Vikings Rumors: Jersey Numbers, Trades Incoming, & Draft Grade Jumble

NFL: NFL Draft Red Carpet
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve officially transitioned into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors are going to be coming fast and furious.

As a result, I’m returning to the “Vikings Rumor Wrangle,” a series I’ve leaned on previously to keep readers informed on what’s being whispered about in Vikings Land. In this iteration, we discuss the young fellas getting their jersey numbers, some updated trade discussion, and Minnesota’s all-over-the-place draft grades.

The Vikings Rumors – 05.03.2023

Rumor #1 – The New Vikings Get Their Jerseys

Perhaps it means very little in terms of the actual results, but a lot of fans (and the players themselves) get excited about seeing the number unveiling.

A post from the Vikings reveals what the draftees will be wearing:

  • Jordan Addison – #3
  • Mekhi Blackmon – #11
  • Jay Ward – #20
  • Jaquelin Roy – #78
  • Jaren Hall – #16
  • DeWayne McBride – #37
Jersey Numbers
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison on stage after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Addison, of course, stands out since he is a RD1 receiver. Ideally, he’ll function as a tremendous complement to not just Justin Jefferson, but also to K.J. Osborn, T.J. Hockenson, and the rest of Minnesota’s skill.

Per Will Ragatz of Sports Illustrated, Marcus Davenport will take on #0. Personally, I’m enthused about the Vikings having someone bold enough to take on the new number. Danielle Hunter – who wears #99 – will partner with Davenport, meaning opposing offsensive tackles will need to contend with 0-99 on a week-in, week-out basis.

Rumor #2 – Buckle Up: The Trades are Upcoming

The moves have been in the works for a long time, but we may soon get some clarity.

Dalvin Cook and Za’Darius Smith are more likely to be playing elsewhere than playing for Minnesota by the time September rolls around. A report from Albert Breer suggests the team is hoping for offers: “The Vikings will listen on Dalvin Cook and Za’Darius Smith. The problem is both will require contract adjustments to be traded. Revised deals have to sit a day before they’re traded. So it’d be ’24 picks for them.”

Will the Real Z-Smith Please Stand Up?
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

In all likelihood, the Vikings will need to content themselves with late-round compensation for each player (something Dustin Baker discusses in reference to a Charley Walters report). The real benefit for Minnesota rests in recouping some value while further shaping the roster in the new leadership’s image. Oh, and the added cap room is nice.

Moving both in a trade will lead to an extra $20 million in cap room for the 2023 season. Anything that doesn’t get used in the current budget will carry over into next year’s finances.

Rumor #3 – A Mixed Result in Draft Assessments

The Vikings did well in the draft. Some disagree with statement, others lend their agreement.

On Notes from the North, I admitted to being just lukewarm on the draft, largely due to ongoing misgivings about the defensive depth at corner, linebacker, and iDL. On PurplePTSD, Josh Frey offered a pick-by-pick evaluation, failing to give any individual player anything above an A-. His overall grade stands at B.

Nov 26, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) runs the ball against the Stanford Cardinal during the second half at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Other spots offer other assessments. PFF says it’s a B-. The Ringer comes in at C+. CBS Sports contends that Minnesota deserves a C-, the NFL’s website says A-, and The 33rd Team goes for a B+ (from Mr. Jeff Diamond, who writes for us over at Vikings Territory).

At the end of the day, we’ll need to content ourselves with the reality that Minnesota did months (years) of hard work preparing for the 3-day event. Once the games get going, we’ll get a chance to see how wise the picks really were.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.