NFL Draft Rumors: What Will Vikings Do If They Can’t Trade Up for QB?

Will the Vikings trade up for a QB in the draft, or will they punt to next year? Here's what the latest NFL Draft rumors say about Minnesota's plans.

The Minnesota Vikings are in a position to swing big in the 2024 NFL Draft. But what if the board doesn’t give them anything to hit? Let’s dig into the latest NFL Draft rumors to see where the Vikings stand in their search for a new quarterback after losing Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons.

Will the Vikings Trade Up in Round 1 of the NFL Draft?

They have the ammunition to do it, and they want to do it.

The Vikings swung a trade with the Houston Texans to acquire the 23rd overall pick in the NFL Draft, adding to an arsenal that already included the 11th overall pick. The move arrived after weeks of reports about Minnesota approaching teams, including the New England Patriots, about potentially moving up in Round 1.

However, Minnesota signed QB Sam Darnold in free agency. Darnold likely isn’t the QB of the future, but he’s a capable starter who could bridge the gap to the Vikings’ next franchise signal-caller. At the end of the day, Minnesota might come up empty in its attempts to trade up for a QB who could start over Darnold.

“There’s a lot that goes into that,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said at the NFL Owners Meetings when asked about trading up.

“We need another team to be complicit in that action to go get one of those guys, if that ends up being the plan. But I am excited to kind of see this process through and see if we can potentially add our quarterback in the future to that room.”

That brings us to a new report from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, who offered insight into the Vikings’ QB plans.

“Interviews at the league meeting in Orlando, Florida, revealed the Vikings are working down parallel paths to cover for a pair of outcomes,” Seifert wrote in a piece published on Tuesday.

MORE: Top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

“On the one hand, they’ve made deep plans to evaluate the top prospects via private workouts and/or visits, and they formed the outlines of a structure focused on developing a rookie quarterback. On the other, they’re preparing for the possibility of riding with offseason free agent addition Sam Darnold in 2024 and then regrouping with either a quarterback drafted with a lower pick or perhaps a look ahead to the 2025 class.”

The good news for the Vikings is they have a roster, especially on offense, that could prop up a bridge QB like Darnold or a rookie who’s slow to develop. But if Minnesota is dead set on trading up for a QB, which teams could be complicit?

Patriots, Cardinals Among Possible Trade Parters for Vikings

Things can get weird on draft day. Teams that that didn’t factor into pre-draft trade speculation can make the biggest moves; teams that generated the most rumors can do absolutely nothing. It’s part of the fun of it.

The Patriots obviously could be a trade suitor. Multiple reports indicate they’ll use the No. 3 pick on a quarterback, but other reports indicate a trade down is possible. It all will come down to what the new Patriots regime thinks about Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, and J.J. McCarthy — assuming Caleb Williams goes first overall to the Chicago Bears.

But, for now, let’s focus on teams in the top 10 that likely won’t be targeting a quarterback:

  • Arizona Cardinals (No. 4)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5)
  • Tennessee Titans (No. 7)
  • Atlanta Falcons (No. 8)
  • Chicago Bears (No. 9)

Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort recently said Arizona is “open” for business at No. 4. The Cardinals could stand pat and draft a top receiver prospect, but a trade down would make all the sense in the world. If the Vikings want to guarantee themselves a shot at one of the top four QB prospects, this is where they’ll need to go.

The Chargers also are an interesting candidate. They, too, have many needs, and a trade-down could help address some of their roster holes. But Los Angeles probably should stay at No. 5 and take a franchise tackle or receiver.

GET DRAFTING: Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Things get really interesting after No. 5. Will the New York Giants take a QB if one is on the board at No. 6? If not, there could be a bidding war for the Titans’ selection at No. 7. Tennessee needs help on defense and the offensive line, but a premium prospect in either area still could be on the board at No. 11.

And then there are the Falcons and Bears. Atlanta has a young, ascending roster, so it probably can afford to move outside the top 10. Ditto for the Bears, although you could argue they should stay at No. 9 and take a tackle. In either case, the Vikings wouldn’t have to pay nearly as much to move up as they would to land a pick inside the top five.

Of course, Minnesota might have to compete with other QB-needy teams.

The Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13) reportedly want to trade up for a quarterback. Sean Payton recently said it’s “realistic” that the Denver Broncos will look to trade up after moving on from Russell Wilson.

Still, with two first-round picks, the Vikings could blow away most other offers. Minnesota just needs to find a team to take the bait.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls — lone wolf or with your friends!

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