Former GM Names Vikings’ Cornerstone as Potential Trade Bait for Top 3 Pick

Christian Darrisaw, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Christian Darrisaw #71 of the Minnesota Vikings.

If the Minnesota Vikings want to trade up to draft a quarterback in the 2024 draft, it will cost them something significant.

Previous dealings around the NFL bear that out, and it would be no secret that they would be looking to secure a quarterback as teams making such a move often are. The Vikings won’t get into a prime position to land a top-tier quarterback in the draft without a substantial price paid.

So who could be another trade candidate?

According to former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, left tackle Christian Darrisaw could be a worthy enough piece to pique the New England Patriots’ interest.

“The ‘pipe dream’ for the Patriots, per Spielman, would be the Vikings trading receiver Justin Jefferson as part of a package that includes multiple first-round picks. Or maybe starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw,” ESPN’s Patriots reporter Mike Reiss wrote on April 14.

Reiss noted that tackle and wide receiver are New England’s greatest needs after quarterback.

“I know if any team is coming up to No. 3, they’re coming up to get a premium position. So I’m going to squeeze them for everything I can,” Spielman said, per Reiss. “And if I need a quarterback, too, as New England does, then the deal better be pretty rich for me to pass up one of these quarterbacks and move down. They would have to pay above a premium.”

Darrisaw was the No. 23 overall pick in the 2021 draft. The 24-year-old is going into the final year of his rookie contract.

It’s putting Minnesota in a situation similar to the one they are in with Jefferson. Darrisaw’s fifth-year option will cost $16 million – a nearly $14 million raise which could spark some uncomfortable conversations for the Vikings.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Not Afraid to Take Big Risk in Potential Vikings Trade

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

Like Jefferson, the idea of trading Darrisaw seems far-fetched at first blush. But General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s recent comments suggest he isn’t afraid of making the splashy (i.e. risky) move.

“Just because something’s risky doesn’t mean you have to stay away from it,” Adofo-Mensah told reporters on April 11. “It is something that is hard to grasp. But if you grasp it, you know what the rewards are, right? And that’s something you have to weigh and measure. You can’t look at these decisions in a vacuum. You look at the whole portfolio of decisions that go around it, the things you have to do.

Adofo-Mensah spoke of how preconceived notions about decisions can prove faulty and still out favorably.

He also said they like to set up plans for anyone that comes in to maximize them.

“It’s still a pretty risky thing,” Adofo-Mensah said. “But just because something’s risky doesn’t mean you’re scared from it, you’re scared of it. You just have to believe in – it’s uncertain, right? It’s uncertain, and we got to we got to take our swing. But that doesn’t that doesn’t give us any pause.”

There is still a gap between what Afofo-Mensah said – which has included having “walkaway prices” in any dealings – and trading Darrisaw or Jefferson, for that matter.

Christian Darrisaw, Justin Jefferson Should Be Part of Vikings’ Plans

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJustin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Jefferson’s future remains uncertain as he plays out his rookie contract on his fifth-year option. But there have been few indications that he or the Vikings want to move on for any reason.

The same could be said for potentially trading Darrisaw.

Trading away a young and ascending talent like Darrisaw – who started a career-high 15 games last season and posted the second-highest grade of his career, per Pro Football Focus – would seem contradictory to Adofo-Mensah’s ideology.

Both players should be keys to welcoming a new quarterback even with a strong overall structure, especially a rookie.