2023 NFL Draft bold predictions: Trey Lance joins Minnesota Vikings, Browns don't trade up
By Josh Aul
The Minnesota Vikings find a new starting quarterback in Trey Lance
Things change quickly in the NFL, and nothing's shown us that more than the situation in San Fransisco with the 49ers and third-year quarterback Trey Lance. After the 49ers sent three first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins to get Trey Lance in 2021, the team hasn't seen their investment pay dividends. In 2021, Lance essentially redshirted behind starter Jimmy Garoppolo. And in 2022, Lance suffered a broken ankle in just the second game of the season.
Brock Purdy, who was the last pick in the entire NFL Draft in 2022, was eventually thrust into the starting role. He showed he could lead the offense efficiently as the team made it all the way to the NFC Championship game, falling short to the Philadelphia Eagles. So now the debate all off-season has been whether the 49ers will stick with Purdy or give the reins back to Lance. But what if the 49ers decide to take a different route altogether?
If this draft-day trade happens, I will absolutely love it; and I don't think it's too outlandish. The Minnesota Vikings trade their first-round pick (No. 23 overall) and quarterback Kirk Cousins to the 49ers in exchange for Trey Lance (the 49ers would also probably have to send one of their third round picks or maybe a future second because Lance is largely unproven).
Cousins will turn 35 years old this season, and he's in the final year of his deal with the Vikings. The team restructured Cousins' contract this off-season when they couldn't work out a long-term extension, so it's possible 2023 will be his last season in Minnesota.
While he's played well for the Vikings, Cousins just hasn't been able to get the team to the next level in the playoffs. But if Purdy could execute the 49ers offense well enough to almost make it to the Super Bowl, then Kirk Cousins would give San Fransisco the best chance they've had yet. Remember, Cousins played for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan when he was the offensive coordinator in Washington. So the connection for this deal is already there. Plus, with Purdy possibly not being ready for the start of the season after recently undergoing surgery on his throwing elbow, a trade for Kirk Cousins would give Purdy at least one more full season to get healthy and develop behind an established starter.
Whatever happens this weekend, the NFL Draft will be fun, exciting, and full of surprises with much debate. If you have bold predictions of your own, please post them in the comments section. This is one of the most enjoyable times of the year for NFL fans, so let's have some fun with it!