Minnesota Vikings mock draft: What would it take to trade up for Drake Maye?

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While their division-rival Bears are in control of the 2024 NFL Draft board, much is out of the Minnesota Vikings‘ control this year.

It’s a frustrating place to be if you’re a Vikings fan. The departure of Kirk Cousins in free agency has left them with no choice but to find a quarterback in this year’s draft, and their proverbial backs are against the wall. 

The good news? It’s a great quarterback class. The bad news? Minnesota’s first pick isn’t until No. 11. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has done his best to arm Minnesota with everything they’d need to get their guy, though. He already pulled off a trade with the Houston Texans to acquire No. 23 overall to make the Vikings one of three teams with multiple first-round picks and the only team in the group (besides Chicago, picking first) that needs a quarterback. 

Getting into the top five, potentially even the top three, isn’t going to be easy. Plus, Minnesota isn’t the only team in need of a signal caller that may be trying to trade up — both Denver and Las Vegas come to mind. That likely means wherever the Vikings find a trade partner, they’ll likely have to overpay.

Regardless, there figures to be some movement at the top of Minnesota’s draft. How far will depend on teams in the top five playing ball.

Original Vikings 2024 picks: 11, 23, 108, 129, 157, 167, 177, 230, 232

Round 1 (No. 3 overall): QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

Vikings trade picks No. 11, No. 23, No. 129, 2025 No. 1 pick to Patriots for pick No. 3

This is the absolute best-case scenario for the Vikings — not necessarily the most likely. But it’s my mock and I want to envision a world where Maye gets to play in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. We’ve also heard a lot of chatter as to how much Minnesota likes Maye. In this pretend scenario, the Commanders decided to take Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall and the New England Patriots were self-aware enough to know they aren’t equipped to set up a young quarterback for success right now. 

They instead decide to take a haul and the Vikings give them one. Not only does Minnesota have to part with both of their first-round picks this year to move up, but they also have to give up pick No. 129 and a future first-round pick in 2025. It’s rich, yes. But it will be worth it if Maye lives up to his full potential and becomes the Vikings’ quarterback of the future.

Maye has a good feel for the pocket but can also create outside of it. His athleticism continues to be underrated and his floor is one of the highest in this class. Maye would be a younger, more mobile Kirk Cousins on a rookie deal that would mitigate the perceived impact of parting with so much draft capital.

Where does Drake Maye rank among Joel Klatt’s top 50 prospects?

Round 4 (No. 108 overall): C/G Beaux Limmer, Arkansas

Now that the big quarterback question is out of the way, Minnesota breathes a sigh of relief and stays patient until Day 3. From here, it’s about value. Limmer being on the board helps the Vikings add to their offensive-line depth to insulate against injury. Limmer was a four-year starter at Arkansas and considered the strongest guy on the team by his teammates, according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. He was also a guard for most of his career, providing swing-guard potential at the next level.

Round 5 (No. 157 overall): CB Josh Newton, TCU

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah gets to cook here, with the bulk of Vikings’ picks coming on day three. Newton is a great rotational piece, having experience both at outside corner and inside in the slot. The Vikings run a relatively zone-heavy system, deploying some type of zone coverage 76.7% of the time last season, according to Next Gen Stats. That works well with Newton’s skillset and gives Minnesota great value at a versatile piece.

Herd Hierarchy: Vikings, Packers, Rams leap into Colin’s top 10 teams post-free agency

Round 5 (No. 167 overall): DT Tyler Davis, Clemson

The Vikings could stand to add to the defensive interior rotation, which works out with Davis still being on the board. At 6-foot-2 and 301 pounds, Davis isn’t the biggest defensive tackle, but he’s strong at the point of attack. He has a quick get-off, too, according to Brugler. Adding a fifth-round player who be firmly in the rotation along the defensive line would be a win for Minnesota.

Round 6 (No. 177 overall): TE Jaheim Bell, Florida State

The Vikings have one of the best tight ends in the league in T.J. Hockenson, who was the picture of reliability for Cousins before he got injured last season. Hockenson was a crucial part of Minnesota’s offense, too. He was targeted 26.6% of the time, the second-highest workload of any tight end in the league, which translated to the second-most receptions at 95. The Vikings are likely going to want to lighten that load on a player who is coming off an ACL tear and Bell could help them do so.

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Round 7 (No. 230 overall): S Omar Brown, Nebraska

Brown grew up in the Minneapolis area and he has scheme versatility, having also played nickel at Nebraska. There isn’t much to lose taking a hometown kid in the seventh round.

Round 7 (No. 232 overall): T Brandon Coleman, TCU

The Vikings have two fantastic bookend tackles in Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill but a little depth couldn’t hurt. Coleman would be a steal, based on The Athletic’s tackle rankings. Brugler has him as his ninth-ranked tackle and one who could be taken as high as the second or third round so getting him here would be outstanding value, if not a little unrealistic.

Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen had previous stops with The Draft Network and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, including 2020, which added the title of Super Bowl Champion (and boat-parade participant) to her résumé. You can follow Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.

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