Vikings Positioned to Trade for Exciting Young QB to Replace Cousins

O'Connell, Cousins, Vikings

Getty Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell (left) and quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Oddsmakers and mock drafters are predicting an early run on quarterbacks in the upcoming draft, but the Minnesota Vikings may be positioned to trade down from the No. 11 spot and still land a top prospect like Bo Nix — a move that former lead analyst of Pro Football Focus Eric Eager suggested his hometown team make.

The Vikings have just two picks inside the top 100 selections — No. 11 and No. 42 — and a slew of roster needs. The team is also financially strung to Kirk Cousins whether he signs an extension or walks in free agency due to $28 million in bonuses that accelerate onto the 2024 cap sheet if he is not re-signed by March 13.

Considering the lack of offseason resources to not only improve the team, but just keep it together, Eager urged the Vikings to embrace the uncertainty of a young quarterback. and trade back from the No. 11 pick to acquire more draft capital, but still land Nix.

“I would punt on getting one of the truly elite guys this year and build up the war chest for the next few years,” Eager, who is now with Sumer Sports, said on the “Purple Insider” podcast on January 15. “You have Jaren Hall. You also have Kevin O’Connell who has cut his teeth in the NFL developing quarterbacks. Don’t give up on Jaren Hall. Lean into the uncertainty… 11 and 44, make those two picks 17, 32, 52 and 60, and then take Bo Nix.”

Oregon QB Bo Nix Could Slip to Vikings in Trade Back


GettyBo Nix of the Oregon Ducks.

Just twice in over 20 years have five quarterbacks been taken in the first round.

While the NFL Draft hype that will ramp up in the coming weeks often boosts the perceived draft stock of prospects, there’s usually a consensus surrounding one to three quarterbacks that are considered top 10 prospects. Trading up inside the top five to land Caleb Williams, Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels would cost at least two future first-round picks and is no guarantee.

Instead, trading back would still land the Vikings a strong quarterback prospect they could plug into one of the best situations in the NFL — and they’d still have resources to make the defense behind him better.

Nix was one of the most accurate quarterbacks in college football and was also responsible in the pocket with one of the lowest sack rates. The Vikings showed the offense can remain competitive without a Pro Bowl quarterback in the short term. Nick Mullens averaged 370 yards a start.

Starting a first-round rookie quarterback like Nix or J.J. McCarthy wouldn’t be a disaster.

Maybe they wouldn’t be a Year 1 contender, but they’d be one step in the right direction and have more flexibility in the future by retaining valuable draft capital.

The Vikings Should Consider Their Timeline Given the State of the NFC North

Justin Jefferson, Kirk Cousins

GettyVikings stars Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins after a Week 3 loss to the Chargers.

The NFL postseason has spotlighted where the Vikings stand in the NFC North.

It’s not the same old Lions. Green Bay may have landed its third franchise quarterback in its past three tries and is coming off a dominant performance over the Dallas Cowboys. Chicago has a war chest of cap space and draft picks at their disposal, preparing to take the top quarterback and wide receiver in this year‘s draft.

Meanwhile, the Vikings remain in no man’s land.

Minnesota ranks 12th in composite offseason resources, a grade compiled by cap space and draft capital available by Pro Football Focus.

There are many roster holes to fill just to restore the roster to its 2023 form — let alone improve a team whose depth issues were evident late in the season.

The defense could be without any of its three top pass-rushers and needs help in the interior of the defensive line and cornerback.

Extending Justin Jefferson and Cousins would actually create more cap space in the short-term, but the Band-Aid free agents the Vikings have attempted in the Cousins era have not produced any team close enough to contending and would ultimately hinder the team’s financial future.

The Vikings need to stock up on draft capital and move off Cousins’ contract if they hope to have the resources to draft high-caliber players who are Day 1 starters and the cap space to sign top free agents — a situation the Chicago Bears have built toward in what will be a massive offseason for Chicago.