There is endless speculation about when and how the Vikings will find their next quarterback to replace 34-year-old Kirk Cousins. No need to overthink the process.
The Vikings are highly likely to find their guy sometime in the next 12 months or so. They may acquire a quarterback via trade or free agency within that period. Of course, next week’s NFL Draft will be an opportunity, too, and so will the 2024 draft.
To find a coveted prospect in the opening round of the 2023 draft, the Vikings will have to move up from their No. 23 position in the first round. While that could happen, chances are more likely the Vikings will move down from No. 23, trading that selection to acquire more picks in draft. Minnesota has just two draft spots in the top 100 and only five total in the seven round draft that starts April 27 and continues through April 29.
GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, head coach Kevin O’Connell and others in the organization have spent a lot of time looking at quarterback prospects who will be in the draft, including those who will go in the later rounds. While Minnesota has been linked to likely first rounders Will Levis (Kentucky) and Hendon Hooker (Tennessee), the Vikings seem more likely to end up with second or third round quarterbacks. Possibilities could include Tanner McKee (Stanford) and Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA), prospects the Vikings could develop during the coming season and not rush into game action.
Cousins, who turns 35 in August, is in the last year of his contract. If he and the Vikings push far into the playoffs, O’Connell and the front office are all but certain to want Cousins to return for the 2024 season. The Vikings, though, need a major upgrade to their defensive personnel to be a team that gets deep into the postseason.
The possibility is Minnesota could have a losing season and for next year’s draft have a top 15 or better draft position in the first round. Next year’s draft looks quarterback friendly, too, starting with big names Caleb Williams (USC) and Drake Maye (North Carolina)
Clearly there is time and options for the Viking quarterback scenario to play out.
Minnesota sports hero Joe Mauer’s 40th birthday is today. It’s a noteworthy year for the three-time American League batting champion who retired in 2018 and will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame August 5.
The Wild might be on a run of good fortune after winning Monday night’s two-overtime thriller in Dallas against the Stars, 3-2. The Wild haven’t won an opening round playoff series since 2015 and that was the last time Minnesota was victorious in the first game.
Hot goalies always weigh heavily in determining postseason success and Minnesota’s Filip Gustavsson was superb Monday night and entered the game with an impressive regular season goals against average of 2.10 and 22-9-7 record. Marc-Andre Fleury, the Wild’s 38-year-old backup goalie, struggled as the starter in the team’s opening playoff series a year ago when the Blues eliminated Minnesota in six games, but Gustavsson was brilliant Monday night with a franchise record 51 saves.
The Wild likely caught a break, too, in facing the Stars instead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche. Colorado struggled with injuries and performance much of the season but came on late to win the Central Division, with the Stars finishing second and the Wild third. The Avalanche are gritty and talented.
Word is Wild GM Bill Guerin has a new contract, with an established hockey source telling Sports Headliners it’s probably worth $1.5 to $2 million per year.
The Wild announced this morning the club has recalled forward Sammy Walker from Iowa. The former Gopher led the Iowa Wild in goals with 27.
The Athletics’ poll results of NBA players have Wolves’ forward Jaden McDaniels voted the fifth most underrated player in the league, with teammate and guard Anthony Edwards No. 8. McDaniels is also No. 7 as the league’s best defender.
The poll, asking players questions in various categories while providing anonymity, has Wolves center Rudy Gobert ranked as the fifth most overrated player (tied with Jarren Jackson Jr. from the Grizzlies). Former Wolves’ head coach Tom Thibodeau, now leading the Knicks, is the No. 1 coach players don’t want to play for.
The Minnetonka girls’ basketball team could be the best girls prep team in the state next season. The Skippers will take on another power, Providence Academy, in a January 27 game at St. Michael-Albertville. Players to watch include Minnetonka guard Tori McKinney and Providence Academy’s Maddyn Greenway, daughter of former Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, who as a freshman last winter gave notice she will be a special player.
McKinney, a senior next school year, is likely a recruiting target of new Gopher women’s head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. Word is the new coach has made a more than favorable impression on her players, displaying basketball leadership and likeability.
Minneapolis-based attorney and journalist Marshall Tanick wrote an informative article about Minnesota baseball-related litigation for Minnesota Lawyer. https://minnlawyer.com/2023/04/06/perspectives-new-saints-recall-old-
Congratulations to Ron Stolski, Jim Dotseth and other leaders of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association on the success of their recent clinic that registered 1,542 attendees. That’s the most ever for the popular annual clinic.
The MFCA will sponsor both a recruiting fair and combine for players May 6 at the Vikings’ complex in Eagan. High school coaches will meet with college coaches to discuss prospects at the fair. Players in eighth through 11th grades will be tested for skills in a variety of categories. https://www.mnfootballcoaches.com/recruit