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Pelissero offers insight into what Vikings might be trying to do in NFL Draft

"I would bet you that Kwesi, over the next 38 days, will be talking to both of those teams."

The Vikings' "preferred scenario" might be moving up in the draft for a quarterback.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, in a Monday morning appearance on KFAN's Power Trip Morning Show, said the Vikings laid down a clear signal of intent last Friday by trading for the No. 23 pick.

"When you make a move, over a month out from the draft, to acquire a second first-round pick, it's a pretty clear indication that you're amassing ammunition to try to go up. The only question is how high can you – and do you want to – go to get the quarterback of your choice," said Pelissero.

Since that Friday morning trade gave the Vikings a second first-round pick in next month's draft there has been plenty of speculation about a potential trade partner. The Vikings currently sit at No. 11 but might need to jump into either the top three or four to be able to get one of the top-rated quarterback prospects in this draft.

With 38 days to go until the draft, Pelissero wasn't able to put a finger on who that potential trade partner could be at the moment.

"Let's assume the Bears stay put at one. Nobody in the league has a full handle on what Washington is going to do at No. 2," Pelissero said. "You've got a completely new regime, a heavily involved owner. You've got a former NBA general manager who is in every meeting, advising the people. There's not a lot of history there to tell you what they might do at two... Everything would suggest they're going to take [a quarterback] at No. 2. The Patriots also, it's a new regime there. You've got Eliot Wolf making the call on the final pick but you've got the Krafts involved in this. You've got a new coaching staff led by Jerod Mayo.

"If I had to say which team would be viewed within the league as the most likely to move, you'd say it's the Patriots at three but I don't know that we can sit here and say at 100% that the Commanders are not going to move at least a little bit off of No. 2. It all depends – as they're starting a ground-up rebuild – what type of offers they might have and I would bet you that [Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah], over the next 38 days, will be talking to both of those teams about whether or not there's something that could be done to get them off that pick."

Former Pro Football Focus senior analyst Jackson McIntire reported Saturday the Vikings have focused their trade talks on the Patriots and the Cardinals. New England has the No. 3 overall pick, while Arizona has No. 4.

It's been widely speculated that the Vikings could be zeroing in on either North Carolina's Drake Maye or Michigan's J.J. McCarthy. Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer wrote Monday that the Vikings will have a big contingent at Michigan's Pro Day this Friday to watch McCarthy, and have even scheduled a private workout with the national champion QB.

Pelissero, when asked which QB the Vikings might be favoring, said they're looking for "someone who can take on a lot of information and is a fast processor" as well as someone who has "leadership traits."

"I think the easy answer is to say if it's not [Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye] then it's J.J. McCarthy," Pelissero continued.

Both McCarthy and Maye come with some questions despite being highly touted coming out of college. Pelissero noted the questions around McCarthy's arm talent and whether he can win by throwing. The Michigan QB wasn't asked to throw too often in Jim Harbaugh's offense over the past two seasons, notably throwing just eight times in the team's 24-15 win over Penn State in November and 18 times in Michigan's national title win over Washington in January.

Maye, meanwhile, comes with questions about adapting to the NFL game after operating in North Carolina's "gimmicky offense" that hasn't translated well for previous Tar Heel quarterbacks.

"I don't foresee it being Bo Nix, that would surprise me," Pelissero continued. "Is it Michael Penix? The medical is going to be the key. Not everybody is going to feel great about the health things there."

Tom Pelissero