Vikings set the new land top QB on brutal job due to the favorite team fit…

At pick No. 11, the Vikings were named the elite quarterback’s “favorite team fit.

However, Matt Bowen of ESPN on Friday, April 5, named the Vikings as his “favorite team fit” for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy and added that they may be able to procure him without making a costly move up the draft board. The Minnesota Vikings are likely going to add to the QB room behind Sam Darnold via the NFL draft, but with which player at which pick remain open questions that carry serious implications. Minnesota owns the No. 11 overall selection and if the team doesn’t trade up, that decision will significantly limit its potential to land one of the top three or four prospects at the position in a talented 2024 class.

The Vikings can set up McCarthy as a distributor in Kevin O’Connell’s defined passing game, using play-action concepts to put him in a position to throw with better timing and rhythm. McCarthy completed 76.3% of his play-action passes last season, putting up a Total QBR of 90.4. Those are outstanding numbers, and the fit works perfectly in Minnesota.

Plus, McCarthy has the second-reaction skills as a passer to make plays outside of structure when necessary. He can use his legs to create throwing windows. The Vikings added veteran Sam Darnold in free agency, but McCarthy could be their long-term starter.

McCarthy’s draft stock has risen since he led the Wolverines to a national title in January, which could make trying to land him without trading up difficult for Minnesota. Part of his ascent is due to an impressive showing at the NFL Combine, while part of it is tied to the need several teams have for a franchise quarterback in this year’s draft.

The Chicago Bears appear likely to select Caleb Williams with the first overall pick, though the picture muddles after that. Part of that opaqueness is purposeful, as teams like the Washington Commanders at No. 2 and the New England Patriots at No. 3 can benefit from engaging in subterfuge — inflating or flat out creating interest in prospects to extract more value in trade discussions with organizations like Minnesota.

Darren Wolfson of KSTP reported potential interest in McCarthy on behalf of the Commanders in late March, while noting in the same report that others close to the situation believe the man in Washington will almost certainly be Jayden Daniels.

Approximately a week and a half later, former Vikings linebacker and current KFAN analyst Ben Leber accused the Patriots of fabricating interest in McCarthy to manipulate the Vikings into offering more in a trade talks to move up to the No. 3 pick.


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