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Scoggins: Worried about costly trade up in draft for QB? Vikings bosses shouldn't be.

The Vikings will finish Thursday night with a new quarterback. That seems like a given by now. Because if not, then what?

The big reveal is finally here, the culmination of what Vikings leaders describe as a two-year process of watching, analyzing and scrutinizing the group of quarterback prospects available in the draft.

Months of speculation and subterfuge will finally give way to three answers: which one, at what pick, for what cost?

Hyperbole be damned, this is a defining moment for the organization. A defining moment for the leadership tandem of General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell. A moment to determine if this regime can solve the franchise quarterback conundrum that has plagued the organization for far too long.

If Adofo-Mensah is feeling equal parts exhilarated and anxious, let the words of fellow GM Brandon Beane of the Buffalo Bills provide comfort and a guiding light. Talking to reporters at the scouting combine, Beane laid out his thought process in moving up in the first round to select Josh Allen back in 2018.

"We got criticized a little bit for how much we gave up for Josh," Beane said. "I'm like, well, if he doesn't work out, I'm not going to be here anyway. And if he does work out, nobody is going to [care about the price]."

He used a more colorful word choice for care. And his candor was spot-on.

Drafting a quarterback in the first round — particularly in the Top 10 — is a franchise-altering decision. Jobs and legacies often get attached to the results of that pick.

The high failure rate of NFL quarterbacks brings enormous risk, but Adofo-Mensah already knows the cost of being unwilling to accept that risk.

"At the end of the day, you've got to ask yourself, 'Am I going to regret not doing this trade?'" Adofo-Mensah said at his final pre-draft press conference. "If that player gets picked this spot, whatever this spot is, and I was willing to give up this — can I sleep at night?' That's how we've got to look at the board in every place."

In simpler terms: The Vikings need to play offense and not sit back and hope the quarterback — or multiple quarterbacks — they have targeted will be available when they are on the clock at No. 11.

That will be too late.

They must operate under the strong belief that two quarterback-needy teams behind them — the Broncos and Raiders — will act super-aggressive in trying to move up to take one of the top quarterbacks. Other teams might jump into the fray too.

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The draft capital required to trade up to No. 3 or 4 or 5 will be expensive. Parting with multiple first-round picks is never pain-free. But no position in professional sports is more important — or more difficult to get right — than quarterback. If the Vikings find The Guy, nobody should care about the cost.

And if they make the choice wrong, the clean-up will likely become somebody else's problem down the line.

Adofo-Mensah is sitting down at a high-stakes poker game Thursday night. The Vikings desperately need a quarterback. Other teams know it. Adofo-Mensah floated the notion of being smitten with more than one QB. If true, that gives the Vikings some leverage and flexibility in trade talks.

This is where trust in O'Connell's evaluation is paramount. O'Connell played quarterback in the NFL, has coached that position his entire career and knows what skillset best fits his offensive system. This is partly why he was hired as head coach: for this exact moment, to identify the right quarterback, even if history is littered with painful reminders of smart football people drafting quarterbacks in the first round that fail spectacularly.

That doesn't mean the Vikings should be scared off by ghost stories or sticker shock. If they are sold on Drake Maye, sending both first-round picks and their first-rounder next season in a trade-up is not asking too much. Or for Jayden Daniels if Washington foolishly passes on him at No. 2.

Adofo-Mensah mentioned having "walkaway prices" and that line likely depends on the Vikings' belief in other quarterbacks. Would they be happy with J.J. McCarthy at a lesser cost? Or Michael Penix Jr.? Again, O'Connell's evaluation provides guidance.

Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell have spent two years working on this decision. Being aggressive is necessary. They cannot afford to wake up Friday with regret.