‘Conspiracy Theory’ Vikings Trade Scenario Would Land Prolific QB-WR Duo

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings.

There are many creative ways for the Minnesota Vikings to secure a long-term solution at quarterback, some of which could include star wideout Justin Jefferson.

But an admittedly lofty idea from Ryan Wilson of the “With The First Pick” podcast stands out.

“Here’s my conspiracy theory if the Vikings don’t … trade up for a quarterback: they’ll trade Justin Jefferson for a first-round pick, they’ll take Rome Odunze at [No. 11 overall], they’ll draft Michael Penix at [No. 23],” Wilson said on April 12.

Odunze and Penix made history and earned a National Championship together at Washington.

The 6-foot-3 Odunze logged 167 receptions for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns over the last two years. His 1,640 receiving yards led the FBS.

Odunze finished the season as a first-team AP All-American and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s best receiver. He is a different type of receiver than the do-it-all Jefferson, bigger and more physical at the point of attack.

There is a sizeable gap between that and being a suitable replacement, though.

Rome Odunze Would Be Good Fit Alongside Justin Jefferson, Vikings WRs

Rome Odunze, Minnesota Vikings

GettyRome Odunze #1 of the Washington Huskies.

“A team captain with good size and elite ball skills, Odunze consistently dominated his competition,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “Odunze seems to relish jump balls and contested catches. He shines in all aspects of ball skills, including positioning, body control, hand strength, timing and mid-air adjustments.

“He has a tendency to cruise through routes rather than working with attention to detail and pacing. He was a decorated high school sprinter, so speed should not be an issue in the pros. He’s a high-volume target on the next level that play-callers can utilize to mismatch finesse cornerbacks. Elite ball skills are often the secret sauce for top NFL receivers, so it should not surprise if Odunze is a Day 1 starter who becomes a top-flight WR1.”

Wilson did not specify which pick the Vikings would acquire in this scenario.

His selections suggest it is in 2025, though, which further clouds an idea that could otherwise work without moving on from Jefferson.

The three-time Pro Bowler is tracking to play out his rookie contract on his fifth-year option. He is due for a potentially record-setting contract extension, and Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has spoken optimistically about getting a deal done.

A trio of Jefferson, Odunze, and second-year wideout Jordan Addison would be fearsome.

Michael Penix Jr. Could Solve Multiple Issues for Vikings

Michael Penix, Jr., Minnesota Vikings

GettyMichael Penix Jr. #9 of the Washington Huskies.

Penix finished second in the voting for the Heisman, the highest mark in Huskies history, throwing for 4,903 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions on 65.4% completion.

A series of season-ending injuries has left serious questions about his durability.

But his production stands out with 9,5455 passing yards and 67 touchdowns (to 19 interceptions) on 65.3% completion over his final two seasons in college. And he could have the best chance to be available by the time the Vikings come back on the clock.

Adding Penix would give the team a long-term option behind free agent signing Sam Darnold. He is on a one-year, $10 million contract.

That could go a long way in negotiations with Jefferson.