ESPN Drops Bombshell Trade Theory for Vikings

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For about a month, it has seemed like the Vikings are set to trade up in order to select a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

In order for that to happen, Minnesota most likely needs to package the No. 11 overall pick as well as the recently acquired 23rd overall pick (and potentially more) in order to move up. However, ESPN analyst Jeremy Fowler recently suggested that Minnesota might look at other options for a trade.

ESPN Analyst Suggests Wild Trade Theory for Vikings

ESPN Vikings Trade Theory
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

That other option entails keeping the 23rd overall selection, which would ensure that Minnesota is able to select a quarterback while also landing another playmaker in the first round.

“You got Minnesota armed with two first round picks. This is the team that could be active. I’ve talked to several teams, though, who believe that Minnesota at least right now, doesn’t want to part with that second first rounder, which is in the 20s. They want to try to preserve that, which could be tough to move up into the top five for a quarterback,” Fowler said this week.

“So the feeling is they’re looking around at potentially McCarthy there, one of the quarterbacks, but they might not want to give up enough to get there,” Fowler continued.

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In all likelihood, this type of trade would eliminate any possibility of landing within the top five picks unless the Vikings were to send a player to a team like the New England Patriots (No. 3), Arizona Cardinals (No. 4), or Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5).

It does open the door for another trade partner, though (and one that I’ve laid out as a potential partner before): the Tennessee Titans. The Titans currently hold the No. 7 overall pick, and the most glaring need on their roster comes at offensive tackle.

Luckily for Tennessee, this year’s draft is chock full of talent at the position, headlined by names such as Joe Alt, Taliese Fuaga, and Olu Fashanu. They very well could land one of these three prospects even if they slid down the board four spots in a trade with Minnesota.

The worry here would be Minnesota trading up while still landing behind the New York Giants, but if recent reports that the Giants are more interested in wide receivers are true, the concern diminishes quite a bit. Malik Nabers out of LSU is an obvious name that comes to mind there.

Nov 11, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) reacts after a play against the Florida Gators during the second half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimately, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said it best on Thursday when talking about drafting a QB prospect: “I think there are multiple guys that we are in love with on an outright basis, but there are also other guys that we’re in love with given what if we get them at a certain value what they’d also be able to come with. […] If the guy comes with less ability, but we have assets to go get a guy who’s not going to put him in [a negative] situation, those things add up too,” Adofo-Mensah explained.

The Vikings will need to balance talent and value in any trade up the board for a QB. While landing a franchise QB certainly should be a priority, Minnesota also has other needs to fill on the roster. If they are able to land that QB prospect and draft another playmaker, it should be considered a massive win.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.