Could the Vikings trade up to No. 3 with the Arizona Cardinals to replace Kirk Cousins? Minnesota moves up for a QB in this 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft.
There has been growing speculation that the Minnesota Vikings could potentially select the quarterback successor to Kirk Cousins in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Most have surmised that the franchise would either take a player like Hendon Hooker at No. 23 if he falls or potentially trade to the back of the Top 10 for the fourth quarterback off the board, whether that’s Anthony Richardson or Will Levis.
But maybe the Arizona Cardinals present another option.
On Monday, it was reported that at least six teams have reached out to the Cardinals already about trading up to the No. 3 pick, notably one spot ahead of the Indianapolis Colts. And that sparked speculation that the Vikings could potentially be one such team.
It would obviously be costly to move up from No. 23 to No. 3, but Minnesota could be an ideal candidate to do so with Cousins entering the final year of his current contract. As such, if they are ready to start the post-Kirk Cousins era, we explore how they get there quickly in this 2023 NFL mock draft with all seven rounds for the Vikings (even if they don’t have a seventh-round pick).
Table of Contents
NFL mock draft 2023: Vikings trade up for Kirk Cousins replacement in 7-round projection
Vikings trade up to No. 3 with Cardinals to name Anthony Richardson as Kirk Cousins’ successor
First off, the trade. Considering that the Vikings would be trading up to get the third-best quarterback in the draft class no matter what, that might allow them to only give up No. 23 and one more future first-round pick. But much like with the Panthers trading up to No. 1 with the Bears, they might be wise to include a talented player Arizona would need in order to get the deal done.
As such, Minnesota can move up to No. 3 with this trade that sends No. 23, a first- and fourth-round pick in 2024, and a 2025 third-round pick along with edge rusher Danielle Hunter to the Cardinals.
No. 3 pick
2024 Third-Round Pick
EDGE Danielle Hunter
No. 23 pick
2024 First-, Fourth-Round Picks
2025 Third-Round Pick
By trading Hunter with restructures involved, the Vikings can find relief from his $13.12 million cap hit in 2023 while also giving Arizona an edge rushing presence they need. Most importantly, though, Minnesota can then draft Anthony Richardson.
Despite how good Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud both are, Richardson has the highest ceiling of the 2023 draft’s quarterback class. His combination of 99th-percentile athleticism, elite arm, and flashes of brilliance at Florida show a player that has unbelievable potential. The big key for Richardson, though, is giving him time to develop his craft.
The Vikings are in a perfect position to offer exactly that. With Cousins still under contract in 2023, there is no rush to get Richardson on the field. Moreover, he’ll come into the league working with one of the NFL’s best receivers, Justin Jefferson, and tight ends, T.J. Hockenson. It’s an ideal situation for Richardson to reach his full, limitless potential, which could set Minnesota up for a decade of future success.