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Vikings add another first-rounder in NFL Draft through trade with Texans

The Minnesota Vikings had to have some reason to pull off a draft pick trade with the Houston Texans more than a month before the NFL Draft.

The Vikings are moving up. According to multiple media reports, the Vikings will get a first-round pick this year, 23rd overall, and the 232nd overall pick from the Texans for a second-round pick this year, 42nd overall, 188th overall and a second-round pick in 2025.

For the Texans, it's a move back out of the first round but they get a move up in the late rounds and an extra second-round pick next year. That pick could be valuable if the Vikings struggle this season. And that's a possibility given the strength of the rest of the NFC North. The first-round pick Houston traded to Minnesota came from the Cleveland Browns as part of the Deshaun Watson trade.

The more interesting part is what the Vikings are plotting with the extra first-round pick.

Minnesota had the 11th overall pick and now has No. 23 as well. The most obvious answer to their motivation probably involves their huge hole at quarterback. The Vikings decided to let Kirk Cousins go, and he signed with the Atlanta Falcons. The Vikings signed Sam Darnold, but he's a placeholder.

Having two picks in the top 23 means the Vikings could make an aggressive move up in the draft. The dream would be moving into the top three for a shot at Caleb Williams, Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, but that would require a team in the top three (Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots) passing on one of those quarterbacks and moving down. That's possible but it seems unlikely.

The Minnesota Vikings now have two picks in the top 23 of the 2024 NFL draft. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Minnesota Vikings now have two picks in the top 23 of the 2024 NFL draft. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The extra draft picks could mean the Vikings are targeting someone like Michigan's J.J. McCarthy after the top three, but want to move up and ensure they get him. Either way, it seems unlikely the Vikings acquired an extra first-round pick on March 15 just because they are going to stay at that pick and take an offensive tackle or cornerback.

Either way, with a surprising move Friday, the Vikings became an interesting team to watch in the NFL Draft, and in the weeks leading up to the draft too.