All signs in Minnesota are pointing toward a divorce between the Vikings and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Despite completing almost 70% of his passes last season, and throwing for 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions before he was injured, the Vikings are ready for some young blood at the position.
Cousins will turn 36 years old before the season starts. He is also reportedly looking for a fully guaranteed contract in the vicinity of $90 million for two seasons. The team has $25 million in cap space going into the 2024 offseason. That number jumps significantly in 2025, so they could make it work, but it would prevent them from signing any other free agents to help the team in the upcoming season.
Cousins has been a reliable and efficient quarterback his entire career. He will be a valuable commodity on the open market, and while it is unlikely he will get that type of contract from any team, somebody will give him more than the Vikings are willing to.
The team does have Jaren Hall, who they drafted in the fifth round of the 2023 draft, on the roster. However, he did not impress during his playing time this past season, so the team will likely look to draft a better quarterback in April. They have a lot of holes to fill on the roster, so it will not be a first-round selection.
Here are three quarterbacks outside of the first round that the Vikings could select, that could replace Kirk Cousins and be their quarterback of the future.
3. Michael Pratt, Tulane
Currently projected as a third-round pick by both Pro Football Focus and Draft Buzz, Michael Pratt stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 216 pounds. He was a three-star prospect coming out of high school before signing his letter of intent with Tulane. He does have some mobility, as he is expected to run a 4.65-second 40 at either his pro day or in Indianapolis.
In 2023, Pratt played 11 games, completing 65.4% of his passes for 2,406 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also carried the ball 98 times for 286 yards and five touchdowns. For his college career, he completed 60.6% of his passes for 209 yards per game. He averaged 3.5 touchdowns for every interception he threw.
Pratt has good enough arm strength to make short and intermediate throws in the NFL. He has the ability to widen passing windows for covered receivers. He's able to control the trajectory of the ball out of his hand, so it does not have too much loft or too little. His ball placement is a little bit inconsistent, and it does not have the elite arm strength of top-level quarterbacks. Though he has adequate straight-line speed, he does not have great quickness or lateral speed.