Well, the Minnesota Vikings came. . .they saw. . .and, ultimately, they traded out of the first round of the 2010 National Football League draft.
The first seven picks of the evening were pretty mundane, truth be told. I even managed to perfectly nail all seven of those picks in my mock draft. Of course, shortly after that, all hell broke loose, with the Denver Broncos wreaking a particular amount of havoc as they moved down the draft board and acquired picks. When it was all said and done, only four NFL teams didn't select anybody in the first round. . .the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears both traded away their first round picks in this year's draft last season in various deals, and the Baltimore Ravens joined the Vikings in trading out of the first round.
The trade that the Vikings made with the Detroit Lions to move them out of the first round saw them send the #30 overall selection (which Detroit used to select California running back Jahvid Best) and their fourth-round pick (#128 overall) to the Lions in exchange for Detroit's second-round pick (#34 overall), their fourth-round pick (#100 overall), and their seventh-round pick (#214 overall).
With the draft's new format, having only one round this evening and holding Rounds Two and Three tomorrow, teams will get a chance to rack and stack their draft boards, and that leaves the Vikings in an interesting position. There were a lot of very good players at positions of need for the Vikings that they could go after. The most intriguing of these, in my opinion, is Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Clausen, who NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock has rated as his #2 quarterback and the tenth-best player in the entire draft, who somehow fell entirely out of the first round. Other interesting names are Southern Cal safety Taylor Mays, Texas linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle, Penn State linebacker Sean Lee, defensive tackles Terrence Cody of Alabama and Brian Price of UCLA, and there are others as well.
But the way the Vikings maneuvered out of the first round gives me a suspicion that Clausen is their target, or they're trying to get enough interest in him worked up to trade even farther down and acquire more picks (possibly including picks in next year's draft). They made a deal with a division rival in Detroit, who they knew had no interest in a quarterback with Matthew Stafford already established. The two remaining teams in the first round, Indianapolis and New Orleans, weren't going to take a quarterback, and the only team that selects ahead of the Vikings in Round Two, the St. Louis Rams, selected Sam Bradford with the #1 overall pick, so they aren't going quarterback, either.
All in all, it was a pretty exciting evening, even if it ended up with the Vikings not adding anyone to their roster. I know that you're all looking forward to tomorrow's festivities as much as I am, and now it's time to get some rest and get ready to come back fired up for tomorrow. Hopefully a lot of you will be back tomorrow, too, when the fun gets underway at 5 PM Central on either NFL Network or ESPN. Have a good rest of your Thursday evening, everybody!