INDIANAPOLIS: Kevin O’Connell has expressed his wish for Kirk Cousins to return without holding back. He shared the same information during the season that he did on Tuesday at the NFL Combine podium, on Wednesday in a sit-down interview with beat reporters, and at the news conference following the season. He is aware, though, that cousins may wind up somewhere else if he receives an offer he can’t refuse. O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are meeting with quarterback prospects in Indianapolis as a result, in the midst of a draft class that some analysts predict will include as many as five first-round picks.

How does O’Connell conduct himself throughout his fleeting interactions with players? He made it clear that he is looking for a few easily acquired items that are critical to a quarterback’s effectiveness.

“To start, we can answer several important questions in under fifteen minutes, such as, do they love football? Do they have intelligence? said O’Connell. “You get a sense of real authentic grit when you talk to someone, and sometimes you get that feeling when these men leave.” Their tape should demonstrate their toughness.

Movies can only provide so much information about quarterback play, according to Adofo-Mensah. When it comes to their understanding of the prospect’s team, schemes and meetings fill in the spaces. They can watch which passes are completed or missed and draw conclusions about specific things based on general scheme knowledge, but frequently they are searching for a more in-depth understanding of what transpired.

“How many guys did we believe were a great fit for us, filling in some of the gaps? You are unaware of the “why” underlying it. Adofo-Mensah stated.

O’Connell added, “And they don’t always act in that manner.” “It’s not how things always work out.”

Since the Vikings had to play without Cousins for the first time since the KAM-KOC period last year, it was challenging in the second part of the season to set up the offense for Josh Dobbs, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall. O’Connell responded that, unlike the previous season, when it was difficult to make too many adjustments for the ten other players on the field in the middle of the season, with a new quarterback, they would have the entire offseason to adjust to that player’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses. This was in response to the question of whether, in the event that Cousins leaves, he would need a specific kind of quarterback in the draft or if he could adjust the scheme to suit the strengths of his young quarterback.

“When you start talking about some of the other traits that might make their job easier, like athleticism or arm strength, we’ll try to put together the best offense we can for our team, but I think the quarterback position is the most important one when it comes to the nuts and bolts of how it all comes together,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell is adamant on a few issues even if the traits and backgrounds of the several quarterback prospects are varied, ranging from Drake Maye’s powerful arm to JJ McCarthy’s upside to Bo Nix’s 61 collegiate starts. Among them are Jayden Daniels’ deep passing and his prolific sprinting. He listed what he called the “non-negotiables” on Wednesday:

For an NFL quarterback who wants to stay in the game for a long period, accuracy is essential, according to O’Connell. “Given what occurs every Sunday, athletes who want to play the position need to be able to process information and have a certain level of baseline toughness because they will be expected to do mentally and physically taxing tasks.”


What proportion of this draft’s QBs might meet KOC’s requirements? Will that change significantly in Indianapolis? It’s hard to say, but it appears Vikings brass has shown interest in the incoming class during their time at the Combine.

Although it isn’t always the case, Adofo-Mensah continued, “We have been observing this class for a few years, and it was beneficial to see them in person and realize that a lot of what we observed [on film] was accurate.” “We thought they were really smart.”