Vikings Predicted to Make Blockbuster Trade for Exciting Young QB

O'Connell, Cousins, Vikings

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

In the wake of new details of the Minnesota Vikings‘ desire to trade up in the 2023 NFL draft to select quarterback Anthony Richardson, the franchise appears inclined to do the same for LSU quarterback and Heisman winner Jayden Daniels in the 2024 draft.

The Vikings were willing to “give away the farm” for Richardson last April, NFL film analyst Brett Kollman told ESPN’s Mina Kimes on her podcast. Eventually, the Indianapolis Colts selected Richardson with the No. 4 overall pick.

“I don’t think people realize how hard the Vikings tried to trade up for Anthony Richardson last year. Like, the haul that they put on the table was massive. They were going to give away the entire farm, all of it. They were going to give everything,” Kollman said on the January 4 episode of “The Mina Kimes Show.” “But, it takes two to tango. Their trade partner thought that they were going to be too good, and so they went elsewhere.”

Bearing in mind the Vikings are at a fork in the road with Kirk Cousins, an impending free agent, Kollman predicted Minnesota to make a similar offer to land Daniels, who is expected to be among the first five players selected.

“I still think Minnesota is going to try and make a move. Jayden Daniels, I feel is a Kevin O’Connell type of quarterback to me,” Kollman said, adding that Washington quarterback Michael Penix also fits the O’Connell mold. “But I really do think the added mobility you can do with [Daniels] in the run game is a factor here. If they tried and failed to get Anthony Richardson last season for that exact reason I have to imagine Daniels is on the list too.”

LSU QB Jayden Daniels’ Rise to Stardom

Jayden Daniels

GettyJayden Daniels and the LSU Tigers take on Grambling State this week.

Entering the 2023 season, Daniels was not even considered a first-round prospect. His average draft position in Pro Football Focus mock drafts had dipped to 86th overall by as recently as mid-September.

After three years at Arizona State, Daniels was a known commodity in college football. A slender, 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback with middling arm talent who compensates with his legs.

However, that changed when he transferred to LSU in 2022. He took a step forward in his first season with the Tigers, throwing 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions as a player who has shown to make sharp decisions with the ball. That was known.

What wasn’t was just how lethal of a deep threat Daniels could be.

The 23-year-old proved to be a late bloomer, exploding in his fifth year by leading the country with 4,946 total yards and 50 touchdowns while also being incredibly efficient.

From Pro Football Focus: Daniels paced all quarterbacks in overall grade (94.7) and rushing grade (92.4) while coming in second for passing grade (91.9). He also led all FBS signal-callers in passing touchdowns (40), yards per attempt (11.5), passer rating (143.7) and rushing yards (1,250) while commanding the nation’s most efficient offense in EPA per play.

Last month, Daniels was sized up with fellow Heisman finalists Bo Nix and Penix, but shortly after being named a finalist, Daniels made the case he should be compared to some of the greatest Heisman-winning quarterbacks.

His 94.7 PFF grade this season trails only Joe Burrow among all Heisman winners.

Chargers a Prime Draft Day Trade Partner for Vikings

Drake Maye, Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels

Getty2024 NFL draft quarterback prospects Drake Maye (left), Caleb Williams (middle) and Jayden Daniels (right)

Kollman told Himes that the Los Angeles Chargers would be a prime trade partner for the Vikings to move up and select Daniels.

The Chargers hold the No. 5 pick in the draft and need a full roster reconstruction after their veteran-laden defense did not meet expectations this season.

The Vikings could offer the No. 11 pick, a future first- or second-rounder and a few more later-round picks to move up to No. 5 and land a blue-chip quarterback prospect like Daniels.