Kevin O’Connell Name-Drops Patriots’ Robert Kraft as Vikings Eye Draft Trade

Robert Kraft, Minnesota Vikings

Getty New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has a clear vision for bringing along a quarterback.

It’s why he hasn’t rushed to invest heavily into one just to do it.

A fan asked O’Connell about discerning between what characteristics a prospect must possess versus what is teachable. O’Connell’s answer included his admission that he has actively resisted some possibilities since taking over ahead of the 2022 season.

“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 joked during his lecture on faith and leadership for “Faith & Life” on April 18.

“I feel it. I know you guys all feel it. So I have had to, in a lot of ways fight off some mistakes from being made. Mainly because the evaluation process I go through.

“Ultimately, when you feel like you find that guy, then you got to hope that 31 other teams are complicit and making sure that they can become a Minnesota Viking. But we only need one team to be complicit. And, hopefully, we find that team.”

Pressed by the fan about leaning into New England Patriots ties, O’Connell was ready.

Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell Jokes About Sending Gift to Patriots’ Robert Kraft

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

GettyKevin O’Connell #5 of the New England Patriots.

“I may or may not have sent a nice bouquet of flowers to Robert Kraft the other day,” O’Connell said.

The Patriots drafted O’Connell in the third round of the draft in 2008. They also hold the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. Their de facto general manager Eliot Wolf also said he is open to trading back.

O’Connell has earned a strong reputation for his work with quarterbacks, as an offensive coordinator, and now with the Vikings.

His ability to fabricate a top-five passing offense despite the quarterback situation is a testament to that. And the high grades he received in the NFLPA survey also paint a glowing picture of the former QB.

So what goes into his process when evaluating quarterbacks?

Kevin O’Connell Explains Approach to Scouting QBs

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

GettyHead coach Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think about the things that are fixable, I think about the things that are coachable,” O’Connell said. “And then you think about the things that you could coach another 15 years with the player and you might not be able to fix. And hope and faith are wonderful things; I don’t like them to necessarily be strategies.

“I do very much believe in certain principles of playing the quarterback position. I believe the footwork in the lower half of any quarterback can be fixed with the proper coaching and teaching.

“When you see the good things on tape, you see things that they can do better on tape. You’re looking for a lot of different things and to check a lot of boxes.”

That answer was to a question specifically regarding potentially choosing Drake Maye over J.J. McCarthy, despite the latter having displayed NFL footwork in a pro system. Rumors have linked Maye and McCarthy to the Vikings most during this process.

Jayden Daniels has made his way into the discussion, though.

Whoever the Vikings take, they will have the luxury of sitting and learning with Sam Darnold in place for this season.