Vikings rumored QB preference limits trade partners to one

If the Vikings want their preferred QB in the 2024 NFL Draft, there's only one team to trade with.
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

Perhaps the one thing that we can trust isn't a smokescreen now that it's the week of the 2024 NFL Draft is that the Minnesota Vikings want to trade up from the No. 11 pick. That's why they traded already with the Texans for the 23rd overall pick, giving general manager Kwefi Adofo-Mensah more ammunition to move into the Top 5 for a quarterback.

One of the biggest connections for the Vikings at quarterback has been J.J. McCarthy. The Michigan signal-caller has vaulted exponentially up draft boards and putting him in Kevin O'Connell's system with the Vikings weapons -- Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, Aaron Jones, T.J. Hockenson, etc. -- would be highly advantageous for the player.

However, there is a part of the equation that should also be considered for Minnesota. Perhaps the reason they've been so heavily connected to McCarthy is because he's projected to be the fourth quarterback off of the board, presumably the quarterback the Vikings would have the option to select if they traded up with the Arizona Cardinals (No. 4) or Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5).

But what if the organization's preference in the 2024 NFL Draft quarterback class wasn't McCarthy but, instead, was Drake Maye?

Vikings rumored to prefer Drake Maye, making Patriots trade the best option

ESPN Senior NFL insider Adam Schefter ($) unloaded a bevy of NFL Draft rumors and one was directly tied to the Vikings. While suggesting that the New England Patriots at the No. 3 pick could potentially trade back and then trade back up to draft a quarterback, he noted that if Minnesota could strike a deal for the third overall pick, that North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye would be their preference.

"Some around the league believe if the Vikings can get as high as No. 3, their preference would be quarterback Drake Maye (North Carolina), who was coached in high school by Minnesota's new quarterbacks coach Josh McCown."

Schefter also noted that the Patriots' willingness to trade back could depend on their currently unknown preference between Maye and McCarthy. But as for the Vikings, if Maye is truly their guy, that limits their potential partners to trade up to only one.

Caleb Williams is a near lock to go No. 1 to the Chicago Bears and we're trending that same direction with Jayden Daniels at No. 2 to the Washington Commanders. Maye is the consensus QB3 it seems, and it's a near formality that he'll go No. 3. Based on Schefter's report, though, the question is if it would be the Patriots or Vikings selecting him.

Because of the nature of this rumor, the truth is that the Vikings might not have a choice in the matter. Even if Maye is their guy, if he's also the Patriots' guy, then New England would stay put and take the UNC product. That would then go back to the popular option of Minnesota trading up to No. 4 or 5 to select McCarthy.

However, as a trade up has not yet taken place, the simple truth of the matter is that the Vikings may be even more aggressive in trying to make that move depending on how committed they are to Maye being the guy. And that means the phone line to the Patriots should be burning over the next week.

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