The Situation the Vikings are Hoping to Avoid in the 2024 NFL Draft

Vikings Get a Decent Grade
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Being the only option can be persuasive.

All of a sudden, a modest offer can feel like it’s seasoned with salt, making it a bit more palatable. What happens, though, when there are other options tossed onto the table? The Vikings are, in their pursuit of a franchise QB, very likely to make some calls to teams like the Patriots (No. 3), Cardinals (No. 4), and/or Chargers (No. 5). Convincing one of them to do business is going to be far easier if there aren’t multiple trade offers.

The Vikings Are Looking to Avoid a Bidding War

One thinks of the Denver Broncos (No. 12). For a little while, VT’s Dustin Baker has been discussing the potential need to box out a team like the Broncos in a move up the board.

At the Annual League Meeting, Kevin O’Connell took on this precise scenario after Chris Tomasson asked about potentially competing with Denver for the chance to draft J.J. McCarthy. Sean Payton would likely be amenable to a talented young passer putting on an orange uniform. How good of a deal can Denver construct? Better than Minnesota’s?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans
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

And then there’s the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13), another AFC team sitting pretty high in the draft order that has a need at QB.

What about the less obvious teams like the Seattle Seahawks (No. 16), Los Angeles Rams (No. 19), and possibly even the Miami Dolphins (No. 21)? The more teams get in the mix, the more difficult life will be in Minnesota.

Now, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah understands the situation. The man knows that he’ll need to compete for one of the quarterbacks he’s in love with (there are several, as he confirmed last week). His understanding about the competition swirling around him has prompted him do business with the Texans, prying away No. 23 to partner with No. 11.

In theory, those two selections – No. 11 and No. 23 – can coalesce, combining to form a pretty appealing trade offer that could be without compare for 2024 (emphasis on could). And yet the GM also knows how leverage works in a negotiation. In his own words, “Your leverage in a negotiation is your willingness to do something else.” If rival teams are putting compelling trade packages onto the table, then there’s an ability to do something other than what the Vikings are suggesting.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell (left) and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah react during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Within all these hypothetical trade partners, maybe the greatest threat to Minnesota is the New York Giants (a team Josh Frey recently discussed as a possible risk to Minnesota). Sitting at 6th, the Giants have the capacity to offer something Minnesota doesn’t have: just a tiny tumble down the board. Dropping from No. 3 to No. 6 would likely feel a lot less painful for the Patriots. The same idea applies to all of the teams in the top 5.

New York could decide that the upside with someone like Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy is too tantalizing, leading to a move up the board. Do the Vikings have enough ammo to put together a more appealing trade package than what the Giants can offer?

No doubt: tossing the Giants into the mix would change the water on the purple beans. Minnesota may get outmuscled.

Oct 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) runs the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the day, the Vikings are going to give this thing their best shot. If the QB they fully believe in is available, Adofo-Mensah is going to shoot his shot. Avoiding a monstrous trade cost, though, may be contingent on what other teams around the NFL are looking to do.

And, quite possibly, the best shot won’t be enough to put the puck in the net. Sometimes, a team gets outbid.

We’ll learn more about how things proceed on Thursday, April 25th. The Vikings are sitting on nine draft picks for the 2024 NFL Draft.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.