New Vikings Coach’s Link to Star QB Prospect Fuels Trade Rumors

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

Most of the focus this offseason will go toward the Minnesota Vikings’ moves with players with trade and other speculation rampant this time of year.

But their coaching staff is also undergoing a facelift.

Their newest addition, quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, played 17 years in the NFL. But he also has strong ties to one of this year’s top quarterback prospects: North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

“In 2019, Josh McCown was an assistant Coach at Myers Park High School in Charlotte,” ESPN’s Jordan Reid posted on X, formerly Twitter, on February 27.

“The QB there at the time? Drake Maye.”

Naturally, speculation ensued about the Vikings’ potential draft plans.

“So the Vikings just hired a coach that coached Drake Maye when Maye was in HS, you say?” former Daily Norseman writer Eric Thompson said in a post on X in reaction to the hire.

Thompson clarified that he was not reading that much into the hiring. But others certainly were on the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine. And rumors persist that the Vikings are eyeing a move up in the draft for a quarterback this year.

“Vikings going for the all jawline coaching staff. Welcome to the Vikings Drake Maye,” one fan posted.

Vikings Could Be Weighing Trade Options Between Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

Maye is the No. 2 quarterback prospect on most draft boards, though his stock has slipped in the time after the season, with LSU’s Jayden Daniels moving up to No. 2 in some places.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano linked the Vikings to Daniels. The two sides also met at the combine, per Bleacher Reports Ryan Fowler.

“Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long term,” Graziano wrote on February 10. “The notion of bringing in Daniels to pair with their star LSU alum wideout Justin Jefferson has appeal to some in the organization.”

But Maye is more of a drop-back, pocket passer, which figures to suit Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell’s system.

He is also younger than Daniels, which could fit in with a succession plan behind Kirk Cousins.

That is assuming Cousins returns. He and the Vikings are expected to begin negotiations on a new contract at the combine. However, he turns 36 years old in August and is coming off a torn Achilles.

His recovery is going well, with Cousins posting a workout video one day before the combine. The Vikings would be wise to plan for his eventual departure, whenever it may come.

Josh McCown Seemed High on Texans’ QB C.J. Stroud

Josh McCown, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterbacks coach Josh McCown of the Carolina Panthers.

McCown, 44, began last season in the same role with the Carolina Panthers. He was fired along with former Head Coach Frank Reich.

The Panthers were 1-10 at the time.

Their offense ranked 31st in touchdowns and 32nd in points with rookie No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young under center. That was McCown’s first NFL coaching experience. He was a candidate for the Houston Texans’ opening that ultimately went to DeMeco Ryans.

McCown also appeared high on Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 overall pick last year, to Young during the pre-draft process.

He joins defensive line coach Marcus Dixon as a new addition to O’Connell’s staff

McCown spent two seasons with the Chicago Bears from 2011 through 2012, and one with the Detroit Lions for the 2006 campaign. His ability to evaluate the position and his ties to this quarterback class could be key in the Vikings’ potential decision to make a blockbuster trade.