NFL Draft insider reveals ‘leaguewide rumor’ about huge trade involving Arizona Cardinals’ No. 4 pick

Arizona Cardinals, 2024 NFL Draft
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The top of the 2024 NFL Draft is increasingly viewed as a sure thing following the first wave of free agency. However, the Arizona Cardinals could reportedly shake things up with a blockbuster trade involving the fourth overall pick in April.

Following the Justin Fields trade, the overwhelming expectation around the league is that the Chicago Bears will select quarterback Caleb Williams with the first overall pick. Once the selection is officially announced, the Washington Commanders (second overall pick) and New England Patriots (third overall pick) are expected to choose quarterbacks Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels with back-to-back selections

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

There remains uncertainty over whether Daniels or Maye will be drafted second overall. However, free-agent signings by the Commanders (Marcus Mariota) and Patriots (Jacoby Brissett) heavily implied to teams around the NFL that both Washington and New England are locked in on quarterbacks.

However, the uncertainty starts with the fourth overall pick. Held by the Cardinals, most presumed that Arizona would select wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to pair with quarterback Kyler Murray. Now, that belief seems to be changing thanks to a recent deal leading to a widespread rumor around the NFL.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft quarterback rankings

According to ESPN’s Matt Miller, the latest “leaguewide rumor” from conversations with executives around the NFL is that the Minnesota Vikings will trade up for the No. 4 pick with the Cardinals’ selection viewed as a “sweet spot” for Arizona to swing a deal with a quarterback-needy team.

One primary reason behind the rumor is tied to the recent trade between the Vikings and Houston Texans. Minnesota traded its second- and sixth-round picks in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft along with its 2025 second-round pick in exchange for the 23rd overall selection in April.

Projecting a potential Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals trade

By acquiring the 23rd overall pick from Houston, Minnesota acquired the necessary asset that would enable a huge move into the top five picks. If Minnesota stood pat with the 11th overall pick, it’s widely believed that the consensus fourth-ranked quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft won’t be available.

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While the Atlanta Falcons (eighth overall pick) addressed their quarterback problem with Kirk Cousins, the Denver Broncos 912th overall pick) and Las Vegas Raiders (13th overall pick) remain active threats to trade up for a quarterback. However, Minnesota positioned itself even better to swing a deal with the Texans’ trade this past week.

Any trade between Arizona and Minnesota would need to involve both the 11th and 23rd overall picks. However, because the Vikings would be trading up for a quarterback, there is an additional cost added because of the positional value of a quarterback and due to the Vikings’ perceived desperation after losing Kirk Cousins to the Falcons. Here’s what a hypothetical trade could look like.

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  • Minnesota Vikings trade: 11th overall pick, 23rd overall pick and 2025 third-round pick
  • Arizona Cardinals trade: 4th overall pick and 2025 fourth-round pick

Using OverTheCap.com’s draft pick trade calculator, the Cardinals would be giving up 2,838 value points while the Vikings surrender 3,8883 points. While the 1,000-point differential is significant, it also reflects the cost of trading up for a quarterback.

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If Arizona and Minnesota make a deal, it would be the second consecutive year that the Cardinals traded down from near the top of the draft. In the 2023 NFL Draft, Arizona traded the third overall pick to Houston for the 12th overall and 33rd overall picks that year and first- and third-round picks in 2024. Similarly, draft trade calculators viewed it as a massive win for the Cardinals. However, the Texans mutually benefitted from the deal because they landed edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. who won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2023.

If the Vikings ultimately make a trade with the Cardinals for the fourth overall pick, we will almost certainly see quarterbacks taken with the first four picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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