Latest On Vikings’ Quarterback Plans

Making their intentions fairly clear via the March trade with the Texans, the Vikings are in position to present an intriguing offer to a team willing to trade out of this draft’s prime QB real estate. A path that would make Sam Darnold a bridge (at best) is firmly in play for Minnesota.

Third-year GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said this draft features multiple quarterbacks the Vikings “love,” creating a similar scenario to the 49ers of 2021. The team was high on multiple QBs when it acquired the No. 3 overall pick from the Dolphins, and the team had not decided which QB it would select when it made that move. The Vikings have not traded up yet, but it would not shock to hear offers emerging soon.

There’s multiple guys that we’re in love with just on an outright basis, but there’s also other guys that we’re in love with given what — if we get them at a certain value — what they’d also be able to come with,” Adofo-Mensah said (via of this year’s QB class. “As I talked about earlier skillset-wise, if you’re talking about the ability to overcome context, well, if the guy has less ability but we have assets to go get somebody that’s not going to put him that situation, those things add up too.”

As’s Kevin Seifert notes, the Vikings would prefer to trade up and land their long-term QB in this draft. But it takes two to tango here. A trade with the Patriots, Cardinals or Chargers would likely be necessary for the Vikings to acquire their preferred passer. All three have been linked to trading down, with Arizona perhaps the most willing trade partner. The expectation around the league points to the Vikes trading up for a passer, though the Commanders and Pats’ calls at Nos. 2 and 3 will influence — unless Minnesota strikes a deal with one of those teams — which arm the NFC North team will acquire.

It would appear Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels or J.J. McCarthy would be in play for the Vikings; one of them definitely will be on the board at No. 4, when the Cardinals (as of now) are slated to go on the clock. The Vikings are believed to be high on Daniels, who is set for a Minnesota meeting soon, and new QBs coach Josh McCown mentored Maye in high school. McCarthy is also coming up in Vikings rumors, offering more intrigue to this post-Kirk Cousins search.

Moving from 11 to 4 would be costly. It cost the 49ers two future first-rounders and a third to climb from 12 to 3 in 2021, but the Vikings are in better position thanks to acquiring the No. 23 overall pick from the Texans. That choice would certainly be attractive in a trade, and if the Vikings are required to send off a 2025 first-rounder, they would likely only go one draft — as opposed to two, as the 49ers did — without a first.

The Vikings have never drafted a quarterback in the top 10, though Daunte Culpepper (1999) and Christian Ponder (2011) were just outside that neighborhood. Ownership also may be making it known that, after the Cousins partnership moved to a year-to-year stage as the QB’s Twin Cities tenure wore on, a long-term option is needed now. The Vikings scheduled workouts with five of the draft’s top six passers (Maye, Daniels, McCarthy, Michael Penix, Bo Nix),’s Matt Miller adds, preferring to gauge them in that setting compared to at a controlled pro day. Kevin O’Connell was not at this year’s QB pro days, raising the stakes for these Minneapolis-area workouts.

Cousins joined Sam Bradford, Case Keenum and Brett Favre as veteran fixes for the Vikings, who had seen their QB plan veer off course when Culpepper suffered ACL and MCL tears in 2005. The homegrown options Minnesota used in the years since did not last long, with Teddy Bridgewater‘s severe knee injury dealing the team another bad break. After Cousins left for Atlanta, his former team appears committed to finding a successor via a move up from No. 11.

Just because something is risky doesn’t mean you have to stay away from it,” Adofo-Mensah said of a trade-up for a QB. “It’s something that is hard to grasp, but if you grasp it, you know what the rewards are, right? And that’s something you have to weigh and measure. … You can look at countless examples of other teams who’ve made decisions, but maybe the decision you thought was going to be the decision, it was a different decision that ended up being right and the outcomes were good.

“… I think our odds will be better than the margins. How good are those odds? I think it’s still a pretty risky thing, but just because something’s risky doesn’t mean you’re scared from it, you’re scared of it — you just have to believe. It’s uncertain, right? It’s uncertain and we have to take our swing, but that doesn’t give us any pause, I would say.”

View Comments (2)