5 cheaper Vikings QB options after balking at Kirk Cousins demands

The Minnesota Vikings probably won't pay Kirk Cousins. Here are the alternatives.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 5

2. Jayden Daniels could reward the Vikings for a bold move

Now, what if the Vikings want to get truly bold and trade up for a quarterback? It would not come cheap, but the right combination of future picks could plant Minnesota in the top four. At that point, LSU's Jayden Daniels is a real possibility. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner can bring Minnesota's offense into the modern age.

More and more, we are seeing NFL teams embrace the expanded possibilities of dual-threat QB play. Daniels can stress a defense. He makes the big throws, but he's also an incredible runner. He scampered for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground last season. That is absurd for the quarterback position. It's even more absurd when combined with 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns as a passer. He even completed 72.2 percent of his passes, against powerhouse SEC defenses.

LSU struggled relative to expectations, but Daniels was a beacon of light in the storm. He upped his aggression, both as a passer and a runner, without sacrificing efficiency. While Drake Maye is probably the "better" prospect, Daniels' upside is maybe the highest in the draft class behind Caleb Williams. There is too much value in Daniels' ability to extend plays and exploit breakdowns. Maybe the downside risk is greater, but the Vikings could use a big swing.

There's a lot of buzz tying Daniels to Washington in the No. 2 spot with Kliff Kingsbury in the mix. If that happens, we can pitch Maye as an honorable mention. He's a great talent in his own right — the classic tall, strong pocket passer who can deliver explosive throws on a rope. If the Vikings want to ensure their future at the QB position, trading up is a worthwhile gamble.