Vikings Eyeing Aggressive Trade for Elite Young QB, Insider Says

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

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

The Minnesota Vikings are entering the final turn in their evaluation of the 2024 draft class — and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy appears to be gaining ground in Minnesota.

ESPN insider Matt Miller reported on March 23 that the Vikings, after attending McCarthy’s pro day, “will be aggressive in trading up” inside the top five picks to land McCarthy despite general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell not attending Michigan’s pro day.

“The Vikings sent neither Adofo-Mensah nor coach Kevin O’Connell to the Michigan pro day Friday, but quarterbacks coach Josh McCown was firmly planted right behind McCarthy during his 25-minute throwing session,” Miller wrote. “In talking to NFL personnel while on the road at pro days this week, the feeling is still the Vikings will be aggressive in trading up to the No. 4 or No. 5 spot to land the Michigan quarterback. One general manager I talked to this week said McCarthy is a top-six pick right now. The question is who will trade up to get him.”

Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell did not attend McCarthy’s pro day but have arranged a private workout with the national champion quarterback next week.

Star Tribune reporter Ben Goessling said that the Vikings will take this approach with several of the draft’s top quarterbacks to tailor a workout that better fits what the Vikings are looking to evaluate.

Vikings Should Push to Trade With Patriots for No. 3 Pick — Can Still Land McCarthy

jj mccarthy

GettyMichigan QB J.J. McCarthy.

If McCarthy is the Vikings’ guy without a doubt, trading up with the Arizona Cardinals (No. 4) or the Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5) makes sense.

But with over a month before the draft, the Vikings are still in evaluation mode and should keep their options open.

While the New England Patriots, who have more glaring needs at quarterback, will push a hard bargain for the No.3 overall pick, it’s a worthwhile venture to not have to be at the whims of what New England may do.

The Patriots have the leverage, but if they feel their roster is not ready to support a rookie quarterback, there’s only so far they can push before the Vikings back away from a deal and take whoever falls past the third pick.

“Sending an offer to the Patriots for the No. 3 pick should certainly be the first plan of attack for Minnesota GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, which would allow the Vikings to have a chance at LSU’s Jayden Daniels, North Carolina’s Drake Maye or Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy,” ESPN’s Jordan Reid wrote alongside Miller’s report.

“If the team can’t pull that off, then the Chargers’ pick at No. 5 feels like an obvious fit to make a swap. But the real beauty of that deal the Vikings made for No. 23 is that they now have options. Even if they can’t secure a trade up the board, they suddenly have two first-rounders, bettering their chance to get a QB outside of the top options. Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. or Oregon’s Bo Nix could be an answer at No. 23 — and potentially later if Minnesota wants to trade back from that spot.”

J.J. McCarthy’s Pro Day Draws Historic Crowd at Michigan

JJ McCarthy

GettyMichigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy

Michigan’s pro day drew a crowd of over 150 NFL personnel due to its record 18 prospects headlined by McCarthy.

The 21-year-old quarterback designed a workout to address the questions still facing his evaluation — which have circled around his ability to throw in rhythm and put touch on the ball.”

“I just wanted to showcase the questions they had about out-breakers to the left and putting some air on the deep posts, stuff like that,” McCarthy said, per The Athletic. “I felt like I did that today. I’m pretty confident with the showing I put out there.”

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