What Will it Take for Vikings to Pry No. 3 Overall Pick Away from Patriots?

NFL Draft Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

As the Minnesota Vikings enter life post-Kirk Cousins, the number one question on everyone’s mind is who the next QB will be, and where the Vikings are going to find him. After a trade with the Houston Texans gave Minnesota the 23rd overall pick, to go along with the No. 11 pick they already owned, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is ready to pounce on another trade that will land the Vikings in the top-5 picks on April 25.

Problem? Top-5 might not be high enough, if head coach Kevin O’Connell wants one of the top-3 QBs on the board. Caleb Williams (USC) is locked in to go No. 1 overall to Chicago and Jayden Daniels (LSU) is expected to go No. 2 to Washington (though that is less certain). Then, New England is expected to take Drake Maye at No. 3.

Unless the Vikings do something about it, the best three quarterbacks of the best quarterback draft in a decade are all expected to be off the board long before Roger Goodell walks to the podium with a Minnesota Vikings card in his hand.

New England Patriots vulnerable to trade back at No. 3 in NFL Draft?

The Patriots front office has remained consistent with their plans, publicly. According to Chad Graff (The Athletic – Boston), sources inside the organization are telling everyone who will listen that they are staying at No. 3 and drafting their new quarterback.

But, there is a growing belief around insider NFL circles that, by the time we get to the draft, New England will realize that drafting a QB with the No. 3 overall won’t be the right move for their franchise or for that rookie QB. Notable NFL Draft expert Matt Miller is one expert in the field who has all sorts of questions regarding the roster makeup of the New England Patriots, and whether it is ready to bet its future on another 1st round QB.

New England just parted ways with Bill Belichick, following a disaster 4-13 season (worst finish since 2000), so the organization is entering a completely new age. There are so many questions that new head coach Jerod Mayo needs answered, beyond QB, that drafting a kid with sky-high expectations, then dropping him into the middle of a franchise in transition may not be the best idea.

On top of that, they went into free agency with big hopes and fat stacks of cash… but came out empty-handed. What’s that? Oh, I’m hearing they signed K.J. Osborn, a move that is sure to put their new QB over the top (not).

Related: Alabama Star EDGE Dallas Turner Has Private Pre-Draft Visit Scheduled with Vikings

Graff (The Athletic) told 98.5 FM Radio in Boston that, should the Vikings come in with a ‘blow your socks off’ type offer, it just makes too much sense for the Patriots to pivot their 2024 draft plans and shelf their QB of the future decision until the 2025 draft.

“While I don’t think the Patriots want to move back with the Vikings, I think they want to sit there and draft their quarterback. They’ve signaled that to anybody who will listen. At the same time, like, you have a plan in place until you get punched in the face. I think the Patriots have a plan in place until maybe the Vikings make you a crazy offer.”

Chad Graff – 98.5 FM The Sports Hub (Boston)

What kind of package would it take to pry that pick away from the Patriots? Last year, the Houston Texans traded up from No. 12 to No. 3 and drafted EDGE rusher Will Anderson (after drafting eventual Rookie of The Year C.J. Stroud at No. 2). To complete the trade, Houston had to surrender their No. 12 and No. 33 (Rd 2) overall picks, along with a 2024 1st and a 2024 3rd.

Beat Writer Mock Draft Swings Minnesota Vikings Trade Up

If the Vikings want to move up this year, their package would have to be somewhat similar. Most believe it will take both of their 2024 1st rounders (11, 23), along with their 2025 1st rounder, at least.

Related: Vikings QB Coach Josh McCown Rides Solo to USC for Caleb Williams’ Pro Day

Enter the latest rendition of The Athletic’s Beat Writer Mock Draft (2.0), where Vikings reporter, Alec Lewis, got a deal done with the aforementioned Chad Graff, in order for Minnesota to move up to No. 3 so they can draft Drake Maye. What did it take to get it done? A lot, as expected.

3. Minnesota Vikings (from NE*): Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

*Trade: Vikings trade No. 11, No. 23, a first-round pick in 2025 and a second-round pick in 2026 to the Patriots for No. 3.

Look, climbing this high and parting with three first-rounders is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re going to swing, why not swing big? The Vikings’ connection to Maye is well-known: Quarterbacks coach Josh McCown coached him at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C. But even before McCown, Vikings scouts had eyed Maye for several years. He may need some time to develop, but that might align perfectly with head coach Kevin O’Connell’s views on what a young quarterback needs to become successful. Minnesota has an experienced QB room and loads of skill players. Now’s the time to try to find its quarterback of the future. — Alec Lewis

The Athletic Beat Writer Mock Draft (2.0)

While there are other QB-needy teams that will be pining to find their quarterback of the future such as the Denver Broncos, who are slated to draft one spot behind Minnesota at 12, the Vikings have more capital to offer, and appear much more willing to push all of their chips into the middle of the table on one of this year’s top QBs than others, like the Broncos.

Related: Mel Kiper Has Vikings Drafting Franchise QB at No. 11; Iowa’s Cooper DeJean at No. 23

And if KOC really covet Drake Maye over JJ McCarthy, then I expect them to do whatever it takes to get that done. But the draft is still over a month away and we really have no idea who the Vikings like most, out of the top-4 QBs. We just know they have certainly aligned their QB room to fit Drake Maye, given Josh McCown coached him in high school and has kept in touch with both him and Sam Darnold.

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