NFL Rumors: Odds forecast surprising QB to Vikings as Kirk Cousins replacement

The Minnesota Vikings are the betting favorites to land this quarterback in the offseason, and it's a rather surprising name.

Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell (left) and general
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell (left) and general / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Minnesota Vikings have a big question mark entering this offseason that will need to be answered. What are the Vikings to do at the quarterback position? Kirk Cousins is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and is undoubtedly the top quarterback option available. While the Vikings reportedly want to re-sign Cousins, they may very well have to enter a bidding war with other teams in need of a veteran signal caller.

If the Vikings were to, hypothetically, lose out on retaining Cousins, where may they turn to?

Thor Nystrom of FantasyPros shared which teams have the best odds to draft Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, per DraftKings. As it turns out, the Vikings have the highest odds, with DraftKings setting them at +250.

Vikings are the betting favorites to draft Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

McCarthy may be a polarizing quarterback prospect among fans and some media members. But when it comes to teams, the buzz recently is that they really like what he can bring. The Athletic's Dane Brugler noted that while it's early, he expects McCarthy to be taken in the top-12 of the NFL Draft.

As for the Vikings, they are linked to a potential move up the draft boards to select a quarterback. ESPN's Dan Graziano mentioned the New England Patriots being potentially open to trading the No. 3 pick, and brought up the Vikings as one of the potential suitors.

The top three quarterback prospects in the 2024 class are USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye, and LSU's Jayden Daniels in any particular order. But draft stock can fluctuate in the leadup to the NFL Draft. McCarthy can increase his stock at the NFL Scouting Combine and at his Pro Day. So, the Vikings may have to move up in the draft to select McCarthy if that is the quarterback head coach Kevin O'Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah hone in on.

McCarthy is a tough prospect to evaluate when watching his games at Michigan. That's because head coach Jim Harbaugh didn't prioritize throwing the ball as much as prospects like Michael Penix Jr., Williams, or Maye. With a running game led by Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, the Wolverine focused on running the football more than passing. Long story short, there isn't much of a sample size to look at, but there are flashes when he does.

This past season, McCarthy threw for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 240-of-322 pass attempts. McCarthy's 322 pass attempts rank 53rd-most in the entire nation.

It will be up to teams to evaluate McCarthy to se if he can truly be a long-term option for them at quarterback. That includes the Vikings. But first, they have to figure out if they are going to kep Cousins or let him sign elsewhere.

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