Insider reveals how Vikings almost drafted Michael Penix Jr

Michael Penix Jr.
Michael Penix Jr. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

By now, Minnesota Vikings fans know that University of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy will be wearing a purple and gold jersey in 2024 but numerous draft day stories have surfaced about what the team attempted to do in Round 1.

First, reports swirled about the Vikings being one of the teams attempting to trade up to No. 3 overall with the New England Patriots to get Drake Maye and now more reports are coming out about other attempts to land one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.

Most recently, a post on X (formerly Twitter) by the Rich Eisen show told the story about how Minnesota landed McCarthy, and some of the details covered in the video point to the Vikings being extremely active in going after their quarterback of the future.

Insider reveals how Vikings almost drafted Michael Penix Jr

NFL insider Tom Pelissero was a guest on the Rich Eisen Show and spoke about Minnesota maneuvering through the draft to land their quarterback and shared some details about one part of the process that fans may not know.

Pelissero outlined how crazy the path to the draft as well as the events at the top of Round 1 shook out for the six quarterbacks taken in the top 12 picks of the 2024 NFL Draft. The story cast a light on just how wild of a process this was for the Minnesota Vikings.

Although the Patriots were reported to be listening to offers for No. 3, they ultimately decided to stay put and take Drake Maye. At that point, Minnesota was said to like both Penix and McCarthy so the team saw no point in leapfrogging the Giants for a quarterback.

When the Giants didn't take a quarterback, Minnesota's patience was starting to pay off. The Titans weren't heavy in the QB market, so they weren't expected to take one of the two prized prospects when they were on the clock.

This brought the draft to No. 8 overall and the Atlanta Falcons. Although they surprisingly selected Michael Penix Jr, in that spot, Pelissero expressed that they made the pick after not being able to trade down out of the spot.

On numerous occasions, the video shared that the Vikings had Penix and McCarthy as somewhat equal prospects. The Falcons pick forced Minnesota to be more aggressive in their pursuit of McCarthy, but it just as easily could have been Penix if the Falcons went a different direction.

Minnesota gambled a little that the Bears wouldn't trade down at No. 9 but were not willing to let the Broncos or Raiders leapfrog the Vikings for the top remaining quarterback on the team's wish list at the 2024 NFL Draft.

In an either/or situation, the Minnesota Vikings landed University of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy at No. 10 overall after no longer wanting to gamble with their future. The Jets may think they got "free money" in the trade, but the purple and gold got their guy, making the trade worth it.