Vikings May Be Positioning to Offer Patriots a Blockbuster Draft Day Deal

Justin Jefferson

Getty Images Justin Jefferson

The Minnesota Vikings appear to be gearing up for a potential blockbuster trade in the upcoming 2024 NFL draft, with rumors swirling about a possible deal involving the New England Patriots.

Currently holding the No. 3 overall pick, the Patriots are in a prime position to secure one of the top quarterbacks in the draft class, including coveted prospects like Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels. The Vikings, who recently acquired the No. 23 overall pick in a trade with the Houston Texans, now possess two first-round selections at No. 11 and No. 23, potentially providing them with the ammunition to move up in the draft order and possibly providing the Patriots with yet another option for the No. 3 pick.

Speculation about a trade between the Vikings and Patriots intensified following reports from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard suggesting that the Patriots may be open to dealing the No. 3 pick. Additional fuel was added to the fire when KSTP-TV’s Darren Wolfson revealed that discussions between the two teams occurred during the 2024 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

“Here’s what I was told: Down in Mobile, there was a seed planted with New England by the Vikings,” Wolfson said on the “Mackey and Judd” podcast on SKOR North.

“Now, I’m not suggesting talks have advanced — it was one of those, ‘Hey, we’ll circle back to you (at the NFL Combine) — but that some sort of seed was planted in terms of, ‘Hey, is there even any interest on your front to move off that No. 3 pick?'”

The Patriots Hold a Powerful Position at No. 3

With control of the No. 3 pick, the Patriots hold considerable leverage in any potential trade negotiations. While they can draft a franchise quarterback or a top-tier WR prospect like Marvin Harrison Jr., they may also entertain offers from other teams eager to move up in the draft.

Analysts have identified the Las Vegas Raiders as a team eager to move up in the draft to secure a quarterback and a team that may have its eyes set on one quarterback. Raiders’ new head coach, Antonio Pierce, has a connection to LSU’s Jayden Daniels, whom he helped recruit as the starting quarterback for Arizona State. Daniels committed to and played at Arizona State before transferring to LSU, where he won the 2023 Heisman Trophy. Daniels gave Antonio Pierce a shoutout in his Heiman acceptance speech.

The quarterback position is also a top priority for the Vikings following Kirk Cousins’ departure from Minnesota to the Atlanta Falcons and Sam Darnold’s signing on a one-year deal. With a strong quarterback class expected in the draft, Vikings’ General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will likely explore all options to secure their future signal-caller. Of particular interest to the Vikings is North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, whom new quarterbacks coach Josh McCown has a connection to from their time together when McCown coached Maye in high school.

Aside from acquiring picks, there is also talk that the Vikings could make star WR Justin Jefferson available via trade, which would add significant value to a trade package looking to entice the Patriots to move out of the No. 3 slot.

While many Patriots fans would like to see them leave the 2024 draft with their future franchise QB, the package that may be offered to them for the No. 3 pick could be so substantial that the Patriots elect to move from the top of the draft and load up on draft capital. We’ve seen a similar move in the last few years from a team holding a top-three pick.

A Precedent Has Been Set

In 2021, the San Francisco 49ers boldly secured their hopeful franchise quarterback by trading up from the 12th pick with the Miami Dolphins for the No. 3 overall pick to select Trey Lance in the NFL Draft. This monumental decision came with significant risk, as the team relinquished a substantial amount of draft capital to acquire their coveted prospect. Here is what the full trade looked like:

49ers get:

  • 2021 first-round pick (No. 3 overall)

Dolphins get:

  • 2021 first-round pick (No. 12 overall)
  • 2022 first-round pick (No. 29 overall)
  • 2022 third-round pick (No. 101 overall)
  • 2023 first-round pick (No. 29 overall)

Initially, speculation swirled around which quarterback the 49ers would target with their newfound draft position. While Ohio State’s Justin Fields was initially rumored to be the frontrunner, attention shifted to Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones. Ultimately, the 49ers opted for Lance, viewing him as the future face of their franchise.

The bold move for the 49ers did not work. In his first two seasons, Lance made just four starts and battled injuries, including an ankle injury that sidelined him for a significant portion of his sophomore campaign. Despite showing flashes of promise, his performance on the field was inconsistent, with a record of 2-2 and modest passing statistics. Eventually, Lance lost the starting and backup roles and was traded to the Cowboys.

A Crucial Decision Lies Ahead For New England

This particular deal highlights how difficult it is to evaluate top-tier talent in the NFL and why accepting a massive trade haul full of picks or proven talent could be more beneficial to the Patriots rather than hoping they get their pick right at No.3. If the Patriots have their eyes set on a particular quarterback and he’s not available at No. 3, moving back may be the best move for the organization’s future.

As the draft approaches, the Patriots find themselves in a crucial position, with the opportunity to significantly impact their roster for years to come. With the No. 3 pick, the Patriots can take a quarterback, select Marvin Harrison Jr., or accept a massive trade package to move back in the draft. Patriots nation needs them to get this one right.