Arbella Early Edition

How might a Patriots-Vikings trade play out? Breer breaks it down

"I think that's a very realistic scenario."

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When the Minnesota Vikings struck a deal with the Houston Texans earlier this month to acquire an additional first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, eyebrows were raised. And rightfully so.

The Vikings now have two first-round picks (No. 11 and No. 23) but lack a starting quarterback after watching Kirk Cousins join the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. With the free-agent QB market essentially dried up, the belief is that Minnesota will look to package those two-first rounders to trade into the top four and select one of USC's Caleb Williams, LSU's Jayden Daniels, UNC's Drake Maye and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer confirmed that belief Thursday on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition.

Check out the video above for Breer's intel on a potential Patriots-Vikings trade.

"My understanding is that trade they made with the Texans ... does not happen unless they lose Kirk Cousins," Breer said of the Vikings. "So, what does that tell you? It tells you this is about a quarterback for them ... and being aggressive, and they're comfortable with the top four guys, because they couldn't immediately get into the top three."

Breer reported earlier this month that the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots all have rebuffed trade offers for the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 picks, respectively. But as Breer explained Thursday, there's a plausible scenario in which the Patriots might be willing to listen to Minnesota's trade offer when they're on the clock at No. 3.

"I think a scenario we could see happen is, if the Patriots decide they like Drake Maye and not Jayden Daniels, or the other way around, and the Commanders take the one that they like, and the one they don't like falls to them, then of course they would be open to moving the pick," Breer said. "And unless the Commanders decide to declare their intentions, you're not going to know until you're on the clock.

"I think that's a very realistic scenario, because you're not going to see all of these guys the same way. So, that scenario is possible where they decide there are two -- not three or four -- high-end quarterbacks in this year's draft, and if one of those two doesn't fall to them, they could decide to move out."

Williams appears locked in as the No. 1 pick, so it all comes down to New England's evaluation of Daniels and Maye. If Eliot Wolf and his staff view both QBs as slam-dunk picks, it's hard to see them considering a trade down. But if the Patriots have reservations about Daniels or Maye -- and with Washington almost certainly drafting one them at No. 2 -- there's a scenario in which they'd have to decide whether to roll the dice on their third-ranked QB or explore a trade back for a bounty of draft assets that could include future first-round picks.

So, unless New England reveals its QB preferences (which wouldn't be in the team's best interest), we'll likely have to wait until April 27 to find out the fate of the team's highest draft pick since 1993.

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