Vikings ‘In Play’ for Trade That Nets Top-3 Pick in Exchange for 3 Firsts

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

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

The picture at the very top of the NFL draft remains opaque, as every team in the top five — save for the Chicago Bears (No. 1) — is a possible trade partner for the Minnesota Vikings.

Both the Washington Commanders (No. 2) and New England Patriots (No. 3) need quarterbacks and made offseason moves indicating they will seek one in this draft. But godfather offers can change plans, and the Vikings have three first-round picks in the next two years they can flip to get into the top three.

Darren Wolfson of KSTP spoke with SKOR North on Tuesday, March 26 and examined the likelihood of both the Commanders and the Patriots making a deal with Minnesota, using his insider information to conclude that one trade is most definitely “in play.”

There are enough league people who really believe J.J. McCarthy is the guy for Washington at [pick No. 2]. Now hey, you reach out to some people close to Jayden Daniels, they’ll tell you, “Nope. Jayden is going No. 2.” So I’m still trying to figure out how it plays out. Heck, would Washington even move off the second pick?

If I had to bet right now — okay, so it’s reckless speculation Thursday on a Tuesday — the Vikings don’t get up to [pick No. 2]. But I do think getting up to [pick No. 3] New England is very much in play.

Vikings Create Multiple Options for Franchise QB by Trading Into Top 3 of NFL Draft

J.J. Mccarthy, Drake Maye

GettyQuarterback prospects J.J. McCarthy of Michigan (left) and Drake Maye of UNC (right).

Assuming the Bears draft Caleb Williams of USC first overall — which most NFL analysts across the country are — the pool of quarterbacks from which the Vikings can expect to select includes Daniels, McCarthy and Drake Maye.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell made comments earlier this week at the NFL Owners’ Meeting in Orlando that indicated McCarthy could be the top QB of the three on Minnesota’s draft board, though that conclusion requires some subjective interpretation.

More tangible evidence that Maye could be the guy exists in the Vikings’ recent decision to hire former NFL signal-caller Josh McCown — also one of Maye’s high school coaches in Charlotte several years ago — as their new quarterbacks coach.

The case for Daniels resides mostly in his explosive dual-threat abilities, which rocketed him to the front of last year’s race for the Heisman Trophy and subsequently up mock draft boards across the country. Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN is just one of many prominent analysts who believes Daniels will come off the board second to Washington — a prediction that lends itself strongly to the notion that the Vikings will draft Daniels should he fall to them at whatever pick they end up acquiring.

Vikings Guarantee Themselves Top QB Prospect Via Trade With Patriots

Jayden Daniels, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Jayden Daniels of the LSU Tigers.

Whoever Minnesota likes most, dealing for as high of a draft pick as possible is crucial to the team’s plans to set the QB position with a franchise rookie.

Trading with the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 doesn’t guarantee the Vikings one of the top-four prospects. Dealing with the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 does, but offers Minnesota zero agency in the player with whom they end up.

Breaking the bank to move into the No. 3 spot has always been the best plan that is also feasibly attainable for the Vikings. Doing so is probably going to cost them the No. 11 pick in 2024 and their first-round selection in 2025, the placing of which in the draft order will remain unknown until next season is complete.

That proposed deal with New England will also almost certainly cost Minnesota the No. 23 pick it acquired from the Houston Texans via a trade earlier in March. However, that shouldn’t vex the Vikings greatly, as the widespread assumption around the league is that Minnesota added the asset in order to beef up an offer to a team like the Patriots for their top-three pick in 2024.

By securing the No. 3 draft position, the Vikings guarantee themselves one of the top four prospects in one of the most talented QB classes in recent memory, while also affording the front office an option between two of the three signal-callers in Daniels, McCarthy and Maye.

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