NFL Draft Rumors: Vikings trade surprise, Cowboys-Penix shocker, Bills replacing Diggs

  • Bills could replace Stefon Diggs with ascending NFL Draft prospect
  • Is Michael Penix Jr. to Cowboys a real possibility?
  • Vikings looking to keep No. 23 pick despite trade overtures
Kevin O'Connell, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings
Kevin O'Connell, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We are less than two weeks away from the 2024 NFL Draft. As such, there are plenty of rumors to sift through — some more compelling than others. The general focus has been on the top four quarterbacks and which teams could move up, but there are plenty of equally intriguing storylines to follow. There are contenders in desperate need of adding on the margins (Dallas Cowboys). For teams like the Buffalo Bills or Minnesota Vikings, the line between contending and pretending depends on their ability to replace outgoing Pro Bowlers.

There will be plenty of wild outcomes when the draft starts on April 25. Here are the rumors worthy of your attention today.

NFL Draft rumors: Bills meet with Texas' Xavier Worthy, potential Stefon Diggs replacement

The Bills dealt Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans for a second-round pick, one of the more baffling trade returns in recent memory. Diggs is 30 years old and his contract was significant, but Buffalo — the reigning No. 2 seed in the AFC with a top-two quarterback in the NFL — just got rid of its best playmaker to shed salary. That kind of lame move always riles up a fanbase.

Right now, the Bills have one of the worst WR rooms in football. They're going to give the Chiefs and Chargers a run for their money. We need to better respect our great QBs in the AFC. Look at who Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott are throwing to. Anyhow, the Bills need to rebuild their WR corps quickly, and the best option at this point in the offseason is to dedicate their first-round pick (No. 28 overall) to the position.

According to Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz, the Bills recently met with Texas wideout Xavier Worthy. The 20-year-old recently set the 40-yard dash record at 4.21 seconds, winning over skeptical NFL scouts with his live-wire athleticism.

Aside from that dude under center in Kansas City, Josh Allen is the best long-range thrower in the NFL. He lacks a true vertical weapon with Diggs out of the fray. Worthy won't replicate all of Diggs' precision and physicality on intermediate routes, but he can tilt with defense with his speed and create explosive plays for an offense in need.

In 14 games last season, Worthy totalled 75 receptions for 1,014 yards and five touchdowns, working in tandem with fellow first-round prospect Adonai Mitchell on the Longhorns.

NFL Draft rumors: Cowboys-Michael Penix Jr. buzz earns unfavorable reviews

The Cowboys are potentially in the market for QB help in the upcoming NFL Draft. ESPN's Adam Schefter said Dallas could target Dak Prescott's eventual successor "higher than you think," which led to a ton of speculation about Washington's Michael Penix Jr. at No. 24 or No. 57.

Over at Bleacher Report, Voch Lombardi dished out his thoughts on the possibility. The summation is simple: Dallas would need to use its first-round pick to guarantee a shot at Penix, who probably won't last until Dallas' pick in the second round. With several other needs on the roster, most notably on the offensive and defensive lines, the Cowboys probably won't feel good about burning No. 24 on a backup to Prescott.

The reason Dallas can't feel good about it, of course, is that Prescott should sign an extension at some point. The Cowboys' desire to play hardball and keep their options open is mystifying when one considers how hard it is to find an elite QB. Prescott has struggled in the postseason, but he's the reigning MVP runner-up. He's fresh off his best campaign to date. How the Cowboys plan to adequately replace him if he leaves is unclear.

Penix is a major talent, but older QB prospects with multiple ACL tears are generally avoided for a reason. There are real questions about Penix's ability to move outside the pocket and execute on intermediate routes. He throws a gorgeous deep ball, but arm strength is far from the only attribute that makes a quality NFL quarterback.

Dallas would essentially be punting Penix a year or two down the road, at the very least. That feels like a waste of a first-round pick, not to mention a pretty strong statement against Prescott. There's no way Penix to Dallas ends harmoniously, so the Cowboys should probably see reason and avoid it.

NFL Draft rumors: Vikings don't want to trade No. 23 pick to land QB

The Vikings are actively looking to trade up in the NFL Draft and land a quarterback. But, their negotiations so far have a catch. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Minnesota is attempting to retain the No. 23 pick (which was acquired in a separate trade with the Texans) in talks to move up from No. 11 into the top five.

When the Vikings made the move to acquire No. 23, it was generally believed to be geared toward trading up on draft night. Now, it appears that Minnesota wants to trade up and use No. 23 on another highly-touted prospect, perhaps to bolster their defense. That could complicate the Vikings' path forward, however, as Minnesota sent out multiple future picks to land No. 23.

It's unclear how seriously teams are taking the Vikings' current overtures. Most front offices don't start with their best offer. Of course the Vikings are going to try to keep as much as possible in a potential trade, but that doesn't mean it will get across the finish line before Minnesota is forced to compromise its initial position. The Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 and the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 hold all the cards. Both teams can justify staying put and drafting receivers, and the New York Giants need a quarterback at No. 6. So, the pressure is on Minnesota to make an offer the Chargers or Cardinals can't refuse.

Few rosters are more cohesively built around their coaching staff than Minnesota's is. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has done an excellent job in the GM chair. But, with Kirk Cousins gone, Minnesota is suddenly in the danger zone. The Vikings have a ton of contending pieces, but lack the signal-caller to tie them all together. How happy would Justin Jefferson be catching passes from Sam Darnold in a contract year? There's a stark difference between playing hardball now and letting trades fall through the cracks on April 26. Expect the Vikings to get more serious with their offers as the draft gets closer.

NFL DRAFT RUMORS. Vikings QB fluidity, Steelers honing in, Bills slow-playing WR. Vikings QB fluidity, Steelers honing in, Bills slow-playing WR. dark