Lots of rumors out there about trade possibilities come Thursday night. Let's focus on possible scenarios involving the Vikings, and how/why a trade may happen. Here goes:
First, the Vikings are open to move out of #8
Whether targeting a top QB in the draft, or an impact defensive player, the Vikings pick at #8 is probably a bit early to pick a top QB or CB, and a player like Mack will probably be gone by then. So, as Rick Spielman has said, the Vikings may be candidates to trade with the #8 spot, and perhaps others as well.
Trading down scenarios
There are a number of rumors out there where teams are looking to trade up, potentially with the Vikings, if their players is available at #8. Here are a couple more logical scenarios, based on team needs, who is reportedly high on their draft board, and have expressed a willingness to part with some picks to make it happen.
1. A top OT is available at #8. There are a few teams- St. Louis, Miami, and NY Giants in particular- that need an OT and have interest in landing a top OT this year.
St. Louis, if they opt for Watkins at #2, could be looking for one of the top 3 OTs with their #13 pick. Trouble is, all three will likely be taken ahead of #13. Most likely, two of the three top OTs (Robinson, Matthews an Lewan) will be gone by #6. Buffalo, at #9, also has OT as a top priority. St. Louis may be willing to spend their 3rd & 5th round picks to trade up with the Vikings and move ahead of Buffalo.
Another option if Jake Matthews is available at #8 (not that likely), is that Miami would trade up with the Vikings (once again ahead of Buffalo) to land Matthews, who they covet. That would be an expensive move for Miami, but rumor has it that they have had talks with the Vikings about moving up in that scenario, as well as potentially moving back with the Vikings 2nd round pick if that scenario does not materialize.
Giants and Ravens also possible trade partners if a top OT is available too, although less likely.
2. Aaron Donald is available at #8. This is likely to happen, and there are a number of teams between #10 - #20 that have interest in Aaron Donald. Donald is the top rated DT in the draft, and with Jernigan having problems and falling in draft boards, and a perceived drop-off to Louis Nix, any number of teams drafting in the mid-first round may opt to trade up for Donald. More likely candidate is Dallas, but Chicago, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and NY Giants all possibilities as well.
3. Mike Evans is available at #8. This is not likely, as both the Raiders and Tampa may take him ahead of the Vikings at #8. Nevertheless, if Tampa and the Raiders go another direction, there will likely be a host of teams that may be willing to trade up to land Evans- again ahead of Buffalo, who also have a need at WR. Teams from Detroit at #10 all the way down to San Francisco at #30 are potential trade suitors should Evans be available at #8.
Those are the most likely trade scenarios that I've read, and which have some logic based on need and the Vikings trade position at #8. I'm guessing at least one of these scenarios will happen. However, there are some things that could complicate matters, particularly if:
1. Buffalo trades up ahead of the Vikings. This is probably the biggest wet blanket for any Viking trade plans. Not only does this eliminate some urgency for other teams to trade up ahead of Buffalo, the Bills could also trade up with a QB-needy team, that may very well pick a QB at #9, which may make trading back less appealing.
2. Tampa trades out of #7. Tampa could work a deal under any of the above scenarios as well, thereby eliminating a potential trade partner for the Vikings.
3. A QB-needy team trades down behind the Vikings. Just about every team drafting ahead of the Vikings would entertain trading down, and they may be willing to trade down at a discount to entice some teams into a trade. Should that happen, that may make trading down less appealing as well, for risk of losing out on a preferred QB pick. It is widely believed that starting with Arizona at #20 to the Vikings at #40, there are a number of teams looking to draft a QB, and also trade up to do so if necessary. That will make landing a top QB in that area more difficult, with a lot of competition and QBs going off the board fast.
Lots of possibilities and moving parts, but that's what makes draft day fun.
UPDATE: From Miami trade source: Parameters #Dolphins dealing up 8 #Vikings- Acquire pick 8 (1,400) for picks 19, 81, 190 (1,075.8) & 2015 2nd. Would prefer keep 190. Deal would be if Dolphins guy is there at #8- will discuss trade when Vikings are on the clock.
Also, Vikings have spoken to five teams regarding a trade down and it’s unlikely that they trade up on Thursday. (Albert Breer)
- Add Odell Beckham and Zack Martin to the list of potential targets for teams looking to trade up. Jets & 49ers are very interested in Beckham, and Miami also interested in Martin (Giants too).
- Draft and trade strategy with Aaron Donald could be the cards as well. Drafting Aaron Donald and trading with Chicago or Dallas at #14 or #16 would mask the Vikings position, preventing another team from leaping them in the draft to land a QB.
From Don Banks at SI:
• Seven or eight of the teams in the draft's top 10 seem to be willing and in the mood to either trade up or down (No. 3 Jacksonville and No. 5 Oakland appear the best bets to stick), but I'd put the label of most likely to vacate their spot on the No. 8 Vikings, who clearly are trying to deal downward. Logically that means Minnesota is not sold on any of the quarterbacks at that pick, which closes the first round's opening quarter, as it were.
The Vikings figure to get their wish, because at No. 8 they're in prime position for teams seeking to climb up into the neighborhood where either the third-rated offensive tackle/lineman (Michigan's Tyler Lewan or Notre Dame's Zack Martin) or Pitt's highly regarded defensive tackle, Aaron Donald, should be available. No. 19 Miami, the No. 12 Giants and No. 9 Buffalo make possible trade partners for an offensive tackle, and Minnesota might get a phone call and an on-the-clock offer from either No. 16 Dallas or No. 14 Chicago, both of whom are known to covet Donald