Vikings look to be loading up for Patriots draft day trade

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Free agency may be well underway, but the NFL Draft continues to be on the minds of most fans and teams, so much so that one big trade has already taken place to kick off a new set of rumors.

Early Friday morning, it was announced that the Vikings and Texans were swapping some picks in the upcoming draft. Minnesota was sending Houston this year's 42nd and 188th overall picks, along with a second-rounder in 2025, in exchange for the 23rd and 232nd overall selections.

It wasn't a complete shock to see the Vikings involved in a trade-up, given the speculation regarding their desire to move into the top-3 picks for a quarterback. But it did prompt another rumor that involves the Patriots.

Vikings look to be loading up for Patriots draft day trade

With their eyes set on either Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye to replace Kirk Cousins, the Patriots have become the primary team rumored to be a trade target for the Vikings. Because it seems clear that the Bears will take Caleb Williams first overall, they'll have to swap with the Commanders with the second pick or the Patriots at three to ensure they land a player they want.

Of course, the Patriots are reportedly eyeing a quarterback as well, but who that might be remains a question. That has brought on the debate of whether they would be more willing to trade down if the quarterback they want is no longer on the board once they're on the clock, and it looks like the Vikings would be the perfect trade partner to do so.

If that happens, they could get a decent haul by trading down.

The Vikings now hold the 11th and 23rd picks in the first round, which would be the foundation of their package to receive the 3rd overall selection. They would also potentially receive Minnesota's 2025 first-rounder and a mid-round pick to sweeten the deal.

That's essentially what the Dolphins received in 2021 when the 49ers traded up from the 12th pick to the 3rd to draft Trey Lance. So, the Patriots would certainly be compensated similarly.

If they accept the trade offer, sliding to the 11th pick would still put them in contention to take a great player, even a quarterback. At least four of the top ten picks are expected to be quarterbacks, so the Patriots would choose from the second-tier players.

Or they could avoid the position in the first round and take one of the best receivers available instead, holding off until next year to get a quarterback they like. It'll be a tough decision, and it's unlikely to be made before draft night unless Jerod Mayo and Co. decide beforehand that the quarterback they want won't be there by the time they select.

It adds another fascinating layer to a critical offseason and could end up being the defining moment of this new era for years to come.

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