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Vikings: This NFL Draft trade could land a Kirk Cousins replacement

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The Minnesota Vikings could trade up to No. 32 in a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers to replace Kirk Cousins if they choose to do so.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are open for business at No. 32, so maybe the Minnesota Vikings are interested in replacing Kirk Cousins at the top of round two?

It may be very popular in the building for Pittsburgh to stand pat and draft Penn Stater Joey Porter Jr., but quarterbacks usually take precedent over everything else in football. Seeing Porter play for his namesake father’s team professionally would be totally awesome, but so would Minnesota getting an heir apparent to Cousins in the building, whether that be Will Levis or Hendon Hooker.

The big question is should Minnesota dial up Pittsburgh and discuss making a draft-day trade?

This NFL Draft trade could get Minnesota Vikings a Kirk Cousins replacement

Look. I am a huge fan of Cousins’ game. I think he will go down as one of the most underrated quarterbacks of my generation. However, I understand that he is probably never getting to or winning a Super Bowl as the face of the Vikings franchise. It has been an awfully long time since 1976. Fran Tarkenton was something else, right? It might be time for a slight reset in Minneapolis.

Drafting Jordan Addison out of USC in the first round gives the Vikings a receiver to help offset losing Adam Thielen in free agency, as well as a potential long-term solution if Justin Jefferson prices himself out of town. Naturally, it would be totally understandable for the Vikings to add a quarterback in round two after taking a star wide receiver in round one and pair the duo together.

Cousins-to-Jefferson may be awesome, but so could Hooker/Levis-to-Addison. Keep in mind that Kevin O’Connell is an offensive-minded head coach and a former quarterback himself, as well as this not being the roster Kwesi Adofo-Mensah built. Many of the guys still on the Vikings’ roster were Rick Spielman selections or Mike Zimmer guys. Look for Minnesota to rebuild or reload a bit.

If Minnesota were to trade up with Pittsburgh and take Levis at No. 32, the former Kentucky quarterback would have time to grow and learn under Cousins, as well as be groomed by O’Connell. The Vikings do not need to throw him to the wolves just yet. More importantly, Levis has the arm talent to succeed playing annual outdoor games in places like Chicago and Green Bay.

Should the Vikings move up in a deal with the Steelers and draft Hooker at the top of the second round, they are getting a potential paradigm shifter internally. Hooker played an instrumental part in the Vols getting turned around under Josh Heupel. He may be older and coming off a serious injury, but Hooker’s leadership would be a welcomed addition. He also needs to learn the offense.

Ultimately, it probably serves Minnesota to at least consider the option. The Vikings may not go in that direction. Should they choose to do so and can orchestrate a deal with the Steelers, then they need to go with Levis over Hooker. Levis played in a pro-style offense in college and at a harder place to win at Kentucky. What he did under Liam Coen’s watch in Lexington cannot be overlooked.

Minnesota might decide to stay put in the second round, but a chance to replace Cousins is there.