Vikings High On Drake Maye; Latest On Giants’ Interest

With the Bears all but certain to start the draft with Caleb Williams and the Commanders pointing toward taking Jayden Daniels at No. 2, the Patriots have the inside track to Drake Maye. If the Pats felt comfortable enough with the two-year North Carolina starter, trade buzz would be moot.

Three days away from the draft, however, trade noise persists around New England. De facto GM Eliot Wolf has held trade talks (with Jonathan Kraft a key part of the process), and other teams have been connected to having Maye interest. The Pats also have fans of both Maye and J.J. McCarthy in the building, opening the door to another team snagging the ex-Tar Heel.

The Vikings may well covet Maye more than the Patriots do, with the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin believing Minnesota wants Maye more than New England. New Vikings QBs coach Josh McCown mentored Maye in high school, and the Sam Howell North Carolina successor worked out for the team recently.

That said, the Vikings’ trade-up quest may not be a Maye-or-bust mission. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said the team is comfortable with multiple QBs, echoing remarks the 49ers made when they traded up for Trey Lance in 2021. The third-year Minnesota GM may have been genuine here, as’s Albert Breer notes the Vikings do appear more comfortable with a larger swath of this year’s QB prospects compared to other teams. This is due to the pieces the team has in place. While the QB who lands in New England will not have an upper-tier skill-position corps to work with and will be going to a team without a left tackle answer (as of now), the Vikings employ Pro Bowl LT Christian Darrisaw to go with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson.

Minnesota has also been connected to a trade-up effort with Arizona at No. 4; among the three teams that have contacted the Cardinals about their pick, it is safe to assume Adofo-Mensah and Monti Ossenfort have spoken regarding a trade. The Vikings have Sam Darnold in place as a bridge, but ownership may well be pushing for a post-Kirk Cousins long-term answer this year. This would make Darnold a candidate to be benched early in the season, given how teams usually proceed with first-round arms.

If the Patriots are truly willing to let go of No. 3, an acquiring team would then have its pick of Maye or McCarthy. And the Vikings will not be the only team high on Maye. While McCarthy-Giants smoke has emerged, they are believed to be higher on Maye. In fact, Breer adds Maye leads the way in Giants connections “by far.” It has been trending this way for a bit now, though a smokescreen-season disclaimer obviously comes with draft rumors.

The Giants insist they have not given up on Daniel Jones — no benefit would come by indicating otherwise at this point — but they have done extensive work on this year’s QB class to the point’s Daniel Jeremiah questions whether this Giants regime does still believe Jones can be a long-term option.

These teams are only part of the equation regarding a trade-up, with the Broncos linked to showing heavy interest in moving up the board to fix their Russell Wilson mistake. Denver’s Zach Wilson acquisition is unlikely to convince teams it is out of the running for a first-round QB. As of Monday, however,’s Adam Schefter said (during a Pat McAfee Show segment) the Vikings and Giants have expressed the most interest in moving up for a passer.

Schefter notes the Vikings lead the way in an effort to acquire the Patriots’ No. 3 overall pick, while the Giants check in behind them in terms of interest in that move. Maye would stand to begin the season as a backup in New England, New York or Minnesota. Each has a bridge option in place, with Jones slightly overqualified for that title.

Setting a high asking price, Patriots have been viewed as most likely to stay at 3 and make their QB choice, but Schefter adds they are not as likely to stick in their draft slot compared to the Commanders. Although Maye’s game has generated scrutiny — after his 2023 season did not match his 2022 work — he brings prototypical size and, at 21, supplies upside. His landing spot will be one of this draft’s top storylines.

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