Schefter: Vikings Might Prefer Drake Maye but Patriots Have Final Say

Drake Maye, Minnesota Vikings
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is just nine days away. That’s right, single digits, meaning we are dangerously close to finding out who will be the Minnesota Vikings’ new franchise quarterback will actually be. But for now, all we have is steam and speculation.

Schefter: Minnesota Vikings will move up… and possibly target Drake Maye?

But when said steam and speculation comes from the mouth of the NFL’s top insider, Adam Schefter (ESPN), it rings a little bit louder. So when Schefty hit the ESPN airwaves Monday evening and reported (with conviction) that the Vikings are indeed expected to trade up, something that’s been questioned more recently, it caught my attention.

And I’m glad it did. Because then, Adam went on to report that “the league” believes Minnesota’s preferred target is North Carolina’s Drake Maye, if they can get up to No. 3, in a trade with the New England Patriots.

“If Minnesota were to find a way to get up to No. 3, my sense is, and we don’t know fully, but my sense is that Drake Maye would be the preference.”

Adam Schefter – Kiper and Fields Mock Draft Show (ESPN)

About 12 hours later, on Get Up (ESPN) Tuesday morning, Schefty sort of doubled down on his report that Minnesota prefers Drake Maye… but not really. In a “Burning Questions” segment he reports that speculation around the league points to Maye as their preference, if they can get up to No. 3.

Related: Should Top QB Prospects ‘Eli Manning’ Their Way to Vikings… and is it Possible?

But… he quickly pivots to McCarthy and admits there’s still a real possibility that he is the Vikings’ guy too. In reality, this conversations starts with the New England Patriots.

Do the Patriots like Drake Maye enough to take him at No. 3 overall? If not, are they willing to trade back with the Vikings (or anyone else), if offered a reasonable trade package? Then, does Kwesi Adofo-Mensah agree on what the Patriots consider “reasonable”. Those are the questions that will be answered by draft night, and likely dictate who the Minnesota Vikings end up drafting.

“There’s speculation around the league that the quarterback that they’d like to come up and get would be Drake Maye. There’s been a lot of JJ McCarthy conversations with Minnesota as well. We don’t know which one they want, but clearly the Vikings want up for a quarterback.”

Adam Schefter – Get Up (ESPN)

Is it possible that Kevin O’Connell prefers Drake Maye over JJ McCarthy, in a vacuum? Maybe… but it feels like, if that’s true, the gap between Drake and JJ might not be wide enough for Kwesi to move heaven and earth in order to make sure the Vikings land Maye.

That, if “settling” for McCarthy at No. 4 or No. 5 allows them to… say… keep an additional 1st round pick, either this year or in 2025, that they might opt for McCarthy and keeping that additional draft capital, vs drafting Maye and losing that additional 1st rounder.

Related: Vikings Trying to Keep No. 23 Pick in Trade Up

Or, if the Patriots really do go ahead and draft Maye, that the Vikings would be just as excited to get McCarthy and keep some additional draft capital. If New England prefers McCarthy, which some reports have suggested, then it sounds like KOC would be even more excited to land Maye, especially if he gets to pay less for him at No. 4 or No. 5.

New England, whether they stay at three and take a quarterback or trade out. They’ve been getting calls. They’ll get more calls. And anybody that wants to come up will target New England at No. 3.

Adam Schefter – Get Up (ESPN)
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