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Vikings pick trade fuels speculation they plan to draft Drake Maye

"If [Drake Maye] goes to Minnesota, he will be a stud."

The Vikings trading for a second first-round pick in this year's draft has predictably sent the NFL world into speculation overdrive.

Friday morning the Vikings completed a five pick swap with the Houston Texans that saw Minnesota acquire the No. 23 overall pick in April's draft. Now, with two first-round picks, the Vikings are instant frontrunners in the race to move up in the draft to select one of the talented QBs in the 2024 class.

Naturally this has led to feverish speculation over who the Vikings are gunning for, but North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye is the most popular choice among analysts.

The Ringer's Bill Simmons seemed to think the Patriots are prime candidates as a trade partner, which would send the Vikings up to No. 3 and likely the choice of whomever the Washington Commanders don't take out of Jayden Daniels, Maye, and JJ McCarthy (assuming Caleb Williams goes No. 1 to the Chicago Bears."

"Feels like the Pats are a '3rd pick and a 2025 4th to Minnesota for the 11th and 23rd picks and a 2025 1st' trade waiting to happen. I’m just glad we have an interim GM, a brand new coach and an 82 year old owner trying to figure this out," Simmons tweeted Friday.

Former ESPN draft expert Todd McShay suggested the Vikings don't make the trade for No. 23 if they haven't already had conversations with a team about a trade up.

"The Vikings don’t make this move unless they’ve already had serious discussions with a specific team re: what it will take to move up for the QB they desire (presumably not named Caleb or Jayden). So is it NE at 3 (for Maye)? Or a team picking a couple/few spots down (for JJ)," McShay said.

Brett Kollmann pointed out that new Vikings quarterback coach Josh McCown was Drake Maye's high school coach. Maye is considered one of the top prospects in the draft.

CBS' Pete Prisco tweeted, "Word around the league is [the Vikings] like Maye."

Maye passed for 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions for North Carolina in 2023. The 6-foot-5 QB broke out in 2022 when he surpassed 4,000 yards throwing while passing for 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

He is among a group of four QBs – the others being Williams, Daniels and McCarthy – heavily touted as going among the top four picks.

Drake Maye

ESPN's Dan Orlovsky told Pat McAfee Friday that he thinks "Minnesota will trade up to get Drake Maye." 

"That's the guy I think Minnesota wants," Orlovsky said. "I think Minnesota wants to go get Drake Maye... Here's the reality, most of these first-round quarterbacks, if they go to Minnesota, are going to be really good. Especially if they keep Justin Jefferson.

"Kevin [O'Connell]'s great, the offensive line is great, [Jordan] Addison is an awesome No. 2, [T.J.] Hockenson's a stud. I think Minnesota made those trades because they want to go get Drake Maye.... If this young man goes to Minnesota he will be a stud."