Vikings Predicted to Nix Trade Talks, Draft Elite CB & 45-TD QB in 1st Round

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

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

The Minnesota Vikings would probably like to trade up to the No. 3 pick for a QB like Drake Maye, but the team won’t mortgage its entire future to achieve that outcome.

The New England Patriots have made clear they want three first-rounders, and then some, to move off of the third pick. Meanwhile, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been straightforward in his remarks that Minnesota isn’t going to grossly overpay for a quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft.

“It’s a very deep class. But I do think you have to be ready for every scenario,” Adofo-Mensah said during his pre-draft press conference, per ESPN. “If there’s elite players at premium positions on the board, I don’t think you’re supposed to reach or force or anything like that. It’s just not what I believe, all the while understanding that [QB] is the most important position in the sport.”

Using that philosophy as context, Peter Schrager of NFL Network predicted in his most recent mock draft on April 16 that the Vikings will surprise by opting not to trade up for a quarterback and instead selecting Bo Nix out of Oregon with the No. 23 overall pick.

“Nix could go as high as 11, 12 or 13 … or completely fall out of the first round. I think 23 to the Vikings — or another team around here in a trade-up — makes sense,” Schrager wrote. “One thing on Nix: He’s as accurate as they come, having just set the FBS record this past season with a completion percentage of 77.45. Smart processor, too. These are things that will be very highly valued by offensive coaches and QB gurus. That’s Kevin O’Connell.”

Bo Nix Produced Prolific Stats During Final Collegiate Season

Bo Nix, Denver Broncos

GettyQuarterback Bo Nix, formerly of the Oregon Ducks.

At 24 years of age, Nix will be one of the oldest quarterbacks any team has ever taken in the first round — should he come off the board by pick No. 32. And while that presumably takes years off of his professional career, thereby decreasing his draft value, his level of maturity and experience should both prove plusses.

Nix led the FBS with 45 touchdowns passes during the 2023 season compared to just 3 interceptions. He finished second in overall passing behind only Michael Penix Jr. of Washington with 4,508 yards through the air. Nix also ranked second in the country with a QBR of 91.2.

If Minnesota likes what it sees in Nix — or potentially Penix — at No. 23, that leaves their No. 11 pick open to utilize on an elite-level prospect at another position of need.

Vikings Projected to Draft CB Terrion Arnold Out of Alabama if They Don’t Trade Up for QB

Terrion Arnold

GettyAlabama cornerback Terrion Arnold.

That is precisely what Schrager projects the Vikings will do if they decide not to deal the Nos. 11 and 23 selections, along with who knows what else, to trade into the top five with the likes of the Patriots, Arizona Cardinals or Los Angeles Chargers.

In his mock, Schrager paired Minnesota with cornerback Terrion Arnold of Alabama as the first defensive back off the board and just the second defensive player drafted.

“The Vikings stay put to take a top corner and great all-around prospect. Arnold arrived in Tuscaloosa as a five-star safety, then played inside and outside corner under Nick Saban,” Schrager wrote. “He flourished and was the Alabama defense’s field general last season. Great juice and a leader. Sam Darnold will be the Vikings’ Day 1 starter in this scenario, but that doesn’t mean Minnesota’s done with the quarterback room.”

Arnold finished last season with 40 tackles, 12 pass breakups, 5 INTs and a forced fumble, per ESPN.

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