The Minnesota Vikings traded for QB Josh Dobbs after Kirk Cousins’ season-ending Achilles tendon injury, but he is unlikely to determine the future of the franchise.
Because of that, and the uncertainty surrounding rookie fifth-rounder Jaren Hall, who will start his first NFL game at quarterback this weekend on the road against the Atlanta Falcons, the Vikings find themselves in the same spot they were in the second half last season – positioned to select a signal caller in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Bleacher Report’s NFL Scouting Team predicted on Wednesday, November 1st that Minnesota will select QB JJ McCarthy from the University of Michigan. If the draft started today, the Vikings would be selected 20th overall.
Quarterback was already high on the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason priority list with Kirk Cousins expected to become a free agent.
The options aren’t great at this point, but Michigan’s JJ McCarthy has them [shown] steady improvement since becoming a starter for the Wolverines. He won’t impress anyone in the same way as a Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, but there’s an endearing quality to his ability to operate within the system and extend some plays when needed.
JJ McCarthy is primed to run Kevin O’Connell’s offense for the Vikings
McCarthy is one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy in his junior season. The Wolverines are 8-0 and poised to return to the College Football Playoff for the third straight season.
McCarthy leads the nation with a QBR of 93.8. per ESPN. He has accumulated 1,799 passing yards and 18 touchdowns this season compared to just 3 interceptions. The QB also rushed the ball 33 times for 168 yards and 3 scores.
“If the Vikings want to maintain their offensive structure, McCarthy is their best option.” Derrick Klassen of Bleacher Report wrote. “He has a lot of experience working under headquarters. He’s comfortable turning his back on defense or shooting from the pocket, all of which Kevin O’Connell’s offense would require of him. McCarthy is also an accurate passer. He doesn’t have the same speed or range as Cousins, but he can get the ball where it needs to go enough.”
Despite not having the strongest arm, Klassen claimed that McCarthy’s most problematic attribute heading into the NFL was his physical condition.
“The 20-year-old’s biggest problem is his size,” Classes continued. “He is listed as being 1.80 m tall and weighing 90 kg, which gives him an unusually slim build for the position. But he’s young enough to add a little more mass as he matures.”
The Vikings haven’t ruled out Kirk Cousins returning in 2024
While McCarthy could make sense for Minnesota’s future, team leadership has not yet ruled out a return for Kirk Cousins next season.
General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spoke with the media on Wednesday and said all options remain on the table when it comes to Cousins’ future with the Vikings.
When we first broke off the conversation, Kirk’s options were still open. Coming back was one of the really good options we had, so he’s played so well the last four games…we expected him to make that move in his second year (with Coach O’Connell).
Kevin and I have said this in the past, so it was more our expectation that a good player would become more familiar with the system and take responsibility for it. It’s really unfortunate that it happened, but again, like before the injury, all options are open to us.
Kirk played great. My desire for Kirk to come back isn’t just me. It’s a negotiation. They come together at the table and see if everything fits together, and we will have that dialogue when it does.
Cousins produced 2,331 yards and 18 touchdowns in eight games this season, a league-high 69.5%. Pro Football Reference. He also led the NFL in both attempts (311) and completions (216). His overall numbers put him on track for his third straight Pro Bowl selection and the fifth of his 12-year NFL career.
The Vikings had the opportunity to extend the 35-year-old quarterback to multi-year contracts in each of the last two offseasons, although Adofo-Mensah opted to offer Cousins a one-year deal. 35 million dollars He extended his contract through 2023 before the 2022 season and did not add any years or money to his contract last offseason. Therefore, Cousins is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in March.
Max Dible covers the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors for Heavy.com. He covered local and national news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for BigIslandNow.com and Pacific Media Group’s family of Big Island radio stations before joining Heavy. More about Max Dible
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