June 13, 2024

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The Minnesota Vikings are actively pursuing the incoming quarterback class of the 2024 draft and have taken steps to position themselves for a potential trade-up. They secured a second first-round pick, obtained from the Cleveland Browns via the Houston Texans. However, recent rumors surrounding the New York Jets could influence their strategy.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, while the Jets have a need for a young quarterback in their lineup, especially if Zach Wilson is not retained, the likelihood of them drafting one with such a high pick seems slim. Instead, they may prefer to entertain trade proposals from teams in need of a quarterback, aiming to acquire a top-100 pick. Teams such as the Minnesota Vikings (11th), Denver Broncos (12th), and Las Vegas Raiders (13th) could be potential trade partners motivated to move up in the draft.

All three of those teams may prefer to wait and see if a quarterback slides to them rather than giving up assets to move up a few slots. However, this might not be a feasible option if the quarterbacks are drafted earlier than expected.

In such a scenario, the Vikings might consider a larger move to leapfrog any eager teams in the draft order.

If not, they could pivot to selecting defensive prospects who are likely to be available if there is a run on quarterbacks, as anticipated. The Vikings have experienced losses of key contributors in the front seven due to free agency this offseason, and there are still uncertainties in their secondary.

Nevertheless, the Vikings are preparing contingency plans in case they are unable to secure a trade into the upper stages of the draft.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is garnering attention. He reportedly had dinner with the Giants in Seattle after his Pro Day, followed by a private workout with the Vikings in the same location. Penix is scheduled to have meetings with the Broncos, Falcons, Raiders, and Commanders as well, indicating widespread interest in him.

Penix had an impressive performance last season, completing 65.4% of his passes for 4,903 yards, with 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He finished second in the Heisman voting, the highest placement in Washington history. However, Penix is among the older prospects in the top quarterback group and has a significant injury history over his six college seasons split between Washington and Indiana.

Penix is widely expected to be selected in the second round of the draft, but the Vikings currently lack picks in the second or third rounds. They could potentially trade down from one of their first-round selections to acquire picks in those rounds, although this strategy presents similar challenges to those posed by the Jets’ potential moves.

With Sam Darnold under a one-year, $10 million contract, the Vikings have the option to take their chances this year and reassess their quarterback situation in the 2025 draft if they miss out on their target this year.

However, deferring decisions could perpetuate the issues that have led to their current predicament. Another losing season could prompt significant changes, especially considering that, even with Kirk Cousins, the Vikings have only managed one winning campaign in the last four seasons.

The pressure on the current regime, which has overseen the team for just two seasons, will depend on how they navigate these challenges. Despite their brief tenure, they are responsible for the team’s lone winning season in recent years.

Michael Penix Jr., Minnesota Vikings

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