NFL Draft Trade Ideas: Cases For/Against Vikings-Cardinals Round 1 Swap

The Vikings want to draft a quarterback, and the Cardinals are "open" for business. Here are cases for and against the teams making a trade.

This year’s quarterback draft class might prove to be a dud. After all, the 2021 NFL Draft’s QB class was supposed to be great — and look how that turned out.

However, at this point, the 2024 QB class is viewed as excellent, with many experts predicting the top four picks to be used on signal-callers. But which teams will be making those selections?

The Minnesota Vikings want a new quarterback but are outside the top 10. The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, are set at quarterback but own a top-five pick. With that in mind, we crafted cases for and against the two teams making a blockbuster trade in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Vikings-Cardinals NFL Draft Trade Idea Details

Note: This trade was proposed and accepted in Pro Football Network’s Multi-User NFL Mock Draft Simulator.

The Vikings own pick Nos. 11 and 23, while the Cardinals own No. 4. In theory, Minnesota should be able to swap just its two first-rounders for the No. 4 pick — but that’s not how the draft works.

The Vikings likely will compete against other QB-needy teams, such as the Las Vegas Raiders, who will drive up the price.

Plus, we wanted to have fun with this. Is there a way for the Vikings to land the No. 4 pick without giving up both of their first-round picks in this year’s draft?

Here’s what we came up with:

  • Vikings get: 2024 R1 (4), 2024 R3 (66)
  • Cardinals get: 2024 R1 (11), 2024 R4 (108), 2025 R1 and R3

It’s a fair deal on paper, but that doesn’t mean the case for making the trade is air-tight. Let’s get into both sides.

Case for Vikings-Cardinals Trade

For the Vikings, it’s simple. Quarterback is their biggest need, and moving into the top four would guarantee the opportunity to select one of the top four QB prospects.

Minnesota ideally would convince the New England Patriots to part with No. 3, but that probably won’t happen. So, it’ll have to settle for No. 4.

However, the difference between 3 and 4 might allow the Vikings to keep pick 23. The 66th pick also is nothing to snuff at.

As for the Cardinals, they have major needs both at receiver and on defense. This trade would enable them to address both spots while stockpiling more picks. For example, Arizona could use the No. 11 pick to draft a top defensive prospect such as Dallas Turner, Jared Verse, or Terrion Arnold — or even reach for receiver Brian Thomas Jr.

Then, the Cardinals could package Minnesota’s 2025 first-rounder with other picks to move back into Round 1 to fill the need they didn’t address with the 11th pick. Or they could do something else. The point is they’d have plenty of options.

And make no mistake: Both teams want to deal.

“There’s a lot that goes into that,” Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said recently when asked about the possibility of moving up.

“We need another team to be complicit in that action to go get one of those (quarterbacks) 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.”

O’Connell might find a willing trade partner in Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort.

“There will be a big neon sign that says ‘open,’” Ossenfort said in March when asked about possible draft trades. “And I don’t like it blinking, it messes with my eyes, but we’re always going to be listening.

“I think we’ll always have the conversation, we may not get to a point where a deal makes sense, whether it’s at [No.] 4 or anywhere we’re picking, but we’re always going to have the conversation, and if it makes sense, if it’s attractive to building our team, then it’s something that we’ll certainly consider no matter where we’re at in the draft.”

Case Against Vikings-Cardinals Trade

Let’s say J.J. McCarthy is the QB left at No. 4. Is the Michigan product really worth giving up two first-rounders? You could argue the Vikings would be better off targeting a Tier 2 quarterback — such as Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix — later in Round 1 or in Round 2. One, if not both, of their first-round picks instead could be used to fill other holes.

Plus, this is a significant overpay, one that would leave Minnesota with a rough draft outlook in 2025. Again, is McCarthy worth it?

The Cardinals probably should take this deal. A great player will be available at No. 11, and they’ll have other picks to work with.

MORE: Vikings GM Admits to Plan To Move Up for QB in 2024 NFL Draft

But you also could argue for Arizona staying put and drafting Marvin Harrison Jr. The Cardinals need a wideout, and the best prospect in years likely will be available. Why mess around?

Ultimately, neither team needs to make this deal. It might just be trading for the sake of trading.

The Vikings might be able to accomplish their goal by executing a more modest trade to move up to No. 5, or something. And the Cardinals might be able to garner a similar package by moving down just a few spots, where receivers Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers still should be available.

What’s Ian Cummings’ Take?

Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings knows the draft, the prospects, and the scouting process as well as anyone — if not better. For what it’s worth, in his latest seven-round mock draft, Cummings has the Vikings trading with the Patriots to select Drake Maye at No. 3, and the Cardinals sticking at 4 to take Harrison.

Here’s his take on a possible Vikings-Cardinals Round 1 swap:

“The prevailing assumption is that the Vikings will package both the 11th and 23rd picks in a move up to 4th or 5th overall — but what if they managed to make that trade up the board while keeping one of their first-round picks?

“Odds are, the price will be driven up to a point where Minnesota will have to cave — but for exploratory purposes, this possibility is worth acknowledging. Minnesota would have to sweeten the deal with more capital this and next year, and 2026 capital could also potentially enter the equation. But for a team with no top 100 picks past the first round, this could help further accelerate the Vikings’ rebound in 2024.

“Moving up to 4th overall, the Vikings would be able to get the best remaining QB, who’s often presumed to be J.J. McCarthy in mocks. Right away, Minnesota would insert a promising, high-character, 21-year-old QB prospect into a situation where he’s adequately supported both by his coaching staff and surrounding cast.

“Meanwhile, with the 23rd pick, the Vikings would be able to supplement the offensive side of the ball or add a premier playmaker on defense. Depending on how the board falls, they could get one of the top DT prospects in Johnny Newton or Byron Murphy II.

“They could add Cooper DeJean as a chess piece in the secondary and eventual replacement for Harrison Smith — or they could opt for fireworks and pair one of Xavier Worthy or Ladd McConkey (ideally in a trade back) with McCarthy, Justin Jefferson, and Jordan Addison.

“The possibilities are endless, and that’s part of what makes this particular outcome so exciting.”

KEEP READING: What Will the Vikings Do If They Can’t Trade Up for a Quarterback?

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 Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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