Vikings Nopedy Nopes: Sam Darnold as QB1, Draft Picks 11 & 23, Justin Fields Trade

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

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

Vikings Nopedy Nopes: Sam Darnold as QB1, Draft Picks 11 & 23, Justin Fields 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 second batch of Vikings nopedy nopes in the series’ history.

The Nopedy Nope: Sam Darnold is Kirk Cousins’ replacement.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

Associated Press, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and others ran with headlines like this to break the news of Sam Darnold’s signing in Minnesota: “Vikings are signing Sam Darnold to replace Kirk Cousins.”

Indeed, Darnold could take QB1 snaps in 2024 as a patchover option to Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy, for example. But to headline articles insinuating he is the direct replacement for Cousins in the long-term outlandishly doesn’t tell the whole story.

Minnesota experienced injuries to quarterbacks Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall, and Cousins in 2023. Adding Darnold indicates they learned their lesson about quarterback depth. Suggesting Darnold is the savior of the Vikings — like their end-all plan for life after Cousins — is preposterous and designed to flame outrage.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Minnesota may actually keep their current 1st-Round picks — No. 11 and 23 — and draft players from those spots.

Draft Analyst
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

After Minnesota obtained an extra 1st-Round pick from the Houston Texans on Friday, some claimed the organization was just getting a jump on draft-night trades.

One must ask herself — why the hell would Minnesota do that six weeks before the draft without seeing the fall of the board in April? Swapping assets with Houston was a clear move that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah plans to conduct another trade, probably into the Top 5 of the draft.

According to Todd McShay, another deal is upcoming, “The Vikings don’t make this move unless they’ve already had serious discussions with a specific team re: what it will take to move up for the QB they desire (presumably not named Caleb or Jayden). So is it NE at 3 (for Maye)? Or a team picking a couple/few spots down (for JJ)?”

ESPN’s Jordan Reid added via tweet, “Love the move from Kwesi. The Vikings are clearly loading up for a trade up for a QB. They’re also a Dalton Risner or KJ Osborn signing away from acquiring two extra third round comp picks in 2025 (Cousins/Hunter). Giving up next year’s second rounder was an easy decision.”

It just doesn’t make sense to carry out trade business this early if the transaction wasn’t decided for a sister trade to be named in the coming days or weeks.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.

The Nopedy Nope: Bears fans and Mel Kiper thought Justin Fields would fetch a 1st-Round draft pick via trade.

Vikings QB Rumor
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Back in January, Bears fans + Mel Kiper chirped that Justin Fields could be gettable for a 1st-Round pick.

Field was traded for a 6th-Rounder on Saturday evening to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Assuming Fields would command high-round draft capital was one of the coldest takes of the offseason.

Verdict: Nopedy nope.


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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