All signs point to Vikings taking a depressing QB choice outside the top-4

If the Minnesota Vikings plan to take a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft, they'll have to trade up.
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings are in search of a more permanent Kirk Cousins replacement. Sam Darnold, signed via free agency this offseason, is a nice bridge quarterback, but likely not the kind of player Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can build his franchise around.

With that in mind, the Vikings have reportedly been in talks with several teams to move up in the 2024 NFL Draft. The top four quarterbacks on the board -- rumored to be Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and JJ McCarthy -- could very well go in the first four picks.

Trading up is one thing, outbidding several quarterback-needy is another and a quick way to empty any draft pick cupboard. Unless the Vikings are completely sold on one of the first four QBs off the board, trading up from No. 11 may not be in their best interest.

Vikings may not trade up into top-four after all

Per Dianna Russini of The Athletic, Minnesota is engaged in multiple bidding wars just a day ahead of the first round. The Vikings and Giants are fighting over Maye, which would require a deal with the Patriots. Minnesota and Denver both have interest in McCarthy at No. 4, as well. ESPN also reported that the Vikings don't want to trade away both of their 2024 first-round picks to move up, which would be a non-starter for most teams.

Daniel Jeremiah's recent mock draft has JJ McCarthy falling to the Vikings at 11. That's...tough to believe given the pre-draft noise connecting the Patriots, Giants and more to the Michigan product. Some desperate organization will trade into the top-10 to select McCarthy.

What Jeremiah does mention is that Minnesota has gotten more comfortable taking Michael Penix Jr. as a possible fallback option.

Should the Vikings be content taking Michael Penix Jr.?

Penix Jr. led Washington to the College Football Playoff National Championship, where they lost to McCarthy's Wolverines. He has impressive arm talent but is injury prone. Perhaps most importantly, he is already 23 years old, which is why he isn't ranked among the best QB prospects in this class. Heck, he is just three years younger than Darnold, who was drafted in the first round in 2018.

Penix Jr. could be a very productive NFL quarterback, but drafting the Washington product after all this chatter of a looming trade into the top-four feels like a letdown of epic proportions.