Trade made by Vikings has put Broncos in a precarious position

The Minnesota Vikings have the firepower to move up in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos
Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings recently made a trade that won't get a lot of headlines but if you are a Denver Broncos fan and you have your eyes on next month's NFL draft, you may already recognize its significance.

The Vikings made a deal with the Houston Texans which allowed them to acquire the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the draft. This gives the Vikings another first-round selection. Why is that significant?

Well, the Vikings lost starting quarterback Kirk Cousins to free agency and though they replaced him with Sam Darnold, the team needs a quarterback to put its future on. That happens to be the same thing the Broncos are looking for.

However, the Vikings now have much more firepower than the Broncos in order to move up in the draft via trade. They hold the No. 11 and No. 23 overall pick. That could easily entice a team like the Arizona Cardinals who sit at No. 4 or the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 to move back and get an additional first rounder.

It is widely expected that the first three picks in this draft will be used on quarterbacks by the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots. But if the Vikings were to trade up inside the top five, they would be looking for one as well.

All signs would point to them taking Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, a player who has been strongly tied to the Broncos over the last month. With the Broncos not signing any veteran thus far in free agency, it seems clear that Sean Payton has his sights set on a particular passer in the draft. Could that be McCarthy?

If it is, he will likely need to pivot. Many Broncos fans believe that his guy is (and has been all along) Bo Nix. But that too presents an interesting scenario. Nix will almost certainly still be on the board at No. 12, but there will be better players on the board as well, particularly with the rush for quarterbacks. What decision would the Broncos make then?

One thing is for certain, this Vikings trade greatly convolutes things. It also backs the Broncos into a corner. The options at quarterback for this team are shrinking and the Vikings likely made that number go down by one more.

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The Broncos simply cannot afford to miss in this draft at quarterback.