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Forget trading up to draft a QB, Vikings should wait until second round

The Vikings have never chosen a quarterback with a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft, even though they have made 18 picks in their history that were that high.

It's tempting to think this might be the year that changes. While the Vikings currently hold the No. 11 pick, just outside the top 10, there is a school of thought suggesting they could try to make a big swing and trade up to land Kirk Cousins' replacement.

The problem with that, as I've written before, is that three quarterbacks are considered worthy of top-10 picks this year, and the three teams at the very top of the draft all need QBs.

It's entirely possible that Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are chosen with the top three picks by the Bears, Commanders and Patriots. Why would any of those teams pass up the chance to get one of those QBs, even if the Vikings were offering a lot in return?

As such, it might be more practical to start thinking about the next tier of quarterbacks when imagining how the Vikings could add their QB of the future in this year's draft — something I talked about on Tuesday's Daily Delivery podcast.

Two recent pieces via ESPN have me thinking this way (Insider subscription required).

First, talent evaluators took a look at the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl and tried to determine where they slot into the draft. While likely first-round pick J.J. McCarthy of Michigan was not in the mix because he's an underclassman, two QBs the Vikings could target — Bo Nix of Oregon and Michael Penix Jr. of Washington — were part of the assessment.

Nix is projected to go anywhere from the latter part of the first round to the top of round three. The most likely, per the assessment: early-to-middle second round. That's exactly where the Vikings are, with pick 42.

Penix, meanwhile, is also most likely to be a second-round pick. That brings me to the second ESPN piece, where draft analyst Matt Miller has Penix going to the Vikings at No. 42 in his most recent two-round mock draft. He writes:

Injury and durability questions push him to the Vikings. It's great news for Minnesota, where Kirk Cousins is set to become a 35-year-old free agent coming off an Achilles injury. Penix can be the quarterback-in-waiting if Cousins is re-signed, or the immediate starter if he is not.

Obviously a lot can happen between now and late April. All it takes is one team to love a quarterback, and suddenly he's off the board. But if the Vikings liked (or loved) one of those two quarterbacks, he could simply be there at No. 42. That would allow Minnesota a lot more flexibility at No. 11.

And it would keep alive the strange franchise streak of never drafting a QB in the top 10.

Here are four more things to know today:

The Star Tribune's Phil Miller was my guest on Tuesday's podcast. He offered great perspectives on the new deal with Bally Sports North, the signing of Carlos Santana and the Pohlad ownership legacy.If Creed got a lot of the credit for the Vikings' success in the middle of last season, should they take the blame for their late season tailspin?Even having a conversation about the NCAA tournament is a new thing for the Gophers men's basketball program under Ben Johnson.Star Tribune soccer writer Jerry Zgoda is expected to join Wednesday's podcast to talk about Minnesota United as the season quickly approaches without a new head coach.