM] Adam Peters well, know the situation well, the most popular answer for what they do at No. 2 is J.J. McCarthy. So a lot of drama still to come.”

Don’t get McCarthy mixed and matched with Levis and Willis. This isn’t like that.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: The Vikings wanted Justin Fields via trade as QB1.

Somehow in Rumor
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Brooke Pryor wrote on Friday, “The Steelers were one of four teams on Fields’ radar prior to the start of free agency, along with the Vikings, Raiders and Falcons, a source familiar with Fields’ thinking said.”

If the Vikings pursued Fields, it was likely for quarterback depth — not as the end-all QB1 solution.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell has said for over two years that his main quarterback qualification is inherent passing accuracy. Fields doesn’t have that. There’s just no way Minnesota would nominate Fields as “the guy” to lead the charge for life after Cousins.

And if they wanted him, well, they could’ve spent a conditional 5th-R0under to acquire his services. But they did not.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Per Kyle Rudolph’s request, the Vikings should make Tennessee’s Joe Milton their QB1 solution.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Rudolph evidently believes Joe Milton should be the solution for life after Kirk Cousins, a player with a Round 6 or so scouting report and labeled by some scouts as a developmental QB3 type.

“I see, after watching the Combine, a guy like Joe Milton from Tennessee. You have just super, freak potential athleticism. You’re not going to have to mortgage your future to get a guy like that,” Rudolph told The Up and Adams Show this week.

The idea would be great — if the Vikings had Kirk Cousins on the roster at the age of 32, for example. Like Kellen Mond or Jaren Hall, Milton, in theory, could watch and learn and perhaps take over down the road. But in 2024, the Vikings don’t have that luxury.

Rudolph continued: “It’s a guy that you watch and you’re like, ‘Holy cow.’ This kid could be one of those mid-round picks who all of a sudden we’re talking about a Russell Wilson 3-4 years down the road where guess what, when you have a third-round pick as your starting quarterback, look at the San Francisco 49ers roster, it’s built around a rookie deal quarterback and they have talent everywhere.”

Minnesota could draft Milton in addition to their QB1 plan from Round 1 or 2. But onboarding Milton and nominating him as the QB1 solution while pairing him with Sam Darnold is severely unlikely.

Rudolph concluded, “The Vikings need good players right now who can come in, and trading your two first-round picks to ultimately take a quarterback who might not play right away, I don’t think that’s the answer.”

Milton won’t be the guy.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.


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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 OverTheCap.com.

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