Last Minute Vikings Draft Rumors: Trade Up for Drake Maye? Do Giants Want JJ McCarthy? More…

JJ McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s here. We made it to draft day, Minnesota Vikings fans. It wasn’t an easy path, but we’ve never been about easy in this town anyways. Tonight though, at 7 p.m. CDT (finally), commissioner Roger Goodell will step up to the podium in Detroit, MI where, after being booed, he’ll announce that “the Chicago Bears are on the clock”.

Just like that, the 2024 NFL Draft will officially begin. The Minnesota Vikings will start with the No. 11 and No. 23 picks in the 1st round, and are not scheduled to pick again until the 4th round, which is a sneaky variable to keep an eye on.

  • 1st Rd – No. 11
  • 1st Rd – No. 23
  • 4th Rd – No. 108
  • 4th Rd – No. 129 (from DET)
  • 5th Rd – No. 157 (from CLE)
  • 5th Rd – No. 167 (from KC)
  • 6th Rd – No. 177 (from CAR, JAX)
  • 7th Rd – No. 230 (from ATL, CLE, ARZ) – Conditional
  • 7th Rd – 232 (from DEN, HOU, SF)

Conventional wisdom says head coach Kevin O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will find a way to pick one of the top-6 quarterbacks in this draft, all of which are projected to go in the first round.

But, sometimes maneuvering the draft is easier said than done. Here is the latest, as of Thursday morning, on all the buzz and rumors surrounding the QB plight of the Vikings entering the NFL Draft. Here are the consensus top-6 QBs ranked by the order in which they’re projected to be picked tonight.

  1. Caleb Williams (USC)
  2. Jayden Daniels (LSU)
  3. Drake Maye (UNC)
  4. JJ McCarthy (Michigan)
  5. Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
  6. Bo Nix (Oregon)

What do we know about the quarterback layout tonight?

jj mccarthy, minnesota vikings 2024 nfl draft
Photo: USA Today Credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The only thing we know about tonight is that there’s a 99.9% chance that the Bears draft Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick. From there, forecasts become a bit more cloudy. The Washington Commanders have the No. 2 pick.

Related: Insider Has Vikings Pulling Off Realistic Blockbuster Trade Up in NFL Draft

Some friction arose last week between Daniels and the Commanders, but that seems to be dead and all signs point to Daniels going No. 2. If somehow Washington picks a different QB or trades back out of that pick, it would throw every single mock draft on the internet into complete chaos. That’s how sure we are that Daniels will go to DC tonight.

No. 3 is where everything gets interesting during 2024 NFL Draft

As long as the first two picks go as projected, the number three pick (currently held by the New England Patriots), is where we will see the draft start to shake into place, at least within the top 10-15 picks. Most reports have the Patriots sticking and picking at No. 3. That the player they are most likely to take is Drake Maye.

New England says they are open to trading back but the price is reportedly absurd (three to four 1st round picks), which would be a historic move-up package. But, there is a healthy contingent out there that believes their love for Maye is a bluff, and that their trade demands could come down tonight, especially if the “right” QB doesn’t fall.

Related: Top 10 Minnesota Vikings 1st Round Draft Picks of All-Time

Some believe the Pats are hoping Jayden Daniels falls, which isn’t expected. If Daniels goes off the board to DC as planned, do we suddenly see the Pats’ ridiculous asking price become much more reasonable? That’s what some draft experts (like Thor Nystrom – believe could happen.

“I think [if Daniels falls to No. 3] that’s when the Viking don’t have an option [to trade up]. But I think in the the other scenario, where Jaden goes [No. 2 and Drake Maye falls to No. 3], I think there is that possibility that the Patriots come down in their ask a little bit, the Vikings go up a little bit, and maybe we can meet in the middle.”

Thor Nystrom (via Sportsnaut)

Which QB do the Minnesota Vikings want/prefer/need?

We think the Vikings have Daniels and Maye in a tier above JJ McCarthy, but that McCarthy is in his own tier ahead of Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. Any of the top-3 would be considered a win. “Settling” for Nix or Penix would need to be sold to a fanbase that’s been worked into a ‘trade-up for a QB’ frenzy over the past few months.

If the 1st round starts as expected (big “if”) then that means 3 of the top 6 QBs (Williams, Daniels, Maye) will be off the board and the Vikings would still be QB-less. But here’s the thing, after the Pats at No. 3, the thirst for QB diminishes rapidly. Neither the Cardinals (No. 4) or Chargers (No. 5) are drafting a QB.

Related: NFL exec thinks Vikings could miss out on 1st round QBs all together

The team to watch, after the Patriots, is the New York Giants at No. 6. Reports have gone back and forth on whether or not the Giants want a quarterback. They have Daniel Jones on roster and the initial belief was that they weren’t interested in drafting a QB early on in this year’s draft.

But, their actions have proven something much different. In fact, they’ve put in more work on QBs in this class than just about any team in the NFL, outside the Minnesota Vikings. And as previously mentioned, the only remaining top QB option expected to be on the board, when the Giants draft, is JJ McCarthy.

Well, McCarthy sat down in Detroit with Rich Eisen (NFL Network) on Wednesday and openly admitted the Giants have been courting him the hardest, out of all teams interested in drafting him.

So, if the Giants really do love JJ McCarthy, like he believes they do, it’ll be up to the Vikings to prove they love him more. A trade up ahead of them, though, will cost at least one, (probably two) first round picks.

Related: Adam Schefter Throws More Gas on the Drake Maye to Vikings Fire

So.. how much more does KOC prefer McCarthy over Penix and Nix? And, if the Giants like JJ that much, will they even allow Minnesota to jump ahead of them without giving up something completely obscene? Or… are the Giants bluffing?

These are the questions that have likely kept Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah up at night, for weeks and the questions the Minnesota Vikings fans should be keeping an eye out for answers to, as we approach 7 p.m. If news drops throughout the day, that changes the outlook of tonight, those updates will be added to this article. Happy NFL Draft day. SKOL.

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