The Minnesota Vikings Could Be Angling to Keep Both First Round Picks in the 2024 NFL Draft

The Minnesota Vikings made a huge trade with the Houston Texans in March to acquire their No. 23 overall pick and No. 232 overall pick in exchange for the Vikings sending over the No. 44 overall and No. 188 overall. The deal also includes a second-round selection in the 2025 NFL Draft.

Many believed the move to acquire two first-round picks was solely based on the Vikings needing a quarterback. With quality prospects like UNC’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy likely going as top-five picks, Minnesota would have to leapfrog from No. 11 overall to around No. 4 or No. 5. That leap would likely cost them both first-round picks, along with extra compensation.

Minnesota vikings Quarterback Nick Mullens
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 07: Nick Mullens #12 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball up the field during the first half of a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 07,…

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The consensus in terms of mock drafts by analysts indicates the Vikings are aiming to either trade with the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 or the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5. Despite the mock drafts all indicating the Vikings trading up in some way, a new rumor indicates they might not trade up after all.

Longtime NFL insider Jordan Schultz indicated on Twitter/X that the Vikings are, “More likely to keep 11+23 at this point, though they continue to explore all options.” This could just be the team’s attempt to cause some smokescreen trickery, but then again — having two first-round picks is very valuable.

The Vikings might not have to trade up to land a quarterback prospect. At No. 11 overall, they could end up landing someone like Oregon’s Bo Nix. Nix hasn’t received the same hype as McCarthy or Maye, but he is still a viable option for a team wanting to take a more measured approach in allowing said quarterback to develop through more than one season.

Nix might also be a day-one starter, but it will be determined how he manages OTAs, training camp, and preseason. Teams might hope for someone like McCarthy to be NFL-ready, but that is not always the case.

The Vikings having the No. 11 and No. 23 overall picks means they can also presumably find two good players, both of which might be day-one starters. The value of having two first-round picks is huge. Minnesota is being smart in rethinking its strategy of moving up and giving away too much draft capital for a quarterback that might or might not pan out.

Most teams like to create smokescreens to thwart other teams from knowing their true plans, and Schultz learning this about the Vikings from sources could have been intentional. The simple fact is Minnesota needs a quarterback, and they are likely going to have to make a deal to get past other quarterback-hungry teams like the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, and Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday.