Report: There’s ‘considerable buzz’ about Vikings trading up for J.J. McCarthy or other QB

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Per ESPN’s Matt Miller, “considerable buzz” exists about the premise that the Minnesota Vikings are aiming to trade up into the top five of the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft in order to draft J.J. McCarthy or another prospect at the quarterback position.

“With [Kirk] Cousins in Atlanta and Russell Wilson in Pittsburgh, the Vikings (No. 11) and [Denver] Broncos (No. 12) are trade-up candidates,” Miller wrote. There is considerable buzz about Minnesota trying to move into the top five to secure a quarterback such as McCarthy or potentially [Drake] Maye/[Jayden] Daniels if either falls past New England. Friday saw the Vikings make a move to add an additional first-round selection (No. 23) from the [Houston] Texans — in exchange for 2024 second- and sixth-round picks, plus a 2025 second-rounder. With two first-round picks, the Vikings now own the draft capital to fly up the board for a quarterback. The latest leaguewide rumor has the Vikings trading to No. 4 overall, where the [Arizona] Cardinals are in a sweet spot to trade out with a quarterback-needy team.”

The Vikings began the 2023 regular season with Cousins — who just recently signed a lucrative four-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons — as their starting quarterback. Cousins played in the team’s first eight games of the season and totaled 2,231 passing yards, 112 first downs passing and 18 passing touchdowns compared to just five interceptions.

He threw for a season-high 378 yards to go along with two touchdowns while completing all but 10 of his 45 pass attempts in a win over the San Francisco 49ers — who went on to reach the Super Bowl — back on Oct. 23. That was perhaps his best performance of the season.

But in the Vikings’ very next game against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 29, Cousins suffered a ruptured Achilles and had to sit out for the rest of the season.

After the Vikings lost Cousins due to his Achilles injury, Minnesota experimented with several different quarterbacks, as Joshua Dobbs, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall all received starts at the position across the last nine games of the regular season.

But the three players weren’t particularly productive, as none of the signal-callers threw more touchdowns than interceptions on the season. Mullens, who logged three starts for the Vikings, threw seven touchdowns compared to eight interceptions in his second season in Minnesota.

It’s easy to see why the Vikings are allegedly interested in drafting McCarthy, as he was one of the most productive quarterbacks in all of college football in the 2023 season. The 21-year-old accumulated 2,991 passing yards and 22 passing touchdowns across 15 games played in his third season at the University of Michigan.

Vikings fans will have to wait a little while to find out who the team will draft and if it will draft a quarterback, as the 2024 NFL Draft doesn’t begin until next month.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.