Vikings Reportedly Have a Preference in Draft

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The Minnesota Vikings have one primary task on their to-do list. Since six-year starter Kirk Cousins exited in March, the purple team is without a captain, and his successor must be found in the draft. The alternative would be Sam Darnold. While the 2018 draft bust might have some untapped potential, he shouldn’t be viewed as more than a bridge quarterback who can steer the ship for a few weeks.

Vikings Reportedly Have a Preference in Draft

Vikings Have a "Preference" in Draft
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Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has acquired a second draft choice in the first round and now holds picks 11 and 23. The apparent objective is to package those two slots and possibly future draft capital to trade into the top five. Whether that is to bring Jayden Daniels (LSU), Drake Maye (North Carolina), or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) to Minnesota remains to be seen.

ESPN’s insider Adam Schefter believes the purple team clearly prefers Maye.

It all depends on the team you talk to. It all depends on the team’s interest. If Minnesota were to find a way to get up to three, my sense is, and we don’t know fully, but my sense is that Drake Maye would be the preference.

Adam Schefter

Maye possesses the prototypical size for a quarterback and has enormous potential. His ability to create on his own when the play is breaking down has been all over his tape behind North Carolina’s suspect offensive line. His combination of the strong arm and decent athleticism is promising.

Vikings First Round
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

He would be a superb fit in Minnesota’s offense because he can do everything head coach Kevin O’Connell asks his passer to do. Once regarded as the QB2 in this draft class behind Caleb Williams, Maye could be available later than anticipated a few months ago. Still, it would require the Vikings to trade up to the third overall spot currently held by the Patriots.

Minnesota’s interest in Maye has been reported in the past. Just a couple of weeks ago, Carmen Vitali from FOX Sports reported: “I fully expect them to try (to trade into the top five for a QB), if they aren’t already. From sources I’ve talked to, the Vikings, and coach Kevin O’Connell in particular, like Drake Maye, the former UNC quarterback with a high floor and tremendous pocket presence. Maye would be a shoo-in to the Shanahan offense that O’Connell runs and would be in great hands between O’Connell and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, both former NFL signal-callers themselves.”

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Maye seems to be the favorite among Minnesota’s decision-makers. Adofo-Mensah has repeatedly emphasized the importance of having a sound infrastructure around a rookie passer, which makes the Vikings an ideal landing spot for all quarterback prospects. Throwing to Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson while standing in the pocket with Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw holding the edges is a dream scenario.

Bleacher Report’s NFL scout Derrik Klassen wrote about the QB: “Overall, Maye is a supremely talented passer. He has the athleticism, arm talent and baseline processing skills to become a weapon at the next level. All he needs to do is cut out some of the “doing too much” plays. Maye has the skill set to fit in any system and develop into a star.”

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It is easy to see why the Vikings would love his tape. The ceiling seems endless, with comparisons to Justin Herbert and Josh Allen. On the other hand, many draft pundits highlight his inconsistent play as a reason he shouldn’t be drafted this highly.

The good news is that if he has the potential, the Vikings can unlock it with their coaching staff filled with ex-NFL QBs and talented weapons around him.

Adofo-Mensah will try to pick one QB early on April 25, but it remains to be seen if the organization can pull it off.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt