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Minnesota Vikings reportedly very high on top QB prospect, could trade up for him

The Minnesota Vikings will head into the 2023 NFL season with quarterback Kirk Cousins as their starter. As the 2023 NFL Draft draws closer, though, it’s increasingly evident Minnesota is thinking about a future beyond Cousins.

Cousins a Pro Bowl selection in each of the last two years, is entering his age-35 season. He is under contract for the upcoming season before being eligible for NFL free agency in 2024. While Minnesota wants to keep him around this fall, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has kept an open mind to finding a long-term successor at quarterback.

Related: Minnesota Vikings mock draft 2023

As a result, the Vikings have done extensive work on the 2023 quarterback class. Minnesota brought in Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee for one of its 30 pre-draft visits and club officials met with Kentucky star Will Levis at the NFL Combine.

Amid reports that the Arizona Cardinals are shopping the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, receiving interest from at least six teams, it appears there is growing buzz connecting the Vikings to a top quarterback.

NFL insider Charles Robinson discussed potential teams who could move up to the third pick on the latest Yahoo Sports’ You Pod to Win the Game podcast. He mentioned the Vikings as one option while noting that Minnesota is particularly interested in Hendon Hooker.

Related: 3 Minnesota Vikings draft targets at wide receiver

“I would throw in one dark horse. I think the Minnesota Vikings at 23 are dark horse. The Minnesota Vikings are doing their homework on quarterbacks, too. You hear a lot about how much they like Hendon Hooker…There’s some talk about ‘Could Minnesota be that team that tries to trade up to 31 at Kansas City’s spot?'”

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson on Minnesota Vikings’ draft plans and quarterback Hendon Hooker

Robinson isn’t the first NFL insider to connect Hooker to the Vikings. Before tearing his ACL late in the 2022 season, Hooker was a Heisman Trophy favorite and viewed as a potential first-round pick. While recovery from ACL surgery is expected to sideline him for the majority of his rookie season, there is an increasing chance he is drafted in the first round.

Related: Minnesota Vikings draft picks 2023

The Vikings don’t hold a second-round pick this year, dealing it to the Detroit Lions for T.J. Hockenson. As a result, it would likely leave the front office with three potential options to land Hooker in the first round.

Minnesota could take him with the 23rd pick, a selection that might be viewed as a slight reach but a worthwhile gamble if Hooker pans out. Another option would be trading down from the 23rd pick, sliding down to the end of the first round then selecting Hooker.

Related: Hendon Hooker scouting report

Finally, as Robinson mentioned, the Vikings could select a player with the 23rd overall pick and then trade a 2024 first-round selection to the Philadelphia Eagles or Kansas City Chiefs for their pick at the end of Round 1.

In any of the three scenarios, Hooker would spend his rookie season rehabbing his surgically-repaired knee and learning Kevin O’Connell’s system. If he shows enough late in December, Minnesota could let Cousins walk in free agency and then make Hooker its starting quarterback as he enters his age-26 season.

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