Skip to main content

Compelling case for Vikings to trade down and still get a QB

"That would be my prescription. . . punt on trying to get one of the truly elite guys this year and build up the war chest for the next few years."

Sunday's playoff action delivered a big blow to Vikings fans thinking a QB reset would be all that is necessary to reclaim the NFC North. So how should the Vikings front office proceed when there are so many holes on a roster and limited draft capital and cap space to work with? Trade down, argues SumerSports' Eric Eager.

That's not going to be welcome news to portions of the fanbase still roasting Kwesi Adofo-Mensah for the 2022 draft and the trades that didn't work. But as our Joe Nelson wrote about Monday, it's going to cost a lot for the Vikings to move up for one of the top three QBs in the draft.

So if you can't move up to get a franchise-changing quarterback, why stay put when there are so many holes to fill? Why not trade back and accumulate picks to be able to fill more holes? Especially on the defensive side of the ball.

"I think you have to do what Buffalo did. I think that this is the Tyrod Taylor situation, or Alex Smith. The Chiefs, when they were 2-14 and they had the first pick that was the Geno Smith and EJ Manuel year. They ended up [drafting] Eric Fischer and kept waiting," said Eager on Monday's Purple Insider podcast with Matthew Coller. 

In 2012, the Chiefs went 2-14 and had the first overall pick. After watching Matt Cassell and Brady Quinn struggle, the logical choice was to take a QB with the first overall pick. Problem was the top QBs in that draft, Geno Smith and EJ Manual, weren't first overall talents. Kansas City decided to trade for 49ers QB Alex Smith before the draft to fix their quarterback issue, then used the draft to fill other holes, including future hall of famer Travis Kelce in the third round.

The Chiefs then rattled off an 11-5 record in 2013 with Smith at the helm and bided their time until pulling the trigger in 2017 and drafting Patrick Mahomes. You know what happened next.

"I think that given where [the Vikings are], in my opinion you're going to probably get (Caleb) Williams or (Drake) Maye, one and two, and I think Jayden Daniels is kind of in that three range," Eager said. "Jayden Daniels has some sack avoidance issues where I wouldn't necessarily draft him third. Then you've got your preference between Michael Penix Jr., Bo Nix and guys like that, but I don't know that the league is as high on some of those [guys]."

With the amount of talented quarterbacks in this draft the Vikings shouldn't necessarily feel too much pressure to trade up. If they're comfortable with the second wave of QBs, the Penix and Nix level, then, Eager argues, it's better to trade back, accumulate more picks and still take your quarterback.

"My thing is, lean into the uncertainty," he said. "Make Washington take Drake Maye. Make Chicago take Caleb Williams. Make them be more certain than you. [The Vikings] have [picks] 11 and [42]. Make those two picks 17, 32, 52 and 60, you know what I'm saying? Make those that and then take Bo Nix, who has a really good sack rate."

Bo Nix

Jan 1, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws against the Liberty Flames during the second quarter of the 2024 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium.

Minnesota enters the draft with only two top-100 picks. The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, who are still alive in the playoffs, each have four top-100 picks. So, not only were they better than Minnesota this season and now look set up to compete for a while, they also have the draft capital to stay ahead, and possibly pull further ahead. 

"Then have Bo Nix, have Jaren Hall, have a veteran there, there's a lot of good veterans in free agency this year," says Eager. "And go into the year, or go into the year with Nick Mullens. Nick Mullens is a fun quarterback, an entertaining quarterback and this is an entertainment product. You're not going to win with Kirk Cousins this year. You're not going to win with Nick Mullens this year. The only way you're going to win is with a young quarterback and you're not going to be able to access a young quarterback this year that's going to be an elite, blue chip guy. So, that would be my prescription, would be punt on trying to get one of the truly elite guys this year and build up the war chest for the next few years."