3 rookie QBs Vikings should trade up for to replace Kirk Cousins

If the Minnesota Vikings were to pivot off their long-time starting quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason, here are three quarterbacks worthy of moving up from No. 11 to get his successor.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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If the Minnesota Vikings are done with Kirk Cousins, then just be done with him. I have heard rumors that the front office wants him back, but not nearly as many about looking to move on from him. It is exhausting, but one thing is for sure. Changes are coming to the Twin Cities. Last season revealed that something has got to give for this franchise on the downtick to be a playoff team next season.

Assuming his injured leg still works, Cousins will still probably be able to spin it quite well. He has had a tremendous NFL career up to this point. A multi-time Pro Bowler over the course of a decade-plus with two different NFC franchises. While he is probably never going to be more than the eighth-best passer in the league, he was a former two-star recruit and a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State.

Cousins will find work next season. That is obvious, but what isn't so is how the Vikings are going to look about replacing him. They have the No. 11 pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. This is in prime positioning to draft one of three quarterbacks in the first round: J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan, Bo Nix out of Oregon and Michael Penix Jr. out of Washington, none of whom are going inside of the top 10.

But what if the Vikings want better? Here are three quarterbacks worthy of trading up for this spring.

2024 NFL Draft: 3 QBs worthy of the Vikings trading up from No. 11 for

3. Drake Maye has massive arm talent, but also has major bust potential

The first quarterback I will touch on that Minnesota could conceivably trade up for is Drake Maye out of North Carolina. He projects to be QB2 in the upcoming NFL Draft, probably coming off the board in the No. 1 to No. 3 overall range. Maye's high-end NFL comp is some variation of Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers. The problem is I think he might have massive bust potential, as with one other player.

Maye has had plenty of starts playing for Mack Brown at UNC, but he never seemed to have the ability to carry the team on his back in times of crisis. Not to say he is a fair-weather quarterback, but I have doubts that he could succeed playing for a poorly-run franchise with questionable coaches and concerning ownership. Fortunately for the Vikings, I know for a fact they don't fall into this category.

For Minnesota to be in a position to draft Maye, they need to get inside the top three. Trading up in a deal with the Chicago Bears is not happening because they are in division and could have their pick of the litter with these quarterbacks. The Washington Commanders are in play at No. 2, but they need a quarterback and play in the NFC. So it would have to be the hopeless New England Patriots then.

Maye is my least favorite quarterback in the top three, so there is a chance his draft stock could slide.