Vikings Told Kirk Cousins on Draft Night 2021 That They Were Thinking QB in 1st Round

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins, former quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, signed his lucrative fully guaranteed contract, first in NFL history, to join the Vikings in March 2018. As many fans know, this was one of the most polarizing signings in Vikings history given the amount of guaranteed money the Vikings invested him and the results he put onto the field.

Cousins spent six seasons with the Vikings before leaving in March 2024 to sign a monster four-year, $180 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Although Cousins is no longer in purple and gold, he did recently appear on the Bussin’ With The Boys Show and dropped a little nugget about a phone call he received from Klint Kubiak on draft night in 2021.

Klint Kubiak calls Kirk Cousins on Thursday afternoon in April, 2021

On a recent Bussin’ With The Boys Show, Cousins makes his first comments after he was stunned the Atlanta Falcons spent their 2024 first-round draft pick to select quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at pick No. 8. In the show, Cousins discusses how he feels about Penix Jr. and also his recovery from his Achilles injury. However, that wasn’t the only thing he discussed.

At one point in the show, Cousins mentioned how former Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Klint Kubiak called Cousins while he was golfing on draft night in 2021, letting him know that the Vikings might draft a quarterback in the first-round.

Cousins added that he appreciated the heads up from Kubiak, but has “understood for awhile” that teams are always thinking of succession plans.

Cousins: “I’m trying to think, it was 2021, so that would be three years ago. The Vikings, three years ago, I was finishing up around of golf before the draft, on Thursday, and I’m on like the 18th hole, walking up the fairway and Clint Kubiak calls me, our OC, and he said, ‘I just want to give you a heads up, like we may draft a quarterback tonight’. I was like, ‘Okay.'”

Compton: “And this was on Thursday [draft night]?”

Cousins: “This was on Thursday, like a few hours before the draft. So I’ve understood, for a while, that teams are always thinking about succession plans, are always thinking about that. They didn’t end up drafting one that year but you’re made aware that this is a possible direction they could go. My point is, this isn’t a foreign concept, there’s an awareness that this is the NFL, you know, anything can happen.”

What happened on NFL Draft night 2021?

At the time, the 2021 draft pick seemed to be loaded with potential top quarterbacks. After the first-round, a total of five quarterbacks were drafted which consisted of Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones.

In the 2021 draft, the Minnesota Vikings originally had the 14th overall pick and were heavily linked to Justin Fields and Mac Jones. Fields more so than Jones.

Things didn’t go as planned for the Vikings that day as the Chicago Bears jumped the Vikings by trading up from pick No. 20 to pick No. 11 to select Fields. The Vikings then trade with the back from pick No. 14 to select Left Tackle Christian Darrisaw at pick No. 23 and decided not to draft Mac Jones, who is selected a pick later by the New England Patriots.

Christian Darrisaw 2021 NFL Draft Minnesota Vikings
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What could have been for Minnesota Vikings?

In the end, the Minnesota Vikings never drafted a first-round quarterback in 2021 and stuck with Kirk Cousins for three additional seasons. It was also a blessing in disguise that the Vikings didn’t end up drafting whichever quarterbacks they were targeting back then.

Four of the five QBs taken in the first-round that year are no longer on their original team. The only remaining starter is Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Although, he hasn’t lived up to the hype when he was originally drafted No. 1 overall by the Jaguars.

Related: ESPN NFL Insider Wants Vikings to Sign Hunter Renfrow

Meanwhile, Christian Darrisaw has cemented himself as one of the best left tackles in the NFL with massive payday coming his way soon. Hindsight is always 20/20, but it looks like the Vikings made the right decision in the first-round of the 2021 NFL draft.

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