The Minnesota Vikings drafting North Dakota State and consensus top-five quarterback Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft would be a dream come true.
However, it’s looking more like a dream than reality that he could slip midway through the first round to the Vikings. But that hasn’t kept Minnesota from keeping tabs on the homegrown talent.
KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported that the Vikings “are not scheduled to be at home state stud Trey Lance’s second Pro Day (on Monday).”
Wolfson added that offensive coordinator Klint has said he’s done “extensive work” on Lance, and many other quarterbacks, but realistically, the Marshall, Minn., native is unlikely to remain on the board in time Minnesota’s first pick at No. 14 overall.
Kubiak’s statement affirms that Lance has been on the team’s radar, but whether they make a move for him is a different conversation.
The #Vikings are not scheduled to be at home state stud Trey Lance’s second Pro Day tomorrow. OC Klint Kubiak is said to have done extensive work on Lance (and many other QBs). Realistically, he’s not getting to MN at 14. pic.twitter.com/eg02H5lYGl
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) April 18, 2021
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Why the Vikings Won’t Trade Up for a QB
There are scenarios out there where the Vikings trade picks and move up on the draft board to secure one of the top three quarterbacks outside of Trevor Lawerence (Clemson) and Zach Wilson (BYU) who are both virtually locked in as the top two picks of the draft. Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones and Trey Lance remain in limbo on where they’ll fall in the first round but the consensus is all three are likely out of reach by pick No. 14.
Meanwhile, the Vikings brass faces mounting pressure to bring the team back to the playoffs after Minnesota posted its worst record of 7-9 since coach Mike Zimmer’s first year with the team in 2014. Last season was widely considered a rebuilding year after the Vikings wiped the defense of five starters and started over with largely rookie and first-year starters.
Minnesota’s free agency has shown its pushing all its chips in on the 2021 and 2022 season with the acquisitions of defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson (two years, $16 million guaranteed) and veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson (one year, $8 million guaranteed).
There are still several holes in the Vikings lineup — either on the offensive line or at edge rusher — that they should fill with high-value draft picks. Kirk Cousins‘ salary is guaranteed for the next two seasons and Minnesota would push itself further from Super Bowl contention over the next two seasons by selecting an early-round quarterback instead of using those picks elsewhere.
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That Doesn’t Mean the Vikings Won’t Invest at QB
General manager Rick Spielman has rarely invested at quarterback in the draft.
His lone first-round pick at the position was Teddy Bridgewater at No. 32 overall in 2014. Spielman hadn’t spent a single draft pick at quarterback for five years before picking Iowa prospect Nate Stanley in the seventh round of last year’s draft.
Stanley remains a practice-squad arm with UDFA Jake Browning. Both quarterbacks are still vying to become backups in the NFL and are well-rounded enough to be considered more than an insurance policy.
Minnesota has been linked to Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, who is the highest-valued quarterback outside the top five. Mond could fall to the third round along with prospects like Ian Buck (Notre Dame) or Kyle Trask (Florida) who are all developmental talents that could take on a starting role after serving as a backup under Cousins.