Two ideas have fed upon each other during the NFL's Rumor Season, that period before the draft that produces a mock draft a minute and a million rumors in search of reality.

Idea 1: J.J. McCarthy, once considered a second-round or late first-round draft prospect, has theoretically skyrocketed to the top of the draft. The latest credible analysis has him going in the top three or four picks, meaning this could be the first NFL draft in which quarterbacks fill the first four spots.

Idea 2: The Vikings, in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, will do whatever it takes to land one of the top four quarterbacks, whether that means trading up to get McCarthy, Drake Maye, Caleb Williams or Jayden Daniels.

The ideas make sense and align. If McCarthy is this good, and the Vikings need a quarterback, why wouldn't they go for one of the top four?

That's the way fans and writers think. That doesn't mean Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is in agreement.

What we know about Adofo-Mensah is that he prides himself on thinking outside the box even when the inside of the box looks like a suite at the Four Seasons.

In two drafts, he has made one obvious, conventional pick — using his 2023 first-rounder on receiver Jordan Addison, who immediately became the second receiver in a three-receiver offense.

Remember, though, that scene from the Vikings' draft room before he made that pick. Video showed coach Kevin O'Connell pleading with Adofo-Mensah, as if to say, "Let's not play games or get cute with this pick, just take Addison."

If Adofo-Mensah is thinking unconventionally about this draft and prioritizing draft value over quarterback desperation, how would that change his approach?

Well, he'd probably look at a draft in which a half-dozen teams are desperate to take a quarterback as a prime opportunity to take an impact player at another position.

There will likely be an outstanding cornerback, defensive lineman, offensive lineman or safety available at the 11th pick. And there will likely be a good quarterback prospect available if and when the Vikings use the 23rd pick.

Is McCarthy really so much better than Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. that McCarthy would be worth using the Vikings' two first-round draft picks this season, and probably a high pick in next year's draft, to move up to take him?

Which is the better group of additions to the current Vikings' roster?

The no-trade scenario: Penix, Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins and a first-round pick in 2025.

The trade scenario: McCarthy, no Wiggins and maybe no first-round pick in 2025.

McCarthy (or Maye) better be much better than Penix (or Bo Nix) for the no-trade scenario to make sense.

What matters is not mock drafts or rumors, but the Vikings' internal evaluation of these quarterback prospects.

If they believe McCarthy (or Maye) is going to be a star, and that Penix and Nix are less likely to be stars, then trading up makes sense at almost any price.

If they believe Penix (or Nix) are about as likely to become a star as those they could get at the top of the draft, then their decision is already made.

When Adofo-Mensah passed on Kyle Hamilton in his first draft two years ago to acquire extra picks and then drafted another safety, Lewis Cine, he was employing a strategy that can yield value — if you pick the right player.

Unfortunately for Adofo-Mensah, Hamilton was the right player, and Cine has not been, so that deal looks foolish.

The importance of the quarterback position causes NFL teams to overvalue every decent prospect. That's why this is a dangerous draft for Adofo-Mensah. If he sells out to get someone like McCarthy, and McCarthy isn't a star, Adofo-Mensah will have neither a star quarterback nor the draft capital to build around him.

Remember, some young quarterbacks fail because they aren't good enough; some fail because of a lack of talent around them.

Then again, Adofo-Mensah will have so much salary cap space by next offseason that he may be able to buy a whole new team if this draft doesn't work out.