Insider Predicts Vikings Land Award-Winning QB in Trade: ‘Makes the Most Sense’

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

Getty General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell made it clear that the organization is still evaluating their options at quarterback. And there is increasing speculation about what they will do in the 2024 draft, fueling trade rumors.

Their trade with the Houston Texans to acquire the No. 23 overall pick has set the stage for them to be aggressive. The question has just been how aggressive they might be.

At least one insider predicts they will be aggressive enough to land the No. 3 pick.

“The Vikings will package three first-rounders (including future years) and move up to No. 3,” ESPN’s Dan Graziano wrote on March 25. “I could see Washington pulling a bit of a surprise in selecting [Drake] Maye at No. 2, and the Vikings ending with [Jayden] Daniels to pair with [Justin] Jefferson — two LSU products — in this offense for years to come.”

Graziano also offered a hypothetical package to get a deal done with the New England Patriots. It would allow the Vikings to land the reigning Heisman winner, Daniels.

Vikings get:

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

Patriots get:

– 2024 first-round pick (No. 11 overall)
– 2024 first-round pick (No. 23 overall)
– 2025 first-round pick

“This is pretty straightforward — three first-round picks for your quarterback of the future, whoever that is at No. 3,” Graziano wrote.

Who that might be remains a subject of debate. But ESPN’s Kevin Seifert called it “expensive”, but agreed Graziano’s hypothetical package to acquire the No. 3 overall pick “makes the most sense” if the Vikings go the trade route.

Seifert has the Vikings trading up to No. 4 with the Arizona Cardinals. Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort declared the pick for sale during a press conference on March 21.

Jayden Daniels Has Support Within Vikings Organization Amid Trade Rumors

Jayden Daniels, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Jayden Daniels of the LSU Tigers.

For much of the pre-draft process going back to the start of last season, the consensus Nos. 1 and 2 quarterback prospects have been USC’s Caleb Williams and Maye, respectively. Only recently has Maye experienced a slide.

It’s coincided with rapid ascensions from Daniels and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, leaving no clear-cut favorite behind Williams at No. 1 to the Chicago Bears.

The Vikings have been linked most to Maye amid trade rumors. They sent quarterbacks coach Josh McCown to see Williams and McCarthy at their pro days. Maye’s pro day is on March 28 while, Graziano previously reported on the Vikings’ interest in Daniels. His pro day is on April 6.

Graziano noted Jefferson’s looming contract status as one key motivating factor.

“Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long term,” Graziano wrote on February 10. “The notion of bringing in Daniels to pair with their star LSU alum wideout Justin Jefferson has appeal to some in the organization.”

Justin Jefferson Looms Large Over Vikings’ Future

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJustin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Jefferson is a four-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro selection. That barely scratches the surface of his accomplishments in what is already a historic career.

Former Vikings GM Jeff Diamond, now an analyst for 33rd Team, expects a historic new deal.

“I predict the extension will come in at $172.5 million over the five new years from 2025-2029 but Jefferson’s agents will shoot for $175 million — a $35 million average in new money — and settle at $34.5 million per year,” Diamond wrote on January 24. “Expect Jefferson’s deal to include a $50 million signing bonus … and $125 million guaranteed.”

If the Vikings are going to pay that much to Jefferson, it would behoove them to make sure he is as happy and productive as he can be.

A long-term solution at quarterback would be one way to pave the way for that.