Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Getty General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (L) and Head coach Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings have made a series of critical decisions this offseason, both in who to let go and who to bring back for next season. They are about to make another. The NFL draft is the next landmark event on the calendar.

Vikings quarterbacks coach Josh McCown has been the team’s top liaison at the various pro days where the class’ top prospects put their wares on display one last time in front of various eyes.

From here, it will be 30 visits, which could tell a lot about the team’s true intentions.

If Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan has his way, the Vikings will come away with LSU’s Jayden Daniels.

“Here is my personal quarterback ranking for this draft: 1. Jayden Daniels, LSU; 2. Caleb Williams, USC; 3. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan; 4. Michael Penix Jr., Washington; 5. Drake Maye, North Carolina; 6. Bo Nix, Oregon,” Souhan wrote on March 30.

“If the Vikings can land McCarthy, that’s a win. If the top teams are foolish enough not to take Daniels, or allow him to slide, the Vikings should do everything in their power to trade up and take him. He’s more talented than Williams and has fewer question marks attached to him. He could be this year’s C.J. Stroud.”

Stroud put together a season that sparked debates about it being the best in NFL history.

The former No. 2 overall pick completed 63.9% of his passes for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns, and five interceptions for the Houston Texans last season.

He joined Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and former NFL passer Robert Griffin III – the No. 2 overall pick in 2012 – as the only rookies to throw at least 20 touchdowns and five or fewer interceptions, per Stathead.

A trade would be worth it if the Vikings brass feels strongly that Daniels can replicate that.

Vikings’ Planned Meeting With Jayden Daniels Fell Through Amid Coach’s Comments

Jayden Daniels, Minnesota VikingsJayden Daniels, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJayden Daniels #5 of the LSU Tigers.

Daniels completed 72.2% of his passes for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns with four interceptions last season en route to the Heisman trophy.

Some within the Vikings organization have an affinity for Daniels, wanting to pair him with fellow former LSU Tiger Justin Jefferson as the latter enters a contract year, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano on February 10.

They planned for a private meeting after Daniels’ pro day, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on March 27.

KTSP’s Darren Wolfson reported that the meeting never occurred.

In a potential slip of the tongue, LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly said at the Tigers’ pro day that Daniels would be playing for the Washington Commanders while trying to downplay concerns over the quarterback’s slight frame.

Washington owns the No. 2 overall pick and their plans are as unclear as any other team’s.

There was a new round of concerns over Daniels after pictures of his elbow went viral. He downplayed the concern, but he did not explain away a potential medical condition.

Souhan’s suggestion over Daniels came after assessing the Vikings’ other offseason moves with mixed reaction. At the top of the list was letting Kirk Cousins leave for the Atlanta Falcons in free agency.

Vikings Facing Era-Defining Decision Amid Trade Rumors

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota VikingsKwesi Adofo-Mensah, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (L) and Head Coach Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

Souhan argues the Vikings were wise not to try matching or beating the four-year, $180 million contract Cousins signed with the Falcons.

Danielle Hunter’s exit was a “mistake,” though Souhan noted they did well to “mitigate” his loss.

The Vikings signed three players – Blake Cashman, Jonathan Greenard, and Andrew Van Ginkel – for less than the Texans will pay Hunter in 2024. And they poached Cashman and Greenard from the Texans in free agency.

Souhan agreed with the Vikings’ efforts to re-sign Jefferson, who could reset the market for non-quarterbacks with his next deal.

He also noted Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores‘ staying put was a boon.

It all comes back to the quarterback position for the Vikings brain trust of General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Head Coach Kevin O’Connell, who Souhan says are on a path to a decision that will either get them fired or earn new contracts.

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