Three Teams Who Could Change the Vikings’ Plans for the 2024 NFL Draft

in 2023 Offseason
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings are just over a week away from being on the clock in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The team currently has two first-round picks to work with thanks to last month’s trade with the Houston Texans.

Due to the Vikings losing Kirk Cousins in free agency, many assume the team added the extra pick to trade up for a new signal-caller. However, a report came out that the trade was actually initiated by Houston, not Minnesota. Does this mean the Vikings are planning on using both picks? Or will general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah prefer to move up anyway?

If the plan is to indeed move up for a QB, there are a few teams who could stand in the Vikings’ way. Here three of the teams who could mess up the plan in Minnesota.

New York Giants

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Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs off the field after winning a wild card game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Most mock drafts have the Giants either taking a wide receiver or an offensive tackle. However, with Daniel Jones under center, New York could be an underrated option to select a young passer with the sixth pick.

The Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New England Patriots own the first three picks in the draft. All three teams desperately need a QB and are expected to go that route in the first round. The Arizona Cardinals own the fourth pick and are not expected to take a QB, meaning the fourth pick could be up for grabs for other QB-needy teams.

However, if the Vikings decide not to trade up with the Cardinals, the Giants could take the fourth QB and leave Minnesota’s best option at either Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix. It is entirely possible that Adofo-Mensah prefers Penix or Nix, by the way, but that preference would be an outlier among NFL personnel.

Denver Broncos

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Dec 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton looks at his play card while the Broncos play against the Houston Texans in the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are another QB-needy team that may not want to wait around for their guy. What if the Broncos are the team to call the Cardinals and offer something the team can’t refuse? This would again leave Adofo-Mensah sitting with two first-round selections and without one of the top QBs available.

Sean Payton and the Broncos arguably have a worse QB situation than the Vikings. The only QBs currently on the roster in Denver are Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci. With a massive hole at QB and eight picks in this draft, Payton and Co. may not want to sit around and see what the Vikings do.

If the first three picks end up being QBs and the Broncos trade up to pick four, Adofo-Mensah has a decision to make. The GM could either reach for the fifth QB selected in the first round, or he could choose to select two players in the first and put the best supporting cast possible around Sam Darnold.

Las Vegas Raiders

Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell (4) throws the ball against the Minnesota Vikings in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders are another AFC West team that could ruin the Vikings’ night. Like the Broncos, the Raiders are without a proven starting option at QB and could decide to push their chips in on draft night.

Unlike the Broncos, however, the Raiders do have two intriguing options on the roster. Aidan O’Connell, who was a fourth-round pick in 2023, showed some promise in 2023. The team also inked solid veteran Gardner Minshew this offseason. The Raiders have a new head coach in Antonio Pierce, though, and Pierce may love one of the rookies.

The Raiders, like the Broncos, also own eight picks and may be able to entice the Cardinals. Again, this would leave the Vikings in the unenviable position of either having to stand pat or reach for one of the remaining QBs. The fact that there are so many QB-needy teams may mean that Adofo-Mensah needs to be proactive and seal a deal to move up before the draft begins.