Buzz: Vikings Wanted to Draft Malik Nabers… Then Trade Justin Jefferson

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SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2024 NFL Draft has come and gone, but that doesn’t stop draft rumors from leaking out. We already know that the Vikings were very interested in quarterback Drake Maye, going as far as offering the New England Patriots both of their 2024 first-round picks as well as their 2025 first-round pick.

We now know that the Patriots refuted the Vikings’ trade offer for Maye but according to a Charley Walters (Pioneer Press), there’s a lot of buzz around the NFL world that the Vikings wanted to move up on draft night for a wide receiver, not quarterback.

Minnesota Vikings targeted Malik Nabers in 2024 NFL Draft?

The Target? Louisiana State University wide receiver, Malik Nabers. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of this “buzz”, but it is the first we’ve heard it connected to what would have been a Justin Jefferson trade.

There was buzz at draft time that the Vikings wanted to move from No. 11 to No. 5, not to pick a QB but to get LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers, who was picked No. 6 by the Giants. Had that trade occurred, Jefferson would have been traded and Nabers would have been the No. 1 receiver.

Charley Walters – Pioneer Press

Related: Is Justin Jefferson the One Holding Up Contract Talks with Vikings?

Although the Vikings have publicly stated that they aren’t going to trade Jefferson, until he signs his extension, these types of rumors will only intensify as the offseason continues with Jefferson entering the last season of his rookie contract.

Ultimately, the Minnesota Vikings did not trade up to pick No. 5, and the New York Giants selected Nabers at pick No. 6. The Vikings then went on to draft their quarterback of the future in J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner, one of the top ranked edge rushers in the draft.

Remember Florio’s report during the draft?

Walters isn’t the only prominent media member to state the Vikings’ interest in Nabers. Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) noted the same thing right after Nabers was picked by the Giants at No. 6 on draft night.

At No. 5, the Chargers, when they took Joe Alt, they passed on an opportunity to trade out of that spot. The team that wanted to move up to that spot, I’m told… the Minnesota Vikings. And not to take J.J. McCarthy. The Vikings, I’m told, were trying to move up to No. 5 to get Malik Nabers.

Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk

Although Florio mentioned this as well, the Vikings still didn’t execute the trade up for Nabers. Is this just a rumor? Did the Los Angeles Chargers reject the trade offer? Were the Vikings not really serious about trading up for Nabers?

Related: Justin Jefferson’s New Contract Could Cost the Vikings Jordan Addison

We’ll likely never know the real answer to any of these questions. One things for sure… where there’s smoke, there’s usually a fire.

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