EAGAN, Minn. – Most NFL draft analysts are projecting the Vikings to take a quarterback during the upcoming three-day event.

But as to when and how Minnesota acquires that player? There are differing opinions.

As NFL Network’s Chad Reuter told Vikings Entertainment Network’s Tatum Everett recently, it’s ultimately impossible to predict exactly what will happen during the draft.

It sure is fun to speculate, though.

Vikings Entertainment Network traveled last week to NFL Network, where Everett spoke with Reuter and several of his colleagues about the upcoming draft and various approaches Minnesota can take.

Marc Sessler put himself in Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s shoes and said, “You go get that quarterback that you want.”

Sessler noted this year’s draft class is particularly exciting because the quarterback position is deep enough that teams don’t have to have the first or second pick to get a talented passer.

“In our [mock draft] situation, they went up to No. 4, and that makes a lot of sense,” Sessler told Everett. “You’re getting, maybe, J.J. McCarthy right there, and you trust [Vikings Head Coach] Kevin O’Connell to work wonders with quarterbacks, and then you’re in that special window where you’re working with a rookie quarterback contract.”

Rhett Lewis also suggested the Vikings attempt to trade up drastically from No. 11 if they could nab LSU’s Jayden Daniels or North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

Lewis’ colleague Bucky Brooks believes Maye has the “highest ceiling” of any quarterback in the draft.

“Drafting is about projection, not necessarily about production. And when you look at the projection of Drake Maye, you see the prototypical size, arm talent, athleticism, high I.Q., great dude in the locker room when it comes to leadership skills,” Brooks said. “So what you’re trying to see is, ‘Do we have a situation that will allow him to flourish?’ Because if you hit, you’re talking about a guy who has talent like a Josh Allen and a Justin Herbert.

“I think if you ask many decision makers, they’ll gamble on a player that has that kind of upside,” Brooks added.

That may be true, but Lewis pointed out the Bears are expected to take Caleb Williams at No. 1, and he isn’t sure the Commanders or Patriots will give up their No. 2 or 3 spots regardless of compensation.

And if the Vikings then have their eye on McCarthy, Lewis is less apt to suggest a big trade up.

“I would just have a little bit of hesitancy in trading 11, 23 and, probably, a 2025 first-round pick, as well, for a player in J.J. McCarthy who’s shown you elite characteristics, elite traits, but not at the volume of the other guys. So that’s where my hesitancy would be,” Lewis explained. “I could maybe see as a little more plausible, maybe moving up a couple more spots to keep the Broncos at bay at No. 12, make sure you stay ahead of them, and then maybe McCarthy falls to you then, at 10 [or so]. I’d feel a little bit more comfortable there.”

Gregg Rosenthal agreed with Lewis, saying he “isn’t in love” with the prospect of moving up to the top five picks for McCarthy if there’s a chance to get him lower.

“I’d rather sit where they are now, actually,” Rosenthal opined. “See if he actually falls, which I think is a bigger chance than people really make it out to be.”

Reuter is “Team Stay at 11” for Minnesota, noting that the Vikings can get not one but two great players if they hang onto the 11th and 23rd overall selections.

If they do that, though, do they have to go QB first … or could they wait?

“One of those two picks is going to be a quarterback. And the other one is going to have to … be to bulk up the defense a little bit,” Reuter said. “And it really is going to depend on what kind of grades they have for the quarterbacks.

“They may not have that first-round grade on any of the guys who will be available at 11, so they may wait until that 23rd spot to get their quarterback and then get their elite defender later or earlier in the draft,” he added. “Kind of like they did [in 2014] when they picked Anthony Barr [at No. 9] and then traded up late in the first round for Teddy Bridgewater.”

Reuter said if Adofo-Mensah does decide to move up, there’s potentially deals to be made with the Cardinals at No. 4 or Chargers at No. 5. He expects that it would take three picks from this year’s draft, including the two first-rounders, in addition to a possible 2025 first-round spot.

“They’re gonna have to pay a pretty heavy price to go up and get one of those guys,” he said.

Reuter believes the Vikings are prepared to make a splash move in the right situation but likely won’t force it.

“I think you saw they have the capability when they made that trade with the Texans, right? I mean, I think they know they have the capability … If the player is worth the value, they’ll use it. But I don’t think this team is into overpaying,” Reuter said. “So I think they will be patient if they … ‘Look, we love those guys, but we think the next guy in line at quarterback could be a good starter for us, as well. So why invest so many picks into the one player?’ I think they’re capable of doing it, or they might want to do it, but not at too high a price.”

If the Vikings don’t make any moves up, and if the top four QBs are off the board by the time Minnesota is on the clock, Brooks said there are other options.

“Tier one is Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, J.J. McCarthy in any order, [and then] Bo Nix and Michael Penix are just a notch below them,” Brooks explained. “They play the game differently. Bo Nix is more of an intermediate specialist, where Michael Penix wants to push the ball down the field.

“The next tier really features a guy, Spencer Rattler, coming out of South Carolina, [who] finished his career in a very solid fashion,” Brooks added. “He is the value pick. … Spencer Rattler will be the first QB off the board on day two.”

Added Reuter: “I think they have a couple of great options available to them, no matter what they do.”

Sessler and NFL Network analyst Cynthia Frelund concurred, emphasizing that much will be up to O’Connell and the best fit for Minnesota’s offense.

Frelund noted that having a pair of pass catchers like Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison is a luxury going into the draft.

“The reality is … the ability to have really top-end receivers gives you some latitude with your quarterback as far as, day one, needing him to be the guy that throws the perfect spiral to the perfect location every time,” Frelund said. “So for me, it’s the trade-offs. What do you want [this quarterback] to do?

“When they’re in the rooms interviewing these top guys, are they understanding the concepts in a way that makes sense as a Viking? These are things I can’t answer from a numerical standpoint,” Frelund continued. “I can look at their past résumés on film and see what they’ve done and kind of match it up. But in my estimation, there are several guys who can fit that bill.

“And there are also several guys who maybe we aren’t talking as much about – maybe not the top three – who could fit that bill,” Frelund added. “Then you also get the added benefit of an interior offensive linemen or an edge rusher or a corner that could also help out. It’s the net effect of all of it. But ultimately it’s, ‘Can you run the things we’re trying to do, and does your résumé prove it?’ When you’re in the room and you’re talking to them, ‘Do you think like a Viking?’ “

Regardless of which direction Minnesota goes, Sessler has confidence O’Connell will find success with a new quarterback.

“I really think the way Kevin O’Connell belongs to this tree of coaches that maximizes quarterbacks and makes it friendly – it’s good for a rookie, number one. I mean, I look at four of those guys at the top of the draft,” Sessler said. “I think if you’re the Vikings and you’re in this experiment, this adventure, you have to feel good about three or four of them. You really do.

“I just trust the Vikings system to make the most of them,” Sessler added. “I think they probably feel comfortable with a number of guys.”