A Vikings-Cardinals trade that could cost Arizona Marvin Harrison Jr.

Could the Arizona Cardinals sacrifice the No. 4 pick to realize the Minnesota Vikings' QB dream?

Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State / Brooke LaValley / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Arizona Cardinals lucked out. Kyler Murray's late-season return helped Arizona avoid the absolute bottom of the standings, which means the Cards will select No. 4 instead of No. 1 overall in April's NFL Draft. But, despite that slight slippage in draft pick equity, Arizona should be able to select the consensus top prospect, Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr., when all is said and done.

It just so happens that the three teams in front of Arizona — Chicago, Washington, and New England — all need QBs. Harrison is the best prospect, hands down, but the league naturally values QB more than any other position. So, the expectation is that Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels come off the board 1-2-3, in some order. If there's going to be a surprise, it will probably be Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy who jumps into the top-3 mix.

That's the dream outcome for the Cardinals, right? Add the best WR talent in years to catch passes from your former No. 1 pick at QB. Murray proved last season that he's still plenty competent, but Arizona desperately needs more playmaking wattage around him. Chris Moore and Michael Wilson are fine complementary wideouts, but in Harrison, Arizona has the chance to land a perennial All-Pro candidate who can manufacture explosive plays and dominate in the red zone.

Alas, there's always a chance that Arizona decides to allocate its resources elsewhere. If the Cardinals aren't convinced of Harrison for one reason or another, Arizona could trade back and receive a hefty package in return. One logical trade partner would be the Minnesota Vikings, who need to find their next QB in lieu of Kirk Cousins. It's not just going to be Sam Darnold... right?

If the Vikings set their sights on J.J. McCarthy (or Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels) and decide to move up, here's a package that could at least get Arizona to consider it.

Vikings-Cardinals trade involving No. 4 pick in 2024 NFL Draft


The Vikings need to make it worth Arizona's while, as again, the Cards should be positively giddy to add Harrison. To only move down seven spots while adding another first-round pick to the arsenal next season is highly appealing, though. Minnesota just needs to tread carefully — little is guaranteed on draft night. Just ask the Panthers.

This would presumably allow the Vikings to add their guy at QB without completely sacrificing the future. Arizona can still target WR talent at No. 11, or with their other first-round pick (No. 27). Heck, there's even a world in which the Cards turn around and move back up for Harrison by packaging those picks. Why not? It's not the NFL Draft without a few trade shenanigans.

More realistically, the Cards would find solace in the abnormally strong WR class. The 11th pick won't yield Harrison, but it could yield Rome Odunze, or Brian Thomas Jr., or Xavier Worthy. Another solid option is UGA TE Brock Bowers, who would add plenty of firepower to the Cards' pass-catching corps.

The Vikings are playing a dangerous game, especially if the pick is McCarthy. As much as McCarthy oozes natural talent and charisma, we just didn't see as much from him as other top prospects at the position. Michigan never fully opened up the playbook, instead building its offense around the run game. Sorry, Justin Herbert.

Anyways, this deal looks better from Minnesota's perspective if either Maye or Daniels falls. That isn't likely, but it sure is possible. The McCarthy buzz is through the roof these days. I would not put it past the Patriots.

We can't know for sure until draft night. The Cards should be happy to sit back and draft Marvin Harrison, but if a strong enough offer comes through, Monti Ossenfort will have to consider it.

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