Vikings Projected to Make ‘Massive’ Trade Up to No. 3 for Star QB Prospect

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings’ handling of Kirk Cousinscontract situation has left the door open for speculation about what both sides will ultimately do this offseason.

That includes exploring the possibility of a trade to acquire the No. 3 overall in the 2024 draft.

“Minnesota has perused the rookie quarterback market over the past few years and has not been in a position to pounce,” CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards wrote on February 17. “In this instance, the Patriots give the Vikings the heir apparent to Kirk Cousins.”

The target is North Carolina’s Drake Maye. Edwards does not go into detail about the package to get from No. 11 to No. 3 in this “massive” trade other than swapping those two selections.

But this hypothetical package could be sufficient based on previous examples.

Vikings get:

– 2024 first-round pick (No. 3 overall)

Patriots get:

– 2024 first-round pick (No. 11 overall)
– 2025 first-round pick
– 2026 first-round pick
– 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 109)

This package mirrors the San Francisco 49ers trade with the Miami Dolphins in 2021, in which the former went from No. 12 overall to No. 3 overall for Trey Lance. The Vikings pick one slot higher in the current year’s first-round pick than the 49ers originally did.

Perhaps that allows Minnesota to include their fourth-round pick – which is only seven slots worse than San Francisco’s – instead of their second-rounder (No. 42 overall) to get a deal done.

The Vikings do not have a third-round pick in this year’s draft, so that would be key.

This is a different twist to a popular notion. The Vikings have been labeled as a team to watch for a trade up in the draft for some time, especially as Cousins’ situation continues to drag on. Maye is a new target, though.

Rumors have linked them to LSU’s Jayden Daniels. Some within the organization are keen on pairing Daniels with fellow former Tiger Justin Jefferson.

But as Ewards — who says he ultimately believes the Patriots make the pick for a quarterback — demonstrates in this scenario, Daniels’ stock is rising.

Vikings Could Capitalize on Drake Maye’s Falling Stock With Trade Up to No. 3 Overall in 2024 Draft

Drake Maye, Minnesota Vikings

GettyDrake Maye #10 of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Previous hypothetical trade scenarios saw the Vikings trade with the Patriots to select Daniels at No. 3. But Edwards has the reigning Heisman winner going to the Washington Commanders with the No. 2 overall pick.

Maye’s production took a step back this past season compared to his redshirt freshman season.

Still, his production in that season – 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns on 66.3% completion with seven interceptions – is comparable to Daniels’ Heisman-winning effort this past season.

Doubts about Maye – then still the consensus No. 2 quarterback in the class – began in September despite solid production and a winning streak that extended into October. Various mock drafts are reflecting that now despite no games being played.

The NFL Scouting Combine is on February 26.

Tim Hasselbeck: Drake Maye the ‘Best QB’ in 2024 Draft

Drake Maye, Minnesota Vikings

GettyDrake Maye #10 of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Not everyone is down on Maye, though. Former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, now an analyst for ESPN, is firmly in Maye’s camp.

But not as the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the 2024 draft.

“I think Drake Maye is the best quarterback in this class,” Hasselbeck said on “NFL Live” on February 15. “I’ve been working at ESPN for 15 years, evaluating quarterbacks. I think he’s as promising as any quarterback I’ve seen during that stretch.

“I just really believe that when you go kind of through the checklist of things that you are looking for out of your quarterback – size, athleticism, arm strength, a lot of the intangibles in terms of competitiveness and leadership – look, there’s so much to fall in love with about Drake Maye.

“A lot of people are going to come away thinking he’s going to be a way better pro than he was a college player.”