Insider: Vikings ‘Intriguing’ to Award-Winning QB Amid Trade Speculation

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

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

The Minnesota Vikings have a lot going for them regarding appealing to a quarterback.

One of their biggest advantages is not going about their business like the Washington Commanders.

Washington is under new ownership, management, and on-field leadership. They held a visit with several of the draft’s top quarterback prospects in attendance. The unorthodox method seems to have turned off one prospect’s camp which could be to the Vikings’ benefit.

“There’s a lot of smoke here … that I’m currently trying to sort out right now,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “SportsCenter” on April 20. “I did talk to somebody who’s been involved in Jayden Daniels’ pre-draft process who openly wonders whether [Jayden] Daniels is looking at his options right now.

“I’m told the Vikings have been intriguing to Daniels as well.

“I can’t say that he doesn’t want to play for Washington – I cannot certainly confirm that. But, as was told to me, this process has not gone as smoothly as it should for a quarterback who’s a viable option for the second overall pick. Typically this would be pretty seamless.”

Daniels’ options are limited as a draft pick, though he could make it known to teams that he would prefer to land elsewhere. ESPN’s Dan Graziano also reported in February that there was interest on the Vikings’ behalf in adding Daniels, in part to appease Justin Jefferson.

Adding to the peculiarity of the situation, the Chicago Bears have all but signed presumed No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams to his rookie contract as their draft plans have been clear for weeks.

Fowler did note Daniels’ connection to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Vikings Face Stiff Competition for Jayden Daniels as Trade Winds Swirl

Jayden Daniels, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Jayden Daniels of the LSU Tigers.

Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce coached the quarterback at Arizona State. Fowler detailed earlier in the day that it’s not just the Commanders and Raiders who could be in the Vikings’ way for the reigning Heisman winner, Daniels. He also cited the New England Patriots.

“They feel like they’re in a great spot,” Fowler said of the Patriots.

“They’re prepared to take a quarterback here. They have a high grade on Jayden Daniels if he’s available at No. 3. I think they would probably pounce on that. And Drake Maye too, they’re high on.

“The feeling around the league right now is that Drake Maye would be that pick right now at No. 3. They are open for business as de facto GM Eliot Wolf said. But I’m told they haven’t gotten an offer yet that would wow them or move them off that pick. They know they need a quarterback in the worst way long term, so they’ll probably stay put.”

Fowler previously reported on the Vikings’ interest in holding on to the No. 23 overall pick in any trade to move up.

Teams knowing they would be doing so for a quarterback could drive up the asking price.

This could very well end up being a situation where the Vikings like the prospect. Just not enough to surrender the assets it might require to move up and select him. Especially if they feel they can find many of the same traits in another prospect.

Kevin O’Connell Known as a ‘Quarterback Killer’

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

GettyHead coach Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

“For a couple years I’ve been kind of known as a quarterback killer when it comes to the draft in Eagan because the feeling that everybody – that I feel from our fan base is when we get this next guy, he’s going to be the guy,” O’Connell said during a lecture for “Faith & Life” on April 18.

O’Connell went on to describe his process for evaluating and differentiating quarterbacks. He noted it can come down to whether or not what a prospect lacks is coachable.

He identified footwork as something he feels can be corrected.

That answer – which was to a question specifically about Maye and J.J. McCarthy – could be telling. It could point to a lesser emphasis on the so-called dual-threat quarterback prospects like Daniels and McCarthy – and to the pocket passers of the group as the Vikings eye a trade up.

That group includes the likes of Maye, Bo Nix, and even Michael Penix Jr., who Fowler relayed could find his way into the first round of the draft.