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

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers draft plans
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve heard all about it. The Minnesota Vikings are the most likely team to pull off a 1st round trade-up, into the top 5 of the NFL Draft on (or before) April 25. But in order to move up, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must find a trade partner already slotted in that range, who wants to dance down the board.

So… which team might that be? Who, out of the Chicago Bears (No .1), Washington Commanders (No. 2), New England Patriots (No. 3), Arizona Cardinals (No. 4) and Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5) seems most inclined to move back?

Cardinals may want to trade down on draft night, but Chargers are making it clear

There’s been a lot of recent steam that Jayden Daniels may not want to play for the Commanders (No. 2) and that the Patriots are “open for business” at No. 3. But, Jeremy Fowler (ESPN) has been asking those same questions behind the scenes, and those aren’t the teams he’s hearing are are itching to move back.

Instead, the race down the draft board appears to be between Arizona and LAC. And of those two, according to Fowler, it’s the Chargers (at No. 5) who seem to be ‘very much want to move back’. Sounds like Harbaugh is eyeing multiple offensive linemen and wide receivers.

Most teams I talked to expect one of [the Cardinals or Chargers] to trade back. And it might be more momentum with the Chargers right now. They have a lot of needs, trying to reestablish an identity under Jim Harbaugh. So they’re looking to potentially move out. I’ve talked to teams who say they very much want to move out, maybe get a offensive lineman or wide receiver, later in the top 10 to 12 somewhere. The Cardinals still a threat there, as well, but they could stay put.

Jeremy Fowler – SportsCenter (ESPN)

This isn’t overly surprising to hear. The Chargers and Cardinals have always been seen as the easiest teams for the Vikings to do business with. Neither of those franchises have been operating as if they are taking a QB next week, at least in round 1, unlike the Patriots and Commanders.

How does this affect the Minnesota Vikings draft plans?

But don’t mistake non-surprise with non-noteworthy. If KOC is telling the truth — in that the Minnesota Vikings like all three of Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and JJ McCarthy — then it’s safe to assume that a QB the Vikings covet will be available at No. 4, even if the draft starts with three-straight quarterbacks.

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

That means, if the Patriots really demand three or four 1st-round picks to move back, then it should be easy for Minnesota to pivot their focus on discussions with the Cardinals. If they demand too much, then Kwesi can turn to the Chargers, who may be willing to deal at a MUCH cheaper price than New England, or Arizona.

Would the New York Giants (No. 6), Denver Broncos (No. 12) or Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13) allow, say, JJ McCarthy to fall all the way to No. 5, or will they pay whatever the Cardinals demand at No. 4? Do the Patriots suddenly become easier trade partners, in the hours leading up to draft night?

Related: J.J. McCarthy Could Fall if Vikings Let Him

These are the variables that have to haunt Kwesi and O’Connell, when they try to sleep at night. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to know that the Chargers are starting to openly leak out how willing they are to do business at No. 5.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: