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Is Minnesota Attempting to Obtain the No. 3 Pick in the Draft?



North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye (10) passes against Clemson during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. Maye is projected to go to the New England Patriots in the first 2024 NFL Mock Draft on PFN. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

The Minnesota Vikings saw their quarterback exit in free agency. Kirk Cousins is now a member of the Atlanta Falcons and the Vikings are left without a starting quarterback. On the trade market, Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears appears to be the best option available. But would the NFC North rivals want to do business together? If Fields, known to be on the market, was coveted by the Vikings, wouldn’t there be a rumor of a deal circulating by now?

Minnesota recently made a trade swap with the Houston Texans. The Vikings received the Texans first-round pick (No. 23 overall) and a seventh-round pick (No. 232) in the 2024 NFL Draft. Houston got back Minnesota’s second-round pick (No. 42) and sixth-round pick (No. 188). The Texans also obtain the Vikings 2025 second-round selection.

With the need for a quarterback and armed with multiple first-rounders, rumors are circulating that Minnesota is hoping to move up from their current draft position (No. 11 overall) to land a new franchise quarterback. There are two obvious trade options. The New England Patriots own the No. 3 selection and the Los Angeles Chargers are set to select at No. 5.

Trade With New England

The Patriots are a team with more needs than high draft picks at the moment. They are looking for a new quarterback, a difference-making wide receiver, and an offensive tackle.

Based on the trade value chart, the Vikings would be trading both their first-round picks to get up to third overall. The value of the No. 3 pick is 2200. Minnesota’s picks combined amount to only 2010 points. That is a difference of 190 points, the equivalent of the No. 80 pick (Round 3) of the 2024 NFL Draft. But Minnesota doesn’t have a second or third-round draft pick in 2024. So they’d need to move up one round in 2025…but the Vikings just traded that pick to the Texans.

So, Minnesota is left needing to toss in a first-round pick in 2025. To even the value, New England includes a 2025 fourth-round pick. The Patriots still get better value, which is always the case for the team trading back.

Proposed Patriots-Vikings Trade

New England trades their 2024 first-round pick (No. 3) and 2025 fourth-round pick to the Vikings.

Minnesota trades both of their 2024 first-round picks (No. 11, No. 23) and a 2025 first-round pick to the Patriots.

Trade Evaluation

New England keeps their second-round pick here. So they are now able to obtain their QB, WR, and LT with picks 11, 23, and 34. They can no longer draft Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels. Both will be gone by No. 11.  New England might not be able to select J.J. McCarthy either, as there is a strong possibility he goes in the Top 10. Would Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. be worth taking that early? Or what if New England passed on them at No. 11, hoping they would be around at No. 23 but then they aren’t? It’s a risky proposition to pass up the chance of drafting a potential franchise quarterback.

Four quarterbacks (Williams, Maye, Daniels, McCarthy), three wide receivers (Harrison Jr., Nabers, Odunze), and two tackles (Alt, Fuaga) being gone by No. 11 is a distinct possibility. If that happens, is trading down the right move for New England? Who would New England select at that point? The Patriots get the chance to fill three needs with high picks but lack getting one of the truly elite prospects with any of them. This deal would only make sense for the Patriots if Eliot Wolf and their other decision-makers are not fans of whichever quarterback falls to them at three.

Trade With Los Angeles

The Chargers also have multiple needs as well. Justin Herbert prevents them from needing a quarterback at least. But, they just parted ways with their high-priced wide receivers (Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams) and could use tackle help as well. They could accomplish both with a move down.  Tight end Brock Bowers could be on their wish list too.

Based on the trade value chart, the Vikings would be trading both their first-round picks to get up to fifth overall. The value of the No. 5 pick is 1700. Minnesota’s picks combined amount to 2010 points. That is a difference of 310 points, the equivalent of the No. 59 pick (Round 2) of the 2024 NFL Draft. Los Angeles’ closest pick to that is their third-round pick (No. 69) worth 245 points. The difference is the cost of moving up the board.

Proposed Chargers-Vikings Trade

Los Angeles Chargers trade their 2024 first-round pick (No. 5) and third-round pick (No. 69) to the Vikings.

Minnesota trades both of their 2024 first-round picks (No. 11, No. 23) to the Chargers.

Trade Evaluation

The Chargers not needing a quarterback makes trading down more appealing to them. However, where they sit at No. 5 they would likely be able to draft either OT Joe Alt or the top wide receiver remaining on their board (Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze). Trading down they would fill both needs, but it could be in the form of Olu Fashanu at No. 11 and Brian Thomas Jr. or Adonai Mitchell at No. 23. Minnesota would secure getting a quarterback, though that QB is likely going to be J.J. McCarthy. Is trading up to fifth overall worth it to obtain the Michigan prospect? That’s for the Vikings to figure out.