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The Godfather sends the Vikings their franchise QB without trading up

The Minnesota Vikings are hot on the trail of a quarterback of the future. After acquiring 23 overall from the Houston Texans, that idea has picked up even more steam.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released his third mock draft of the 2024 draft cycle with the Vikings getting their quarterback of the future in Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. Here’s the catch: they didn’t have to trade up for him.

The Vikings are now the most interesting team in this draft. They just acquired another first-round pick in a deal with the Texans (No. 23), giving them the capital to move up and take a quarterback if they got the opportunity. But how far could they move up? Remember, it takes two sides to make a trade. Would the Giants want to risk missing out on one of the top receivers? Would the Titans want to risk missing out on their preferred tackle? Would the Falcons or Bears want to risk not getting the edge rusher they like? There’s not an easy match, unless Minnesota is willing to give up a lot of future picks, which is certainly possible.

In this scenario, the Vikings could land their quarterback of the future anyway. With Kirk Cousins gone and Sam Darnold added on a one-year deal, it’s clear they have to add competition. All sides point to that competition coming from a rookie. McCarthy is the No. 21 prospect on my Big Board, but I can see why some teams would covet him much higher. He has intriguing physical traits and can make every throw. Either way, if Minnesota really wants to try to move up in Round 1 for a quarterback, I could see it waiting until draft day to see how the board shakes out.

There is a real chance that the Vikings could end up with McCarthy and not trade up but it’s not a risk that is worth taking.

Kiper follows it up at 23 by focusing on the secondary with Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean.

We’re back around to the Vikings, who acquired this pick in a deal with the Texans last week. I gave them a Kirk Cousins replacement at No. 11, and if they’re keeping this selection, they have to address a secondary which ranked 28th in passing yards allowed to receivers (3,019) last season. I like the front-seven additions of Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel, but Minnesota hasn’t made moves at cornerback.

I’m a huge fan of DeJean, who’s still recovering from a broken leg suffered in November. He’s a ball hawk — he had seven interceptions over his final 23 college games — with excellent technique. He also isn’t afraid of sticking his head in and making a tackle.

Taking a cornerback makes a lot of sense but DeJean doesn’t seem to be a great fit. He isn’t primarily a man coverage cornerback and might end up being best as a safety.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire