Insider Believes Vikings Used NFL League Meetings to Send Message to Patriots at No. 3

Minnesota Vikings, 2024 NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings haven’t made it a secret that they are very interested in the top quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft. With rumors frequently connecting them to J.J. McCarthy and Drake Maye, rampant speculation suggests a trade-up is possible. Interestingly, Minnesota might also be using a strategy to improve its spot.

When the Vikings held the 11th overall pick, they were in a tight spot. Minnesota wasn’t well-positioned to have one of the top four quarterback prospects fall to them and it would’ve taken premium draft capital in multiple years to move up.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft QB rankings

Suddenly, the Vikings swung a trade with the Houston Texans to acquire the 23rd overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft order. In an instant, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had the assets to move up for a top-five pick to provide head coach Kevin O’Connell with one of the top quarterbacks.

Speaking at the NFL league meetings in Orlando, O’Connell spoke on the value of holding two first-round picks. He specifically emphasized a belief that other teams will be looking at Minnesota’s two first-round picks as something of “greater value” than a standard first-rounder in a year. One NFL insider believes there was an ulterior motive behind that comment.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft, Minnesota Vikings trade up for QB

Motivation behind recent comments by Minnesota Vikings head coach

Ben Volin of The Boston Globe explained his belief that while there is validity in O’Connell’s points, the Vikings’ public comments might be more about using the media to send a specific message to the New England Patriots (third overall pick) and Arizona Cardinals (fourth overall pick) ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.

“O’Connell’s point is valid, but it also sounds like he is sending a message to the Patriots and Cardinals that two first-rounders in this year’s draft should be enough for the No. 3 or 4 pick. In 2021, the 49ers traded three first-round picks to the Dolphins to move up from No. 12 to 3, but two of those first-rounders came in future drafts, which makes them less valuable (in the NFL, a first-rounder next year is generally worth a second-rounder this year, and so on)”

Ben Volin on the Minnesota Vikings’ public comments about holding two first-round picks

Related: Many expect Minnesota Vikings to trade up for this quarterback

It’s a very strong point by Volin. It’s a common belief around the NFL that if you want to acquire an early second-round pick in the current year, you have to offer a future first-round pick. The standard has largely been that a future pick is worth one round later than a current pick.

The Vikings have the draft capital to make a big move and O’Connell is very aware that his comments will make it from the media to people around the league. If the Patriots or Cardinals view the 11th and 23rd overall picks as more worthwhile than a team offering first-round picks in 2024 and 2025, Minnesota should be considered the overwhelming favorite to trade up for a quarterback.

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