Vikings to Meet with Draft’s Biggest Prize

Got the Biggest
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports.

They may not be able to pick him, but a chat will occur nevertheless.

Vikings to Meet with Draft’s Biggest Prize

That’s the word on the Minnesota Vikings and standout USC prospect Caleb Williams, who will attend this week’s NFL Combine but not physically throw the football.

Vikings to Meet with
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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday morning, “USC QB Caleb Williams, the potential top overall pick, arrives today at the NFL Scouting Combine and is expected to meet with the Bears, Commanders, Patriots, Raiders, Falcons, Jets, Giants and Vikings. Williams will do meetings, but no testing or on-field work.”

In all likelihood, the Chicago Bears will draft Williams, and that will be that. However, there’s a slight chance that Chicago trades the No. 1 overall pick while sticking with Justin Fields at quarterback, and quarterback-needy teams, including the Vikings, would be off to the races via discussions with the Bears. Too, Williams could also tumble down the draftboard in the next couple of months due to unforeseen events, and in that hypothetical case, at least Minnesota will have met with the passer.

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At quarterback on the whole, the Vikings have a grand mystery heading into March. Kirk Cousins is a free agent, and if he leaves after six seasons, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall are the only other quarterbacks under contract for 2024. Minnesota would probably be in the market via the draft for Cousins’ successor and could even select that man in April if Cousins remains on the 2024 books.

If the Vikings don’t end up with Williams — they probably won’t — Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2 as well.

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In January, Williams, a USC teammate of current Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison, commented on an Addison post, sending a handful of Vikings enthusiasts into speculative nirvana. Addison posted a picture of himself and Kirk Cousins with a comment: “Used to dream bout this, I can’t believe I’m here.”

Williams promptly replied, “See you soon brotha.”

Of course, Williams likely meant in the NFL, on the whole, not specifically the Vikings. The comment also could’ve implied something akin to seeing Addison in real life sometime soon. Here’s the exchange on Instagram:

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison posted to Instagram in January 2024, expressing gratitude about his emergence in the NFL. Soon-to-be USC rookie Caleb Williams was excited to “join Addison” in the near future. Williams is expected to be the 1st overall pick of the draft in 2024.

And to date, that’s the only quasi-meaningful connection between Williams and the Vikings. Minnesota ending up with Williams is the longest of longshots and would almost need a Williams scandal to marry the two parties in the draft.

Editor Josh Frey of PurplePTSD, a sister site to VikingsTerritory, described Williams last month, “The USC product has been one of the best improvisers at the quarterback position in all of college football. Williams’ arm talent is absolutely incredible, allowing him to make throws from anywhere in the backfield. He can stand in the pocket and hit receivers in stride, or he can scramble outside of the pocket and throw on the run as well as any draft prospect we’ve seen over the past couple of years.”

For over a year, after his fantastic 2022 season at USC, draft pundits have labeled Williams as “generational,” akin to Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck per immediate NFL impact. The only matter left was which team would lose enough in 2023 to secure the 1st overall pick in April to net his services. Because of a trade last year with the Panthers, that’s the Bears.

The NFL Draft is eight weeks away.

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).

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