Vikings Urged to Make Blockbuster Trade for Dynamic Dual-Threat QB - Sport News

Vikings Urged to Make Blockbuster Trade for Dynamic Dual-Threat QB

The Minnesota Vikings have a bid to land one of the top-four quarterbacks in this year’s draft — and Pro Football Focus (PFF) has pushed their vote for it to be Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

PFF analyst Brad Spielberger put the Vikings atop of his list of “six first-round trades we want to see,” pitching Minnesota to deal the No. 11 and No. 23 picks along with a 2025 third-round pick in exchange for the No. 5 overall pick from the Los Angeles Chargers to land McCarthy.

“We’d be shocked if Minnesota is not making a selection in the top six picks for one of the four primary quarterback prospects, and we continue here matching them with J.J. McCarthy,” Speilberger wrote. “McCarthy gets some criticism for his lack of passing volume, but he has the arm strength to throw deep and attack tight windows at the intermediate level, with his 80.0% adjusted completion percentage in 2023 ranking as the sixth-best mark in college football. The one concern from the tape is there aren’t a ton of touch throws and different trajectories/velocities, but many college quarterbacks lean on the fastball a bit too much.”

Spielberger added that McCarthy’s athleticism offers some upside to scheme the 23-year-old quarterback into the running game as well.

“McCarthy is also a good athlete who can take off on a scramble or weaponize his legs on zone read. As a runner, he understands how to let his blocks set up, get to the edge and avoid taking big hits,” Spielberger wrote.

Vikings Spending Significant Time With Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

JJ McCarthy

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s absence at Michigan’s pro day caused a stir — however, the Vikings brass are focusing their efforts on private meetings with this year’s top quarterback prospects.

“My understanding is, the Vikings will opt for private workouts with a lot fo these QBs, ” Star Tribune beat reporter Ben Goessling said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “Gives them more opportunities to structure workouts based on what they want to evaluate.”

While at the NFL owners’ meetings in Orlando, Florida, O’Connell revealed that he will be spending not just an afternoon, but multiple days with McCarthy this week.

“Looking forward to spending some time with him over the next few days and getting to know him” he told KFAN host Paul Allen on March 26.

Inside the Vikings’ Private Meetings With QB Prospects

Why the need for multiple days with McCarthy in Ann Arbor? The Vikings are not only looking to take a deep dive in their evaluation of the quarterback, but also the person.

“During an interview session with Twin Cities reporters at the owners’ meetings on Monday, O’Connell laid out something of a manifesto for how the Vikings will build their quarterback position after Kirk Cousins’ departure,” Goessling wrote on March 26. “They will prioritize private meetings — where they can walk a possible draft pick through their offense and immediately ask him to perform elements of it on the field — over pro days where they don’t control the script. They will use on-field mistakes to see how a QB responds to coaching, and observe a player’s interactions during on-campus lunches to gauge how he handles the spotlight inherent to the position.”

The process goes beyond scouting and feels more like speed dating with a four-year trial marriage at stake. But if the Vikings brass picks right, they could be looking at their quarterback for the next decade.

“I want to see how they interact with folks,” O’Connell told local beat reporters, “because building-changing quarterbacks, they don’t just change the facilities. Any room they ever walk into, they light it up. They change it, they impact it and I think you can see that on display in an authentic way when you do the full process with those trips.”

The gravity of the Vikings’ selection at quarterback has not been lost on O’Connell, who said he is keeping Justin Jefferson, who is poised to reach a record-breaking extension this offseason, privy to the decision throughout this spring.

“When you’re selecting a quarterback of the future, with guys like Justin, Jordan [Addison], T.J. [Hockenson], our passing game thrives off of accuracy, rhythm, timing. Some of the traits that show up on these guys’ tapes, you get really excited about that,” O’Connell said. “But it’s also about toughness, football intelligence, the leadership traits I’m looking for, to take what I believe is one of the strongest locker rooms in the NFL and take it to an even better place as a young player. That’s a dynamic person you’re talking about.”

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