ESPN Draft Insider Cautions Minnesota Vikings About Big Move

JJ McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings are rumored to be interested in trading up in the NFL Draft to select University of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, but ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. isn’t a fan of the idea.

The Vikings currently own the 11th and 23rd overall picks of the first round, with the second selection coming courtesy of a trade with the Houston Texans earlier this offseason.

The buzz right now is that Minnesota wants to package those picks to move up to the Los Angeles Chargers’ spot at No. 5 to take McCarthy.

“Little bit [concerned]. It is overdrafting a quarterback,” Kiper said this week. “I had him at 14. I know others have him even lower than that. So, that protects you against doing exactly that, but Minnesota made that move to get 11 and 23, the 23rd pick for a reason, to move up.”

McCarthy just won a national title at Michigan and is coming off of a season in which he threw for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 72.3 percent of his passes.

While some like McCarthy’s intangibles, many are singling out his physical limitations.

“But certainly for J.J. I do think it’s a little high at that spot in terms of the elite players in this draft,” added Kiper. “I think he’s more of a mid-first. So, if you grade him there, like I do, you don’t take him up in that rarefied air of the top five or six of the first round.”

The Vikings lost Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, so they are in need of a signal-caller. They did sign Sam Darnold, but Darnold is nothing more than a solid backup or a potential bridge starter.

That means Minnesota will almost certainly be taking a quarterback in the first round of the draft later this month, but evidently, Kiper does not think McCarthy is the answer.

Kiper is hardly alone, either.

The problem is that while this NFL Draft class runs very deep with top quarterback prospects such as Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels, none of those guys may be on the board at No. 5.

But even then, perhaps the Vikings can take a less expensive route to selecting McCarthy that does not involve trading a pair of first-round picks.

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