Reports Suggest Vikings are Targeting Patriots’ No. 3 Overall Pick and… Drake Maye

Drake Maye Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft rumors
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL draft looming just a month away and Kirk Cousins now in Atlanta, the Minnesota Vikings front office is cooking with gas. Yes, we already expected general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to take aim at one of the top quarterbacks in next month’s 2024 NFL Draft.

But on Friday morning, he threw gas on that fire by completing a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans that sent their 2024 2nd (42) and 6th (188) round picks, along with a 2025 2nd rounder, in return for additional 1st (No. 23 overall) and 7th (232) round picks in 2024.

Minnesota Vikings looking to move into… top-3?

Now that they have the ammunition to do so, almost a signed, sealed and delivered guarantee that the Vikings will be moving up into the top-5 to draft their next quarterback of the future. But there are a lot of very plugged in reporters around the league today who believe Kwesi will not only target a top-5 pick, but a top-3 pick.

Yes, the New England Patriots need a quarterback but there appears to be doubt around the league over whether or not they really want to pin their franchise on another rookie QB, when their roster needs so much work.

The Vikings have been tied to two 2024 quarterbacks prospects, as this NFL draft process has gone on, Michigan’s JJ McCarthy and North Carolina’s Drake Maye. It’s widely assumed that the first two picks off the board will be Caleb Williams (USC) and Jayden Daniels (LSU).

Related: Vikings Reportedly Offered Kirk Cousins a Multi-Year Deal with Guarantees in Year-2

The only way for Kwesi to make sure head coach Kevin O’Connell gets his guy after those two, is to get up to No. 3. And that seems to be the objective. But… who do they want? Maye or McCarthy?

Minnesota Vikings plan to make big swing for Drake Maye?

On Thursday, prominent NFL Network insider, Daniel Jeremiah is VERY confidently proclaimed that it’s Maye who KOC covets. Jeremiah believes Kwesi & Co. will “put forth a strong effort” to land the 6-4, 225 kid from Charlotte. The only thing stopping Maye from Minnesota? Getting up to No. 3 overall.

Kwesi held a press conference on Thursday, during which he faced questions about their desperate need to take a QB with their first pick in the draft. To that, the Vikings GM pushed back, arguing that newly acquired Sam Darnold allowed them flexibility with that first pick.

But let’s be real… what was he supposed to say? The Minnesota Vikings lost a lot of leverage in trade discussions when Kirk Cousins walked out that door. Now the pressure is on to find his replacement and the entire football world knows it. What else does everybody seem to know? KOC wants Drake Maye.

Related: Vikings Sign Massive Former First-Round DT Jerry Tillery

So, Kwesi is preparing a package good enough that (hopefully) the Patriots can’t say no. But clearly, the steam right now is that the Vikings want Drake Maye, not JJ McCarthy. Pete Prisco is hearing the same thing.

Josh McCown coached Drake Maye in high school

What else is driving the Drake Maye steam? New QB coach, Josh McCown may have played and may still be great friends with Sam Darnold, but he has already coached Drake Maye… in high school. That’s right, Josh McCown was Maye’s coach at Myers Park (Charlotte, NC) high school in 2019.

There’s a lot that can unfold between now and the draft, especially once the first team is on the clock, it gets pretty wild. If the Vikings decide to pursue Drake Maye and trade up to get their guy, fans will be thrilled.

Related: Vikings ‘Have No Plans’ to Trade Justin Jefferson

On the other hand, it’s not impossible that this is a smokescreen. We’ve seen Maye start to slide down some recent mock drafts, as Michigan QB JJ McCarthy has continued to creep up. It’s not impossible that the Vikings front office is trying to shift that momentum, in order to keep McCarthy from usurping Maye as the guy to take at No. 3. Obviously, if they are targeting McCarthy, they’d rather get him at 4 or 5 or later.

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