We're (mercifully) a week from the 2014 NFL Draft, and the speculation continues to flow as to whether or not the Minnesota Vikings will be moving from the #8 spot in the first round. The team has done plenty of moving in both directions in the first round in recent years, and we're going to take a look at how much of it they've done over the past ten drafts.
I'm going to focus specifically on trades where the team moved up or down in the draft in the first round, so things like the Randy Moss trade or the Jared Allen trade aren't going to be included. Just instances where the team moved around the board on draft day.
We start with the 2004 draft. which saw a relatively minor deal by our favorite team.
Miami Dolphins receive: #19 overall pick (OL Vernon Carey)
Minnesota Vikings receive: #20 overall pick (DE Kenechi Udeze), #119 overall pick (RB Mewelde Moore)
Yes, much the same as we saw with the Cleveland Browns in 2012, the Vikings managed to extract a price from a team to allow them to move up one spot in the draft. Udeze showed some flashes during his time as a Viking, but unfortunately saw his career cut short by leukemia and the ensuing treatments. Moore turned out to be a decent change-of-pace back, but never really was a feature-type guy.
Oh, and the Miami GM that the Vikings made this deal with? Some guy named Rick Spielman.
The Vikings didn't make a draft day trade (in the first round, anyway) in 2005. . .though a lot of people probably wish they would have, given the results (WR Troy Williamson and DE Erasmus James). . .nor did they make one in 2006 (LB Chad Greenway) or 2007 (when they took some guy named Adrian Peterson). The team didn't have a first-round pick in 2008 because of the Jared Allen trade, and they stuck to their spot in 2009 to take wide receiver Percy Harvin.
Then there was a deal in the 2010 draft that saw the Vikings move out of the first round.
Griffen is, obviously, the only decent piece of this trade. Best flashed for the Lions early on, but had his career cut short by concussion issues. We've been over Cook's play ad nauseum, and now he's San Francisco's problem. Mickey Shuler was just sort of there. If Griffen reaches the kind of potential that the Vikings apparently think he can, this is going to become even more lopsided in Minnesota's favor.
No first round trades in the 2011 draft (QB Christian Ponder), and then we got into the "Rick Spielman runs this thing by himself" era in 2012, and he got off to a nice start.
Cleveland Browns receive: #3 overall pick (RB Trent Richardson)
Minnesota Vikings receive: #4 overall pick (OT Matt Kalil), #118 overall pick (WR Jarius Wright), #139 overall pick (Robert Blanton), #212 overall pick (traded to the Tennessee Titans for a 2013 sixth-round pick)
Spielman apparently had the Browns absolutely convinced that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wanted to move up and take Richardson, so the Browns decided to give up some of the "bonus picks" that they had gotten from the Atlanta Falcons from the Julio Jones trade the year before to move up one spot and get him. After less than 20 games with Cleveland, the Browns pawned him off on the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick in this year's draft. Jarius Wright is a nice consolation prize for Spielman to have gotten to move down one spot and take the guy the entire world knew he was going to take anyway.
But Trader Rick wasn't done in Round 1 in 2012.
The Vikings needed help at safety in 2012, and Spielman saw his opportunity to move up. He paid a pretty small price (a fourth-round pick) to move back into the first round and get Smith, who may or may not have fallen to the Vikings at that #35 spot. I think we can all come to a consensus that this was a pretty good move for the Vikings.
Last, we have the 2013 Draft and a trade that we may have thought was crazy at the time, but turned out to be a pretty good one. The team already had two first round picks thanks to trading Harvin (which they used on DT Sharrif Floyd and CB Xavier Rhodes), but Spielman decided he wanted more.
Minnesota Vikings receive: #29 overall pick (WR Cordarrelle Patterson)
New England Patriots receive: #52 overall pick (LB Jamie Collins), #83 overall pick (CB Logan Ryan), #102 overall pick (WR Josh Boyce), #229 overall pick (a pick that eventually made its way back to Minnesota, becoming DT Everett Dawkins)
After making their first-round picks, Rick Spielman sprinted. . .literally. . .away from a press conference at Winter Park to get back to the building to make this trade. At first, I thought it was for LB Manti Te'o, and even had the story all typed up and ready to go for it. Fortunately, there was enough of a delay for me to get everything changed. As we've documented, Patterson got off to a slow start as a rookie, but really exploded towards the end of the year and showed the versatility to be one of the bigger all-around threats in the league.
From what we can see here, draft day trades. . .whether they're moves up or down. . .seem to work out relatively well for the Vikings. We'll have to see if Rick Spielman chooses to try to work more magic a week from today.