Boston Insider: Vikings Want Drake Maye More than Patriots; Plan to Call Bluff on Draft Night

Drake Maye, North Carolina
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Drake Maye to Minnesota Vikings smoke was already billowing from NFL insider circles, heading into the weekend. But on Sunday morning, Boston insider Ben Volin (Boston Globe) charged up those embers and threw heaps of gas onto what is now a blazing inferno.

In his column today, Volin says he has spent months trying to parse through all of the smokescreens being laid out by NFL front offices across the league. And out of that extensive sleuthing, he’s arrived at a few different interesting theories, many of of which are related (either directly or indirectly) to the Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings want Drake Maye more than the New England Patriots

Let’s start with the headliner. Volin believes that head coach Kevin O’Connell is locked in on Drake Maye as his No. 1 target, between him, Jayden Daniels and JJ McCarthy. That the Vikings want him more than the Patriots do. If New England wanted Maye that badly, he states bluntly, they wouldn’t be listening to offers from the Vikings or anybody else.

The Vikings want Maye more than the Patriots do. If the Patriots were truly sold on Maye, they wouldn’t consider trading their No. 3 pick. My hunch is that the Vikings want Maye more, based on the fact that Vikings quarterbacks coach Josh McCown knows Maye well, having coached Maye in 2019 at Myers Park High in Charlotte, N.C., where McCown’s two sons also played.

Ben Volin – Boston Globe

Well, that must mean general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is going to pull off a trade up with the Patriots for No. 3, right? Not so fast, says Volin. Instead, he expects the Vikings to call their bluff and make them show their hand to reveal how much they really like Drake Maye.

Related: Kevin O’Connell Grilled Over Vikings QB Questions and Draft Plans… at Church

If Pats general manager Eliot Wolf’s hand comes up with the UNC QB, then the Vikings will shrug their shoulders and “settle” for JJ McCarthy. Clearly, one of Boston’s most plugged-in sports reporters is not convinced that will be the outcome.

Vikings can get Drake Maye at No. 5

Drake Maye Minnesota Vikings rumors
Photo: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In fact, Volin believes Minnesota might be able to snag Drake Maye at No. 5, after he falls all the way to the Los Angeles Chargers. There, he says the Vikings could get their prized possession with the No. 11 and No. 23 picks… and nothing else.

If the Patriots want Maye at No. 3, there’s nothing the Vikings can do about it, and they’ll likely settle for McCarthy. But if the Patriots pass on Maye, the Vikings should be able to find a willing trade partner in the Chargers, who look like they would love to trade down from No. 5. The Vikings’ No. 11 and 23 picks might be enough to get it done.

Ben Volin – Boston Globe

The Globe’s NFL insider isn’t sold on teams like the Vikings, Giants, Broncos or Raiders being desperate enough to do what it takes to trade into the top-4. That yes, he expects the Vikings will move up to draft a quarterback and the Broncos could too.

Related: Elite 2024 NFL Draft QB prospect reportedly wants to play for Vikings

But the Vikings can get their guy at No. 5, who they hope is Maye. Because, unlike the many other insiders who are eating up the QB, QB, QB talk in this first round, Ben isn’t buying it.

Quarterbacks aren’t going with the top four picks, maybe not even with the top three. It’s a quarterback league, teams are always desperate to get one, yadda, yadda, yadda. While Caleb Williams is definitely going No. 1, and the Commanders are definitely taking a quarterback at No. 2 (likely Jayden Daniels), there is hardly a guarantee that Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy go third and fourth. Maye might go No. 3 to New England, but in that case, I highly doubt that McCarthy would go No. 4. The Cardinals already have two first-round picks and need an elite receiver way more than they need a trade down for more picks.

Ben Volin – Boston Globe

Wide receiver blockbuster trade coming before QB deal?

How does something like this happen? Phoenix, Ben believes, won’t let Marvin Harrison Jr. slip past No.4 and it’s possible he doesn’t make it beyond the Patriots at No. 3.

That if anybody is going to trade into the top-4, Volin actually says to watch out for the Bears trying to move up from No. 9, so they can land both Caleb Williams (no. 1) and MHJ at No. 3. How wild would this be?

The Bears are already drafting Williams at No. 1, and what better way to create excitement than to get the best quarterback and the best receiver in one draft? The Bears don’t have a second-round pick, but I wonder if No. 9, No. 75, and multiple picks next year (maybe a first and a third?) would be enough for the Patriots to make the swap. I think the Patriots would be much more comfortable taking McCarthy at No. 9, while adding extra draft capital, than they would Maye or McCarthy at No. 3.

Ben Volin – Boston Globe

The most interesting part of this report is where it comes from. The New England Patriots hold the keys to the first round. If they take Drake Maye, the rush for QBs could be on and it’s very possible we see four quarterbacks go in the top-5 picks.

Related: Which Top 5 Teams are Most Likely to Trade Back with QB Hungry Vikings?

But if they complete a blockbuster with Chicago, for Marvin Harrison Jr, or if they take the projected superstar wideout themselves, we could see the Vikings land Maye at No. 5 and McCarthy in danger of falling out of the top-10. No doubt, Volin’s scenario is one of the best ones we’ve seen projected, if KOC really does want Drake Maye over all others.

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