Draft-Day Trade Pitch Nets Vikings Elite Dual-Threat QB for 3 Picks

The Minnesota Vikings have two choices — re-up with quarterback Kirk Cousins or find a legitimate replacement in the upcoming NFL draft.

Gavin Dorsey of the Star Tribune on Monday, January 29, authored a trade pitch in which Minnesota jumps four spots in the first round from No. 11 to No.7 and drafts Jayden Daniels out of LSU.

The deal, which would happen between the Vikings and the Tennessee Titans, would see Minnesota land the No. 7 pick to use on Daniels as well as the Titans’ 102nd selection (late 3rd round). Tennessee would move back four spots to No. 11 in the first round and secure pick Nos. 42 and 153 from Minnesota for that consideration.

Given how many QB-needy teams there are, it may be far too difficult trade into the top three for USC’s Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye. Daniels is a fast-rising prospect, but the Vikings may be able to snag him without giving up too much to jump in front of a team like the Falcons at No. 8.

Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, is dynamic with both his arm and his legs, combining for 50 scores to just five turnovers, and got better as the season went on. The Vikings reportedly thought about trading up for Florida’s Anthony Richardson last year; perhaps coach Kevin O’Connell wants to go for a different SEC QB with a similar playing style.

Vikings May Not Be Able to Acquire Jayden Daniels by Moving Up to No. 7 in NFL Draft

GettyQuarterback Jayden Daniels of LSU.

Dorsey’s proposal is sensible and doable, but contains one potential flaw — it doesn’t take into account the very real possibility that Daniels isn’t available at No. 7 overall.

ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper released his initial mock draft on January 23, in which he projects Daniels to leapfrog Maye and go No. 2 overall to the Washington Commanders.

The Commanders have a much more straightforward decision than the Bears. Sam Howell, who led the league in interceptions in 2023, is not the guy. They have to take a quarterback in a draft that has a clear top tier of three signal-callers: Williams, Daniels and [Maye].

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner improved so much in 2023, throwing 40 touchdown passes to just four interceptions while going up against a tough SEC schedule. … The bottom line is it’s tight between Daniels and Maye on my board, but Daniels would be an tremendous fit for a Washington roster that has some young playmakers on offense. Maye’s inconsistency at the end of the season is enough for me to put Daniels at No. 2.

Vikings Willing to Mortgage Future for Right QB in NFL Draft

GettyQuarterback Jayden Daniels of LSU.

Even if Kiper is wrong and the Commander go with Maye at No. 2, the quarterback-needy New England Patriots and new head coach Jerod Mayo have the third pick. It is possible that franchise will value a different QB ahead of Daniels and be willing to move down, accumulating extra draft selections in the process, so as to plug other roster holes and retain the opportunity to get their signal-caller of choice.

Assuming that is the case, however, Minnesota may still need to deal all the way up to No. 3 to guarantee themselves a shot at Daniels. Any number of other franchises in need of a quarterback could potentially make the same move, thereby cutting the line and drafting the QB out from under the Vikings.

Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune spoke with Paul Allen of KFAN on January 23 and said the Vikings could potentially be willing to mortgage their Day-1 draft future over the next year or two to get in the game for a quarterback that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell truly “love.”

“If they’re going to take one, it’s going to be someone [they] love or [they’re] not doing it,” Goessling said. “If you have to give up a couple first-round picks for future years, I don’t think they’d bat an eye at that.”

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This article was originally published on Heavy.com

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