Vikings acquire second 1st-round pick in trade

The Minnesota Vikings acquired the Houston Texans‘ first-round draft pick Friday morning in a trade that could be a precursor to moving further up in the round to select a quarterback to replace departed Kirk Cousins.

In the deal, the Vikings acquired the Texans’ No. 23 pick along with a seventh-round pick (No. 232 overall). The Texans received the Vikings’ second-round pick (No. 42), their sixth-round pick (No. 188) and their second-round pick in 2025.

The deal preserved the Vikings’ own first-round pick, No. 11, which they could in theory package with the No. 23 pick to move up in the round.

Speaking Thursday to reporters in Minnesota, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said Cousins’ departure did not lock the team into drafting a quarterback in the first round. The Vikings have signed free agent Sam Darnold to a one-year, $10 million contract as a potential bridge starter in 2024, and Adofo-Mensah said he thought the team had the “flexibility to go either way.”

“If the opportunity comes where that player’s available,” he said, “we’ll take it. If it’s not available in that sense, we’ll continue to build around and then find potential odds at a long-term solution, in addition to what we’ve already brought in with Sam and anybody else we require. So really, the answer isn’t some strict thing. And part of that is the flexibility we’ve wanted to put into our plan for these past couple years.”

Friday’s move, however, made it clear that Adofo-Mensah wants to give himself at least the opportunity to move up further in a draft where it’s possible that none of the teams that own the top three picks — the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots — will be interested in trading out because they all reportedly want to draft a quarterback. In that scenario, there could be a competition among several teams for the No. 4 pick owned by the Arizona Cardinals, who appear to be set with starter Kyler Murray.

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